Medicare recipients often spend a lot of money on deductibles, coinsurance and other expenses. A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan (also called Medigap) helps reduce Medicare out-of-pocket spending by providing coverage for some of these expenses. Learn how a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can help save you money!
What Are Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans?
In most states, there are 10 standardized Medigap plan types, labeled A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Each Medigap plan type provides a variation of basic benefits that range from limited to comprehensive. Unsurprisingly, the more limited Medigap plans usually have the lowest premiums and the most comprehensive Medigap plans have the highest.
The chart below shows the basic benefits of all 10 standardized Medigap plan types to help you compare.
No matter which Medigap plan you enroll in, you are guaranteed at least partial coverage for the following:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or co-payment
- First three pints of blood
- Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
When Should I Enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance?
The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan is during your Medigap open enrollment period. Your open enrollment period begins the month you are both 65 years or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B, and lasts for six months afterward.
Insurance companies cannot use medical underwriting if you enroll in Medigap during your open enrollment period. This means that an insurance company cannot deny you coverage or increase your premium if you have a preexisting condition.
How Much Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Cost?
Monthly premiums for Medigap plans vary from state to state and from insurance company to insurance company. It is impossible to know what you'll pay for a specific Medigap plan without speaking with a licensed agent in your area.
It is important to note, however, that Medigap plans that share the same letter will have the same basic benefits no matter where you purchase them. For example, a Medigap Plan B policy purchased from one insurer will have the same basic benefits as a Medigap Plan B policy from another insurer. The only difference between plans is the price you pay for them.
What to Know Before Enrolling in Medigap
There are numerous things you should know about Medigap before you purchase a policy. We've listed some of the most important things to keep in mind while shopping below.
- You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible for a Medigap plan.
- You cannot be enrolled in Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) and receive Medigap benefits.