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Medicare 101

Medicare Supplement Insurance

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published February 18, 2021 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

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.

Important: Plan F and Plan C are not available to beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

The chart below shows the basic benefits of all 10 standardized Medigap plan types to help you compare.

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Medicare Supplement Benefits

Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage

Part B coinsurance or copayment

Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

First 3 pints of blood

Skilled nursing facility coinsurance

Part A deductible

Part B deductible

Part B excess charges

Foreign travel emergency

A B C* D F1* G1 K2 L3 M N4
50% 75%
50% 75%
50% 75%
50% 75%
50% 75% 50%
80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80%

* Plan F and Plan C are not available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before 2020, you may still be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C as long as they are available in your area.

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1 Plans F and G offer high-deductible plans that each have an annual deductible of $2,370 in 2021. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high-deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

2 Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,220 in 2021. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

3 Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,110 in 2021. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

4 Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.

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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.

Call 1-800-995-4219 today to speak with a licensed agent and compare Medicare Supplement Insurance quotes for free.

Resource Center

Compare Medigap Plans 2021

See how the 10 Medigap plans differ. Review our chart for a detailed comparison of Medicare Supplement insurance benefits and compare Medigap options where you live. Read more
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