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What are Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)?

No obligation to enroll

Medicare Supplement plans, also called Medigap Insurance, help provide for gaps in coverage from Medicare Parts A and B and can save you money. If you have fairly frequent doctor or hospital visits, Medicare Parts A and B (Original Medicare) come with out-of-pocket costs that you have to pay. Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medigap helps to fill in these gaps in basic benefits, such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. The monthly premium cost can vary depending on the type of coverage but the premium cost is offset by lower annual out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services.

There are 10 Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans to choose from and all policies have been standardized. That means there is no difference in the benefits offered between insurers. The only difference between Medicare Supplement plans tends to be the cost of the monthly premium. The Medicare Supplement insurance plans are denoted by letters A through N (plans E, H, I and J are no longer sold). Although the names of some of the Medicare Supplement plans sound familiar to the parts of Medicare, such as Part A and Part B, they are not the same as Medigap Plan A and Medigap Plan B, etc.

Want to review plans in your state?

Want to review plans in your state?

Here are a few key things to know about Medicare Supplement Insurance before you start:

  • Plans are identified as Medicare Supplement Plans A through N (except in MA, MN, and WI).
  • The most popular Medicare Supplement plans are F, G, and N.
  • Plan F is considered to provide the broadest coverage and covers all the gaps left by Medicare Parts A and B.
  • Plan G is almost identical to a plan F except you are responsible for paying your Part B deductible.
  • Not all plans may be available in every state.
  • You must have Medicare Part A and B in order to buy a Medicare Supplement or Medigap policy.
  • Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage (Part C) are different types of plans.
  • You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medicare Supplement policy. This cost is in addition to the cost you pay for your Medicare Part B premium.
  • A Medicare Supplement policy can only cover one individual. If you and your spouse both what Medigap coverage, you will each have separate policies.
  • Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed to renew each year, even if you have health problems. This means that the insurance company cannot cancel your Medicare Supplement policy as long as you pay the premium.
  • Prescription drugs are not covered by Medicare Supplement or Medigap policies. You can buy a Medicare Prescription Drug Part D plan for your prescription medication needs.
  • Medigap policies generally do not cover vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, long-term care or private nursing.

The best time to purchase a Medicare Supplement or Medigap policy begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and have enrolled in Medicare A and B (you have to be enrolled in both Medicare A and B in order to get a Medigap plan). During this time, you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems.  The Medigap enrollment period lasts for six months. Our licensed sales agents at SelectQuote can walk you step by step through the process and help you find an affordable option that’s right for your needs!

 

* This high deductible plan F (FH) pays the same or offers the same benefits as Plan F after you have paid a calendar year $2,200 deductible in 2017. Benefits from the high deductible Plan F will not begin until out-of-pocket expenses are $2,200. Out-of-pocket expenses for this deductible are expenses that would ordinarily be paid by the policy. This includes the Medicare deductibles for Part A and Part B, but does not include the plan’s separate foreign travel emergency deductible.

** Plan N requires up to a $20 copayment for an office visit and up to a $50 copayment for an emergency room visit.

*** Basic benefits include Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance, Medicare Part A extended hospital coverage (365 days after Medicare benefits end), Medicare Part A hospice outpatient prescription drug copayment and inpatient respite care coinsurance, Medicare Parts A and B first three pints of blood.

**** Out-of-Pocket Annual Limit subject annually subject to change.

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  • This guide provides an overview of Medicare coverage and will help you prepare to enroll in the right Medicare coverage to meet your needs and budget.
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