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Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance

An elderly couple enjoys a walk in the park after learning more about Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, also known as Medigap insurance plans, help cover gaps in coverage from Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). While Original Medicare covers most basic healthcare needs, out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles, coinsurance and copayments can add up fast. Here you can learn why Medicare Supplement insurance plans are an important consideration for Medicare beneficiaries. 

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans Explained

Medicare Supplement insurance plans are denoted by the letters A through N (plans C, E, F, H, I and J are no longer sold). In most states, there are eight Medicare Supplement plans and the policies have been standardized, meaning there is no difference in the benefits offered between insurers. Every Medicare Supplement insurance plan can be used anywhere that accepts Medicare. The only difference between Medicare Supplement plans is the cost of the monthly premium.

Each Medicare Supplement plan must at least cover a portion of the following basic benefits:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
  • Medicare Part B hospice care coinsurance and copayments
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments
  • First three pints of blood used in a medical procedure

Each of the eight plans can provide additional benefits along with the basic benefits. It’s also important to note that Medicare Prescription Drug plans are not covered by Medicare Supplement insurance or Medigap policies.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Enrollment and Eligibility

In order to purchase a Medicare Supplement or Medigap policy, you have to be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan during the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, which begins on the first day of the month you turn 65 and lasts six months. 

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Costs

The cost of Medicare Supplement or Medigap policies depends on a number of factors, such as the type of plan, the insurance company, your location and your age. If you enroll in a Medicare Supplement, you will pay a monthly premium in addition to your Medicare Part B premium. The monthly premium varies among insurance companies, but the benefits of each standard plan is always the same. 

Ways to Save Money on Medicare Supplement Plans

If you are someone who needs regular doctor visits, and out-of-pocket costs might be a concern for you, a Medicare Supplement plan could potentially be a viable option for you. Although premiums vary among insurance companies, the cost of the monthly premium for Medicare Supplement or Medigap policies is offset by the lower annual out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services. 

Ready to enroll in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan?

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