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Medicare Supplemental Plan?

Compare Medicare Supplement plans in your area.

Need an affordable

Medicare Supplemental Plan?

Compare Medicare Supplement plans in your area.

Medicare Supplemental Plans

If you’re concerned about Medicare costs, a Medigap health insurance policy (also called Medigap supplemental insurance or a Medicare supplemental plan) helps pay the “gap” between what Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) pays and what you pay out of your own pocket. You can get a Medicare Supplement policy through private insurance companies. You can get a Medicare Supplement Plan only if you already have Original Medicare. Medigap covers Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), but it does not cover Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage plans), Medicare Part D (prescription drug plans), or any other private health insurance, Medicaid, Veterans’ Administration benefits, or TRICARE. Because Medigap policies are regulated by state and Federal laws, the benefits for all the coverage options are the same regardless of insurer. The differences will be in the price, who administers the plan, and which of the 10 options the insurer chooses to offer. Choose a health insurer you trust, and shop around for the best prices.

“All insurance companies selling a particular Medigap plan type in your area must offer the same coverage, but may offer it at different prices. So, you may want to shop for the best price.”

What Do Medigap Plans Cover?

Medicare Supplement plans cover some costs not covered by Original Medicare. For example, a 20% co-insurance bill for a doctor visit could be covered with a Medigap plan. All Medicare Supplemental insurance plans must cover standard services. Additional benefits are available with specific plans. All Medicare Supplemental insurance plans must cover:

Medicare Supplement plans generally don’t cover:

  • Medicare Part A co-insurance costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits run out; co-insurance or co-payments for hospice care
  • Medicare Part B co-insurance or co-payments
  • Up to three pints of blood Other services covered depending on the plan:
  • Skilled nursing facility care co-insurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible (no longer covered for new Medicare beneficiaries)
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergency care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Long-term care
  • Hearing aids

What you should know about Medigap

With ten different plan options, it can be challenging to understand what each plan offers and whether it’s right for you. Necessary coverage Medigap policies are not the same if you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin. There are a few important changes and variations of the plan that you should know before choosing.

  • Medicare Supplement Plan F and Plan G also offer a plan with a high deductible in some states. You must pay $2,340 in shared costs before regular Medicare 80/20 policy begins.
  • As of January 1, 2020, new Medicare enrollees are not eligible for Plan C or Plan F. If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but did not enroll, you may still be eligible.
  • Medigap Plans K and L pay 100% of covered services after you reach the annual out-of-pocket limit and pay the yearly Part B deductible. Your annual out-of-pocket limit and Part B deductible reset each calendar year. In 2020, the average Part B deductible is $198.
  • Medicare Supplement Plan N pays 100% of the Part B co-insurance with certain exceptions. For example, an office visit co-pay of $20 or $50 co-pay for emergency room visits that don’t include inpatient admission.

Open enrollment for Medicare Supplement Plans

Your open enrollment for Medigap supplemental insurance begins the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and are covered under Medicare Part B. You have six months to enroll. If you are under 65, check with your state’s Social Security Administration to see if it offers additional open enrollment periods.

“All insurance companies selling a particular Medigap plan type in your area must offer the same coverage, but may offer it at different prices. So, you may want to shop for the best price.”

Medicare Supplement coverage of pre-existing conditions

Medicare Part A and Part B typically cover pre-existing conditions. The same goes for Medicare Supplement insurance. The difference is, a company may be able to refuse to sell you a Medicare Supplement plan in the first place in some cases. As long as you buy a Medicare Supplement plan during the six-month Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, the insurance company cannot refuse to sell you a plan. The insurance company also can’t charge you more because you have health problems or make you wait for basic benefits to begin. However, you may have to wait up to six months for the Medicare Supplement policy’s benefits to include your pre-existing condition*. If you apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan outside of your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, the private insurance company may “underwrite” the plan. Underwriting the plan means that you may be subject to a physical exam, and the insurance company can refuse to sell you the plan or they can adjust your premium based on your health status.

How insurance companies set Medigap premiums

There are three ways that an insurance company can set Medigap premium rates for Medicare Supplement plans:

  • “Community-rated” (or “no-age-rated”) premiums are the same for everyone, regardless of age.
  • “Issue-age-rated” (or “entry-age-rated”) premiums are based on your age when you first buy the policy. The sooner you buy, the less you will pay.
  • “Attained-age-rated” premiums are based on your current age, meaning it goes up as you grow older.

Other factors impacting the premium rates of Medicare Supplement plans can include inflation, geography, medical underwriting (if you did not buy a plan when first eligible), and other discounts. You should check with each specific health insurer to see how it sets Medigap prices before you buy. *Pre-existing conditions are generally health conditions that existed before the start of a policy. They may limit coverage, be excluded from coverage, or even prevent you from being approved for a policy; however, the exact definition and relevant limitations or exclusions of coverage will vary with each plan, so check a specific plan’s official plan documents to understand how that plan handles pre-existing conditions. The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these eHealth web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

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Medicare Supplemental Plans

If you’re concerned about Medicare costs, a Medigap health insurance policy (also called Medigap supplemental insurance or a Medicare supplemental plan) helps pay the “gap” between what Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) pays and what you pay out of your own pocket. You can get a Medicare Supplement policy through private insurance companies. You can get a Medicare Supplement Plan only if you already have Original Medicare. Medigap covers Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), but it does not cover Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage plans), Medicare Part D (prescription drug plans), or any other private health insurance, Medicaid, Veterans’ Administration benefits, or TRICARE. Because Medigap policies are regulated by state and Federal laws, the benefits for all the coverage options are the same regardless of insurer. The differences will be in the price, who administers the plan, and which of the 10 options the insurer chooses to offer. Choose a health insurer you trust, and shop around for the best prices.

“All insurance companies selling a particular Medigap plan type in your area must offer the same coverage, but may offer it at different prices. So, you may want to shop for the best price.”

What Do Medigap Plans Cover?

Medicare Supplement plans cover some costs not covered by Original Medicare. For example, a 20% co-insurance bill for a doctor visit could be covered with a Medigap plan. All Medicare Supplemental insurance plans must cover standard services. Additional benefits are available with specific plans. All Medicare Supplemental insurance plans must cover:

  • Medicare Part A co-insurance costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits run out; co-insurance or co-payments for hospice care
  • Medicare Part B co-insurance or co-payments
  • Up to three pints of blood Other services covered depending on the plan:
  • Skilled nursing facility care co-insurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible (no longer covered for new Medicare beneficiaries)
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergency care

Medicare Supplement plans generally don’t cover:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Long-term care
  • Hearing aids

We're here to help you find an affordable

Insurance Plan

What you should know about Medigap

With ten different plan options, it can be challenging to understand what each plan offers and whether it’s right for you. Necessary coverage Medigap policies are not the same if you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin.

There are a few important changes and variations of the plan that you should know before choosing.

  • Medicare Supplement Plan F and Plan G also offer a plan with a high deductible in some states. You must pay $2,340 in shared costs before regular Medicare 80/20 policy begins.
  • As of January 1, 2020, new Medicare enrollees are not eligible for Plan C or Plan F. If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but did not enroll, you may still be eligible.
  • Medigap Plans K and L pay 100% of covered services after you reach the annual out-of-pocket limit and pay the yearly Part B deductible. Your annual out-of-pocket limit and Part B deductible reset each calendar year. In 2020, the average Part B deductible is $198.
  • Medicare Supplement Plan N pays 100% of the Part B co-insurance with certain exceptions. For example, an office visit co-pay of $20 or $50 co-pay for emergency room visits that don’t include inpatient admission.

Open enrollment for Medicare Supplement Plans

Your open enrollment for Medigap supplemental insurance begins the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and are covered under Medicare Part B. You have six months to enroll. If you are under 65, check with your state’s Social Security Administration to see if it offers additional open enrollment periods.

“All insurance companies selling a particular Medigap plan type in your area must offer the same coverage, but may offer it at different prices. So, you may want to shop for the best price.”

Medicare Supplement coverage of pre-existing conditions

Medicare Part A and Part B typically cover pre-existing conditions. The same goes for Medicare Supplement insurance. The difference is, a company may be able to refuse to sell you a Medicare Supplement plan in the first place in some cases. As long as you buy a Medicare Supplement plan during the six-month Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, the insurance company cannot refuse to sell you a plan. The insurance company also can’t charge you more because you have health problems or make you wait for basic benefits to begin. However, you may have to wait up to six months for the Medicare Supplement policy’s benefits to include your pre-existing condition*. If you apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan outside of your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, the private insurance company may “underwrite” the plan. Underwriting the plan means that you may be subject to a physical exam, and the insurance company can refuse to sell you the plan or they can adjust your premium based on your health status.

We're here to help you find an affordable

Insurance Plan

How insurance companies set Medigap premiums

There are three ways that an insurance company can set Medigap premium rates for Medicare Supplement plans:

  • “Community-rated” (or “no-age-rated”) premiums are the same for everyone, regardless of age.
  • “Issue-age-rated” (or “entry-age-rated”) premiums are based on your age when you first buy the policy. The sooner you buy, the less you will pay.
  • “Attained-age-rated” premiums are based on your current age, meaning it goes up as you grow older.

Other factors impacting the premium rates of Medicare Supplement plans can include inflation, geography, medical underwriting (if you did not buy a plan when first eligible), and other discounts. You should check with each specific health insurer to see how it sets Medigap prices before you buy. *Pre-existing conditions are generally health conditions that existed before the start of a policy. They may limit coverage, be excluded from coverage, or even prevent you from being approved for a policy; however, the exact definition and relevant limitations or exclusions of coverage will vary with each plan, so check a specific plan’s official plan documents to understand how that plan handles pre-existing conditions. The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these eHealth web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

We're here to help you find an affordable

Insurance Plan

Find an Affordable Medicare Supplement plans in your area.

New to Medicare Enrollment Tips

What Is Medicare Part A?

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. Part A covers inpatient hospital care, limited time in a skilled nursing care facility, limited home health care services, and hospice care.

Medicare Part A typically doesn’t cover the full amount of your hospital bill, so you will probably be responsible for a share in the cost. You will also have to pay a deductible before Medicare benefits begin. Medicare will then pay 100% of your costs for up to 60 days in a hospital or up to 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. After that, you pay a flat amount up to the maximum number of covered days. Your Medicare Part A benefits cover some of the costs for a total of 90 days in a hospital and 100 days in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare also covers up to 60 “lifetime reserve days.” These are days you stay in a hospital longer than 90 days in a row. You get a lifetime total of 60 reserve days.

Medicare Part A typically doesn’t cover the full amount of your hospital bill, so you will probably be responsible for a share in the cost. You will also have to pay a deductible before Medicare benefits begin. Medicare will then pay 100% of your costs for up to 60 days in a hospital or up to 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. After that, you pay a flat amount up to the maximum number of covered days. Your Medicare Part A benefits cover some of the costs for a total of 90 days in a hospital and 100 days in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare also covers up to 60 “lifetime reserve days.” These are days you stay in a hospital longer than 90 days in a row. You get a lifetime total of 60 reserve days.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B is medical insurance. Part B benefits cover certain non-hospital medical expenses like doctors’ office visits, blood tests, X-rays, diabetic screenings and supplies, and outpatient hospital care.

You pay a monthly premium for this part of Original Medicare. The fee can be higher for people with high incomes. A different government program, Medicaid, can help cover Medicare Part B premiums for low-income beneficiaries.

Medicare Part B beneficiaries are usually responsible for a portion of their health care costs. You’ll have to pay a small deductible each year before your Medicare Part B benefits kick in, and then you’ll generally pay 20% of the bill when you go to a participating Medicare doctor. Medicare pays the full cost of many lab tests and services requested by your doctor.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, insurance often includes every type of Medicare coverage in one health plan. It’s offered by private insurance companies contracted through CMS to provide a Medicare benefits package as an alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage is optional, but to obtain this private insurance, you must also have Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. You also continue to pay your Part B premium if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. Browse Medicare Advantage plans

While Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide all Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B benefits (except hospice care), plans can also include different additional benefits, which vary among the individual private health insurers. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. Some plans might have a lower deductible, while also allowing you to pay a smaller share of the remaining costs. Medicare Advantage plans may even cover certain health care services that Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, does not cover, like eye exams, hearing aids, dental care, or health care received while traveling outside the United States.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is optional prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part D is available as a stand-alone plan through private insurance companies, and the monthly fee varies among insurers. You will share in the costs of your prescription drugs according to the specific plan in which you’re enrolled. Those costs can include a deductible, a flat copayment amount, or a percentage of the full drug cost (called “coinsurance”).

Browse Medicare Part D plans If you want prescription drug coverage, you can get it through a Medicare Advantage plan if there’s one in your area that offers this coverage. You can use the simple form on this page and enter your zip code to view a list of Medicare Advantage plans in your area. If you have limited income and cannot afford your medications even though you receive Medicare Part D benefits, you may qualify for the Extra Help program, which offers financial assistance for your monthly premium, deductible, copayment, or coinsurance.

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