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Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) is a type of private insurance plan that can work alongside your Original Medicare coverage to help cover some out-of-pocket Medicare costs such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.

You can compare different types of Medicare plans, including Medicare Supplement Insurance, to find the type of coverage that's the best fit for your needs.

How does Medicare Supplement Insurance work?

After you enroll in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), you may incur some out-of-pocket Medicare costs when you use your coverage.

For example, you have to meet the Medicare Part B deductible ($198 in 2020) before Part B will start covering some of the costs of your care. And once it does, you are still typically responsible for a 20 percent Part B coinsurance for approved services.

A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can help provide coverage for some of these out-of-pocket Medicare costs.

You typically pay a monthly premium to belong to a Medigap plan.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans 2020
Medicare Supplement Benefits A B C D F G K L M N
Part A co-insurance and hospital costs
Part B co-insurance or co-payment 50% 75%
First 3 pints of blood 50% 75%
Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment 50% 75%
Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility     50% 75%
Medicare Part A deductible   50% 75% 50%
Medicare Part B deductible                
Medicare Part B excess charges                
Foreign travel emergency     80% 80% 80% 80%     80% 80%
1. Plans C and F are not available to new beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
2. Plans F and G also offer a high deductible plan which has an annual deductible of $2,340 in 2020. 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 become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
3. Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $5,880 in 2020. Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $2,940 in 2020.
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 for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
View an image version of this table.

What can Medicare Supplement Insurance plans cover?

Medicare Supplement Insurance can provide coverage for some or all of the following costs:

There are 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans available in most states. They are designated a plan letter (Medigap Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N), and each type of plan offers a different combination of some or all of the above coverage.

Not every plan will be available in every state.

Learn more about Medigap plans in your area

Visit MedicareSupplement.com

What does Medicare Supplement Insurance cost?

Medicare Supplement Insurance is sold by private insurance companies, so the cost of a plan can differ between one carrier or location and another.

There are a few other things that may affect the cost of a Medigap plan:

  • The amount of coverage offered by the plan
  • Whether or not medical underwriting is used as part of the application process
  • The age at which you join the plan
  • Eligibility for any discounts offered by the carrier
  • Gender (women often pay less for a plan than men)

Medigap eligibility

In order to be eligible for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, you must be at least 65 years old, enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and reside in the area that is serviced by the plan.

Some states – but not all – allow Medicare Supplement Insurance enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 65.

Enrolling in a Medigap plan

Your six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period begins when you are 65 years old and enrolled in Part A and Part B.

During your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, insurance companies are not allowed to use medical underwriting to determine your premium rates when you apply for a policy. This means that if you apply for a plan during this period, you cannot be charged more due to your age or health history.

Once your six-month open enrollment window ends, you may be subject to underwriting and may pay higher plan premiums. Insurance companies also reserve the right to deny you a policy based on the results of the underwriting. That’s why it’s highly advisable to take advantage of your Medigap open enrollment period.

Learn more about Medigap plans in your area

Visit MedicareSupplement.com