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Choosing the right Medicare health plan is one of the most important decisions you can make. But, sorting through all the different plans can be confusing. We're here to help!
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Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans
Medicare Supplement plans A through N are sold by private insurance companies. They can help pay some of the health care costs not covered by your Original Medicare Plan (copayments, deductibles, coinsurance). Each plan offers different benefits.
All Medicare Supplement plans are standardized. This means that the benefits in plans A through N are the same from any insurance company. But, even though the plans are the same, premium costs can vary.
Medicare Supplement Enrollment
It's important to know that there is a certain timeframe in which you are guaranteed enrollment in Medicare Supplement plans, regardless of your health. You should buy your policy during the six-month open enrollment period (begins on the first day of your birthday month when you turn 65 or older and when you are enrolled in Medicare Part B). The insurance company cannot deny you coverage or make you wait for coverage; however, it may make you wait for coverage of a pre-existing condition for up to six months. But, remember, Medicare still provides coverage during this time.
You can still apply for Medicare Supplement plans after open enrollment, but the insurance company may not sell you a policy based on your health history.
It is also important to know that you can drop your Medicare Supplement policy, but you may not be able to get the same, or any, Medicare Supplement insurance plan back again. Evaluate your options carefully.
What you should know
- You should buy your Medicare Supplement plan during open enrollment in order to take advantage of guaranteed enrollment.
- When you buy Medicare Supplement insurance, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
- Not all plans are available in all states. Insurance companies may not offer all plans.
- Medicare Supplements don't cover long-term care, vision care, dental care or hearing aids.
- If your prescription drug coverage needs change, Medicare prescription drug coverage is still available to you.
- It is illegal for an insurance company to sell you Medicare Supplement plans if you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Medicare SELECT is a type of Medicare Supplement policy that is sold in some states that requires you to go to doctors and hospitals within a certain network. These plans are usually less expensive than regular Medicare supplement plans.
- Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have different Medicare Supplements.
Learn more about the differences between the various Medigap plans. Select Plans A-N below for complete details.
- Medicare Supplement Overview - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- "What You Need to Know" - AHIP
- Dissertation from Case Western Reserve University: Medicare Supplemental Insurance Purchasing Decisions and Ownership
- Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare
Ready to get started?
Even though all plans are the same, costs can vary from each insurance company. Make sure you compare carefully. To start shopping for your plan, enter your zip code in the box at the top of the page.