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Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)

A Medicare Supplement Plan provides supplemental health insurance for health care costs not covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B), such as co-payments, deductibles, and health care if you travel outside the United States. Medicare Supplement Plans are sold by private insurance companies and you must pay a monthly premium, in addition to your Part A and B premiums.

Medicare Supplement Plans do not cover any additional services or supplies beyond your Original Medicare (Part A and B) benefits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have designated several standardized Medicare Supplement Plans, labeled “A” through “N.”

Each of the standardized plans provides benefits for different out-of-pocket costs, and all of the plans with the same letter must offer the same basic benefits. For example the basic benefits of one company’s Plan G are the same as the basic benefits of another company’s Plan G, regardless of your location. The only difference between Medicare Supplement Plans with the same letter is usually the monthly premium cost.

Medigap Enrollment and Eligibility

To apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan, you must first be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. After that, you can choose to enroll in additional Medicare plans, such as Medigap, Medicare Advantage, or a Part D plan.

You have a designated Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period that begins when you are both 65* (or older) and enrolled in Part B. This enrollment period lasts for 6 months, and it is the only time you will have a guaranteed-issue right to join a Medicare Supplement Plan. You may not be denied coverage based on any pre-existing conditions during this enrollment period (although a waiting period may apply). If you miss this enrollment period and attempt to enroll in the future, you may be denied coverage or charged a higher premium based on your medical history.

*In some states, you may be able to enroll in a Medigap Plan before the age of 65.

Why Consider a Medicare Supplement Plan?