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Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, is insurance that pays for some costs that aren’t covered in Original Medicare. A Medicare Supplement Plan might (for instance) cover copayments, coinsurance or deductibles you owe under Original Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Plans operate as additional — not primary — insurance coverage. You must have and to buy a Medigap plan. These policies are sold by private companies, and the plans are standardized, so Medicare Supplement Plan G in New York will offer the same coverage as Medicare Supplement Plan G in Ohio .
(There are exceptions. If you live in , or , your Medigap policies work differently.)
Understanding how Medicare Supplement Plans work can take some time. Here are the basics :
If you’re considering a Medigap policy, it helps to understand what each plan covers. Here’s a Medicare Supplement Plan comparison chart to help you see the differences between plans .
* In some states, Plans F and G have a high-deductible plan option. That means you must pay for Medicare-covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, deductibles) up to the deductible of $2,370 in 2021, at which point your coverage will kick in. ** Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and a copayment of up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t lead to inpatient admission. *** For Plans K and L, once you meet your out-of-pocket yearly limit and your yearly Part B deductible, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the remainder of the year.
You may see Medicare Supplement Plans priced in a few ways :
For reference, below are example premium ranges for individual Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in 2021 in California .
*Pricing will depend on where you live and your personal health situation. The numbers above are based on plans available to a 65-year-old, nonsmoking man living in California’s 92589 ZIP code.
You can search for Medicare Supplement Plans in your area on . Just enter your ZIP code, and for more accurate pricing, consider entering your age, sex and tobacco usage on the page that follows.
Once you pick your Medigap plan, the finder will show you companies in your area that offer it, along with the plan’s pricing strategy (i.e., if it’s community pricing, attained-age pricing or issue-age pricing).
Ideally, you should buy Medicare Supplement Insurance during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This starts the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B, and it lasts six months. It also never repeats, so don’t miss it.
During this open enrollment period, companies selling Medicare Supplement plans must sell you a policy and can’t charge you a higher price, even if you have health issues. Outside your open enrollment window, however, companies can refuse to sell you a policy and they can charge you a higher price based on any health problems you might have .
If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY: 877-486-2048).
Read more about the different parts of Medicare and what they cover.