Medigap Plan A Benefits: What You Need to Know

Medigap Plan A offers all of the “basic benefits” included in every Medicare Supplement Insurance plan without any extras.
Written by Alex Rosenberg
Reviewed by Debra Nuckols

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Medigap Plan A is a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan that covers certain out-of-pocket expenses associated with Medicare Part A and Part B coverage.

Medigap Plan A includes the “basics” for Medigap plans — the benefits that every Medigap plan covers. Plan A has lower premiums than other Medigap options because it doesn’t include the coverage that other plans provide.

Here's what you should know about Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan A.

How it works

Original Medicare beneficiaries can buy a Medigap plan to help pay for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, copays and coinsurance. These plans aren’t available for Medicare Advantage members.

There are 10 standardized Medigap plans available in most states (except Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin, which use different standards). The plans differ in terms of coverage for services, out-of-pocket limits and premium costs.

What Medigap Plan A covers

Here’s what Medigap Plan A covers, according to Medicare.gov:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up.

  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.

  • Part B coinsurance or copayment.

  • Blood transfusion (first three pints).

What Medigap Plan A doesn’t cover

Here are the benefits Medigap Plan A doesn’t cover that are included in some other plans:

  • Part A deductible.

  • Part B excess charges (if a provider is permitted to charge more than Medicare’s approved amount and does so).

  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.

  • Emergency care during travel outside the U.S.

Additionally, all Medigap plans, including Plan A, sold to new Medicare members don’t cover the following:

  • Part B deductible (since 2020, new Medicare members can’t buy any plan that covers the Part B deductible, although existing members may own older plans that do).

  • Long-term care (like non-skilled care you get in a nursing home).

  • Private-duty nursing.

How much does Medigap Plan A cost?

Medigap Plan A is regulated by the government, but premiums are set by the private health insurance companies that sell the plan. Prices vary as a result of factors, including age, location and tobacco use. In a representative California ZIP code (92589) in 2022, monthly premiums for a 65-year-old nonsmoker range from $94 to $232.

To find out what Medigap Plan A would cost you, visit Medicare.gov.

The easiest and least expensive time to enroll in a Medigap policy is during your Medigap open enrollment period.

This period happens only once. It starts once you’re 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B, and lasts for six months. (If you're still working after 65 and covered by a group employer plan that is deemed creditable coverage, your six-month period starts after you’ve ended active employment or no longer have that insurance.)

Medigap policies are cheapest and easiest to get during this open enrollment period because insurance companies aren’t allowed to factor your health or medical history into your price. After the period ends, the prices may go up or you may be denied coverage due to your health status or medical history.

In some states, insurance companies sell Medigap plans to those under 65 who are living with a disability and are eligible for Medicare. You can find more information through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP.

If you have questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-633-4227 (TTY: 877-486-2048).

Compare alternative plans

Get details on Medicare Supplement Insurance options

Coverage

Medigap Plan

Basic benefits

Basics plus some extras

Highest coverage

Lower premiums, but higher copays

Lowest premiums — partial coverage

No longer for sale to new Medicare members

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