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Medigap Plan B adds one additional benefit on top of the basic benefits provided by all Medigap plans: coverage for the Medicare Part A deductible.
How it works
Medigap plans help pay for the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can’t also buy a Medigap plan.
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 B covers
Here’s what Medigap Plan B 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 deductible.
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.
Part B coinsurance or copayment.
Blood transfusion (first three pints).
What Medigap Plan B doesn’t cover
Here are the benefits Medigap Plan B doesn’t cover that are included in some other plans:
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 B, 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).
How much does Medigap Plan B cost?
The government regulates Medigap plans, but you buy your plan from a private health insurance company, which sets the price you pay. Prices vary as a result of factors such as age, location and tobacco use. In a representative California ZIP code (92589) in 2022, monthly Medigap Plan B premiums for a 65-year-old nonsmoker range from $136 to $230.
To find out what Medigap Plan B would cost you, visit Medicare.gov.
For the smoothest enrollment experience and lowest prices, sign up for a Medigap plan 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).
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