Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

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Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, is insurance that pays for some costs that aren’t covered in Original Medicare. A Medigap plan might (for instance) cover copayments, coinsurance or deductibles you owe under Original Medicare.

Medigap plans operate as additional — not primary — insurance coverage. You must have Medicare Part A and Part B 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 [1].

What you should know about Medigap plans

Understanding how Medicare Supplement Plans work can take some time. Here are the basics [2]:

  • Medigap plans cover one person. If your spouse or partner also wants a Medicare Supplement Plan, they must buy a policy of their own.

  • Medigap plans can’t cancel you for health issues. All standardized Medigap plans are guaranteed renewable, which means they can’t cancel your policy if you have health problems, as long as you continue to pay the premiums.

  • You can’t buy Medigap if you have Medicare Advantage. In fact, it’s illegal for someone to sell you a Medigap plan if you have Medicare Advantage. If you change back to Original Medicare, you can purchase a Medigap plan.

  • Some plans are no longer available. You can no longer purchase Plans E, H, I and J, but if you purchased one of those plans before June 1, 2010, you can continue with it. People newly eligible for Medicare after Jan. 1, 2020, also can’t purchase Plan C and Plan F, which cover the Medicare Part B deductible. (But if you turned 65 prior to that date and haven’t signed up for Medicare Part B because you still have employer group coverage, you may be able to buy Plans C and F when you do enroll in Part B.)

Differences between Medicare Supplement Plans

If you’re considering a Medigap policy, it helps to understand what each plan covers. Here’s a table to help you compare benefits between plans [3].

Medigap plans that cover it

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

A, B, C, D, F*, G*, K, L, M, N.

Part B coinsurance or copayment.

A, B, C, D, F, G, M, N**.
K covers 50%.
L covers 75%.

A, B, C, D, F, G, M, N.
K covers 50%.
L covers 75%.

Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.

A, B, C, D, F, G, M, N.
K covers 50%.
L covers 75%.

Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.

C, D, F, G, M, N.
K covers 50%.
L covers 75%.

B, C, D, F, G, N.
K and M at 50%.
L at 75%.

Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits).

C, D, F, G, M, and N cover at 80%.

K: $6,220 in 2021.
L: $3,110 in 2021.
N/A for all other 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.

How much does Medigap cost?

You may see Medigap policies priced in a few ways [4]:

  • Community-rated: Premiums aren’t based on age — everyone pays the same monthly premium. This may also be called “no age-rated.”

  • Issue-age-rated: Premiums are based on the age you are when you purchase them. Generally, younger people pay lower premiums than older people. This may also be called “entry age-rated.”

  • Attained-age-rated: Premiums are based on your current age, meaning costs will go up as you get older.

Nerdy tip: Costs can vary quite a bit between plans that offer the exact same coverage, so it pays to compare prices between companies before purchasing a plan.

For reference, below are example premium ranges for individual Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in 2021 in California [5].

*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.

Find Medicare Supplement Insurance near you

You can search for Medigap policies in your area on Medicare.gov. 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).

When to enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance

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 [6].

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

SOURCES

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. AllStocksNews.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Dwayne Welch
He covers the financial news sector for AllStocksNews. During his free time, he works on his startup.

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