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Medicare Insurance Comparison

Not sure which Medicare plan works for you? Use our easy tool to shop, compare, and enroll in plans from popular carriers.

What is Medicare Supplement Coverage?

  • Medicare Supplement Insurance is also known as Medigap insurance
  • Medigap plans are offered by private insurance companies to fill gaps in Medicare Part A and Part B coverage
  • Supplement Insurance can help pay costs that would otherwise be out of pocket
  • Consumers must have Medicare Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medigap plan
  • Instead of a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan, some people choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan because of lower premiums

What is Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, is a specialized form of supplemental insurance for Medicare Part A and Part B. Offered by private providers, it was designed to fill gaps of cost exposure in Original Medicare benefits.

Instead of a Medicare Supplement, some people choose Medicare Advantage plans because of their low premiums. Our Medicare Plan Comparison Tool allows you to search for Medicare Advantage plans in your area based on your preferences.

Medigap plans help consumers pay costs that would otherwise be out of pocket, such as:

  • Deductibles
  • Coinsurance
  • Copayments
  • Overseas emergency health coverage
Supplement Plans - Insurance Policy

Essential elements of Medigap insurance

Regarding the mechanics of the Medigap insurance system, the following items are essential:

  • Consumers must have Medicare A and B to get Medigap coverage.
  • Consumers pay the Medigap insurance company a monthly premium for the coverage.
  • This amount is in addition to the monthly Medicare Part B premium paid to Medicare.
  • A Medigap policy only covers one person.

An insurance company can only purchase Medigap policies with a license to sell in the state.

Insurance companies that sell Medicare supplemental policies are required by law to provide a precise mix of plans, and certain states have their own standards.

Medigap Plans are offered in unique types, designated by letter such as Plans A, G, F, or N.

Of course, these Medigap Plans are not to be confused with Original Medicare Parts A, B, C (Medicare Advantage) or D.

Each standardized Medigap policy must offer the same basic benefits regardless of the insurance company who sells it.

Therefore, the only difference between Medigap policies of the same type is the premium cost charged by the carrier.

Supplement Plans - Medicare Enrollment Form

What Do You Need to Do for Enrollment in Medigap Coverage?

Officially, federal law does not require insurance companies to sell Medigap policies to people under 65, with exceptions only in a few states.

In any case, a person purchasing a Medigap policy must also be signed up for Original Medicare Parts A and B.

Before enrolling, first determine what your current health needs are and future health needs may be. This essential step involves consideration of your personal and family health history. Importantly so, as you may not be able to switch policies later.

Then, determine which Medigap plan meets those needs and find out which insurance carriers offer Medigap policies where you live.

Universally, Medigap designates each type of plan by a letter, A through N. Among these, each type has specific standardization to cover the exact services and items.

Therefore, comparing Medigap insurance companies boils down to premium price when looking at policies of the same type.

Supplement Plans

How much does Medigap Coverage cost?

On the whole, prices vary widely and from year to year. They differ especially by type of Medigap policy as well as the age or health of the buyer.

Location is a driver of premium costs as well. Some services have much higher prices in particular geographic areas.

Other factors that affect premium prices include inflation, and specific medical expenses.

Supplement Plans

When is the best time to buy a Medigap policy?

For the lowest price and guarantee of issuance, the best time to buy takes place during the 7-month Initial Enrollment Period that surrounds a person’s 65th birthday.

  • During the initial eligibility period, plan providers and sellers cannot use medical underwriting to vary prices.
  • They must offer the same policies to all buyers in a state without regard to their pre-existing health conditions
Supplement Plans

Are there Restrictions on Medigap Coverage?

There are a large number of restrictions on Medigap coverage. Each state sets rules and must authorize the issuance of any given type of policy.

Once again, consumers must remain insured by Medicare A and B to get or keep Medigap coverage.

Medigap policies do not cover certain services: 

  • Custodial nursing or long-term care
  • Vision, exams, treatment or services, nor dental care
  • Hearing devices
  • Visual corrective devices such as eyeglasses
  • Personal or private-duty nursing
Supplement Plans

How do you compare Medigap policies?

Medigap policies can be compared with several ways to get the information that best reflects a buyer’s situation.

Price at the time of purchase comprises a first-level comparison. By any of the rating methods, the initial cost imparts a good test of value.

The rate of premium increases is the next level; for example, those rating types based on age might go up faster than others. Premium increase rates can also be determined on a community level, or can even be locked-in at the time of purchase.

Cost increases would be the third level, but other than those based on age alone. The Medigap carrier makes assessments based on actual healthcare costs, and prices premiums accordingly.

On this level of comparison, research into the insurance companies that offer these plans can provide useful tips.

One can learn about past rate hikes and how quickly those increases came over time. Gaining a sense of consumer satisfaction can prove a helpful compass in choosing a plan.

Supplement Plans - Benefits

Medigap Benefits

Medigap benefits cover a wide range of situations. They focus on gaps in Medicare A and B coverage for medically necessary services.

Medicare Supplement plans must provide coverage for the basic benefits listed below:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 from the end of Original Medicare benefits
  • Part A Hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment for doctor and medical services
  • Blood replacement; there are no additional costs for the first three pints of blood each year, per patient.

Other Medigap plans also offered can partially or fully pay for:

  • Skilled Nursing Facility care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Any Part B excess charges, a term used when a doctor does not accept Medicare assignment and can charge up to an additional 15% of the Medicare-approved amount for the service
  • Foreign travel emergencies, up to plan limits.
  • Learn more about Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap, by clicking any of our references.
  • If you have questions on finding the Mediagp coverage that's right for you, feel free to call our hotline at (800) 950-0608.
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