medicare supplement insurance icon

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Policies

Original Medicare pays for many, but not all, health care services and supplies. Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare Supplement insurance policies are also called Medigap policies.

Some Medicare Supplement policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. (For example, medical care when you travel outside the U.S.). If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then, your Medigap policy pays its share. You have to pay the premiums for a Medicare Supplement policy.

 

Medicare Supplement Policies Are Standardized

Every Medicare Supplement policy must follow federal and state laws designed to protect you. Insurance companies can only sell “standardized” policies. Medicare Supplement plans are identified by letters A through D, F through G, and K through N. All policies offer the same basic benefits. But some offer additional benefits so you can choose which one meets your needs. In Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Medigap policies are standardized in a different way.

 

Note: Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available to buy, but if you already have one of those policies, you can keep it. Contact your insurance company for more information.

 

When To Buy

The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This 6-month period begins on the first day of the month in which you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. (Some states have additional Open Enrollment Periods.) After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medicare Supplement policy. If you’re able to buy one, it may cost more.

 

If you delay enrolling in Medicare Part B because you have group health coverage based on your (or your spouse’s) current employment, your Medigap Open Enrollment Period won’t start until you sign up for Part B.

 

Federal law generally doesn’t require insurance companies to sell Medicare Supplement policies to people under 65. If you’re under 65, you might not be able to buy the Medigap policy you want, or any Medigap policy, until you turn 65. However, some states require Medigap insurance companies to sell Medigap policies to people under 65.

medicare supplement insurance icon

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Policies

Original Medicare pays for many, but not all, health care services and supplies. Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare Supplement insurance policies are also called Medigap policies.

Some Medicare Supplement policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. (For example, medical care when you travel outside the U.S.). If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then, your Medigap policy pays its share. You have to pay the premiums for a Medicare Supplement policy.

 

Medicare Supplement Policies Are Standardized

Every Medicare Supplement policy must follow federal and state laws designed to protect you. Insurance companies can only sell “standardized” policies. Medicare Supplement plans are identified by letters A through D, F through G, and K through N. All policies offer the same basic benefits. But some offer additional benefits so you can choose which one meets your needs. In Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Medigap policies are standardized in a different way.

 

Note: Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available to buy, but if you already have one of those policies, you can keep it. Contact your insurance company for more information.

 

When To Buy

The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This 6-month period begins on the first day of the month in which you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. (Some states have additional Open Enrollment Periods.) After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medicare Supplement policy. If you’re able to buy one, it may cost more.

 

If you delay enrolling in Medicare Part B because you have group health coverage based on your (or your spouse’s) current employment, your Medigap Open Enrollment Period won’t start until you sign up for Part B.

 

Federal law generally doesn’t require insurance companies to sell Medicare Supplement policies to people under 65. If you’re under 65, you might not be able to buy the Medigap policy you want, or any Medigap policy, until you turn 65. However, some states require Medigap insurance companies to sell Medigap policies to people under 65.