Medicare Supplements

Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap, are insurance policies that help you pay the coinsurance and copayments Original Medicare requires of you.

There are 10 plans lettered A through N that each cover a different percentage of your out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare.

Some will even help pay for emergency care you need when traveling outside the U.S. (something Medicare won’t do).

Medicare Supplements are standardized. That means no matter which company you purchase a plan from, it will have the same coverage. The only difference will be price.

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What do Medicare Supplements cover?

Each plan covers a different percentage of: 

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance/copayments
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance/copayments
  • First three pints of a blood transfusion
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance/copayments
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible*
  • Medicare Part B excess charges 
  • Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits)

*Those who turn 65 after January 1, 2020 are not eligible for plans that offer this benefit due to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

How does coverage work?

After you visit a doctor or hospital, the bill goes to Medicare.

Medicare will pay its portion and then send the rest to your Medicare Supplement plan provider. 

Your plan will pay based on the plan’s terms. 

If anything is left, you will be responsible for covering it.


When are the enrollment periods for Medicare Supplements?

You can enroll once your Medicare Part B plan is effective. 

You’ll have six months of guaranteed issue rights at that time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan. This is a one-time open enrollment in which you cannot be turned down for a plan or be charged an additional premium for health reasons. Afterwards, you may not be able to get a plan and premiums will be subject to medical underwriting.

Because of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, this will depend on when you turned 65. 

For those who turned 65 before January 1, 2020, the answer is Medigap plan F. 

It covers 100% of: 

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance/copayments
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance/copayments
  • First three pints of a blood transfusion
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance/copayments
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible*
  • Medicare Part B excess charges 

And it covers 80% of a foreign travel emergency. 

For those who turned 65 after January 1, 2020, the most comprehensive coverage is plan G. 

It covers 100% of everything Plan F does besides Part B’s deductible.