Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like 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.
Medicare.gov: the official U.S. government site for Medicare
Medicare: What Are Medigap Plans?
If you are going to buy a Medigap plan, the open enrollment period is six months from the first day of the month of your 65th birthday — as long as you are also signed up for Medicare Part B — or within six months of signing up for Medicare Part B. During this time, you can buy any Medigap policy at the same price a person in good health pays. If you try to buy a Medigap policy outside this window, there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to get coverage. If you do get covered, your rates might be higher.
Medigap (Medicare Supplement Health Insurance)
A Medigap policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage. Medigap policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesn’t cover. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will each pay its share of covered health care costs. Generally, when you buy a Medigap policy you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium ($96.40 in 2011 for most beneficiaries). In addition, you will have to pay a premium to the Medigap insurance company. As long as you pay your premium, your Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable. This means it is automatically renewed each year. Your coverage will continue year after year as long as you pay your premium. In some states, insurance companies may refuse to renew a Medigap policy bought before 1992. Insurance companies can only sell you a “standardized” Medigap policy. Medigap policies must follow Federal and state laws. These laws protect you. The front of a Medigap policy must clearly identify it as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” It’s important to compare Medigap policies, because costs can vary. The standardized Medigap policies that insurance companies offer must provide the same benefits. Generally, the only difference between Medigap policies sold by different insurance companies is the cost. You and your spouse must buy separate Medigap policies.Your Medigap policy won’t cover any health care costs for your spouse. Some Medigap policies also cover other extra benefits that aren’t covered by Medicare. You are guaranteed the right to buy a Medigap policy under certain circumstances. For more information on Medigap policies, you may call 1-800-633-4227 and ask for a free copy of the publication “Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People With Medicare.” You may also call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and your State Insurance Department. Phone numbers for these Departments and Programs in each State can be found in that publication.
Medicare Supplement Plans Overview
Now that you know more about Medicare Supplement plans, you may be wondering if one of these plans may be right for you. I always enjoy helping people figure this out. If you’d like to start out by getting some more information in front of you, use the links below, which let you schedule a phone appointment or have me email you information about plans. To take a look at all available Medicare plans right now, use the Compare Plans buttons on this page. To get to know me better, take a look at my photo and profile below (see my profile by clicking on the “View profile” link). Or, if you need assistance right away, just call me or another licensed insurance agent at the contact details below.
Compare Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans and Rates in Your Area
"Times have changed since my mother had an AARP J plan and I was totally confused by the options available. Stan walked me through the process in a very educational, methodical, friendly way, and I feel secure now that we’re making the correct decision to provide the best possible coverage for my husband." – Pat K.
How to Choose the Best Medigap Plan
Medigap health plans are basically bookkeeping operations. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans don’t make any decisions about what to cover. They don’t have networks of doctors or hospitals. All they do is pick up a specified share of your medical bills that Medicare doesn’t pay, such as Part A or Part B deductibles or co-pays. If Medicare paid for it and you still owe a part of the bill, Medigap will pay it, no questions asked.