Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans

Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap, are private insurance plans that cover the leftover costs of Original Medicare like coinsurance. 

There are 10 lettered plans, A-N, that each cover a different percentage of the out-of-pocket costs Medicare sticks you with.

Some even cover a percentage of a foreign travel emergency.

Medicare Supplements are standardized, meaning no matter which company you go with a plan of the same letter will have the same coverage. The only possible difference would be price.

What do Medicare Supplements cover?

Each plan covers a different percentage of the following items: 

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance or copayment and hospital costs
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • First three pints of a blood transfusion
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • 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

How does coverage work?

After you receive healthcare services, the bill goes out to Medicare. 

Medicare will then pay its standard 80% of the bill. 

After that, Medigap will kick in and cover the agreed upon portion. That could be the full remainder of the bill, or just a percentage, depending on the plan you select.

When are the enrollment periods?

You can enroll once you have Medicare Part B. You will then have six months to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan with no health questions. This is a one-time open enrollment in which you cannot be turned down for any health conditions, you cannot be asked any medical questions, and you cannot be charged an additional premium for health reasons.

Which Medicare Supplement plan has the highest coverage?

For those who turned 65 before January 1, 2020, the answer to this question was Medigap plan F. 

It covers 100% of: 

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance or copayment and hospital costs
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • First three pints of a blood transfusion
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible***
  • Medicare Part B excess charges 

And it also 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.

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