Overview

Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) will fill in some (or all) of the out-of-pocket costs you have to pay if you have Orginal Medicare (Parts A & B) coverage. The 10 standardized plans cover varying degrees of your Original Medicare deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Medicare Supplement plans are labeled: A, B, C, D, F, high deductible F, G, K, L, M, N—not to be confused with Medicare Parts A, B, C and D.

    Benefit Period

    is the way the Original Medicare program measures your use of inpatient hospital and skilled nursing facility (SNF) services. It begins the day that you enter a hospital or SNF and ends when you have not received inpatient hospital or Medicare-covered skilled care in a SNF for 60 days in a row.
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  • Learn about Medicare Supplement Plans

    Short Answer:

    Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans are a kind of private health insurance that helps pay your out-of-pocket costs if you have Original Medicare (Part A & B) coverage. There 10 plan types (each denoted by a letter); each letter policy is required by law to offer the same benefits, no matter what state you live in or which insurer you buy the plan from.*

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    This chart will help you easily compare Medicare Supplement plans. (Click the chart to enlarge it)

    For each plan in the chart above, the percentage represents what the Medicare Supplement plan covers. You’ll need to cover the rest of the cost for the service, if your plan covers less than 100% of a benefit.

    You’ll notice that Plans C and F are the only ones that cover the Medicare Part B (medical insurance) deductible. As of January 1, 2020, however, you’ll no longer be able to enroll in Plan C or F, in accordance with a 2015 law passed by Congress that prohibits the sale of Medicare Supplement plans that cover the Part B deductible. The law will only affect those who are newly eligible, however—if you’re eligible and sign up for Plan C or F before January 1, 2020, you’ll be grandfathered in and able to keep your plan.

    *Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin do not have the same standardized plans as the rest of the country.

  • What is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan?

  • When can I change my Medicare Supplement plan?

    Short Answer:

    Generally, you can change your Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan only during the six-month period beginning on the first day of the month after you have turned 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. This is often referred to as the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period.

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    Once this enrollment period is over, insurers are not legally obligated to sell you a Medicare Supplement plan.

    You can still buy a Medicare Supplement plan at any time, but you may be subject to medical underwriting. It’s worth noting, however, that some states prohibit this practice.

    There are a few circumstances when you can switch, even after your Medicare Open Enrollment Period has passed:

    • You’re in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan and your plan is discontinuing coverage in your area or you move out of the service area.
    • You have Original Medicare (Parts A & B) and are in an employer group health plan, and the group health plan is ending.
    • You have Original Medicare and Medicare SELECT, and you move out of the Medicare SELECT plan’s service area.
    • You dropped your Medicare Supplement plan for a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time, and you want to switch back within the first year of coverage.
    • Your insurance company goes bankrupt, or your coverage otherwise ends through no fault of your own.
    • Your insurance company hasn’t followed the rules, or misled you.
    • If you live in a state that uses “community rating”, you are allowed to switch from one Medicare Supplement plan to another.

    These are called “guaranteed issue rights.”

  • What does Medicare Supplement cover?

    Short Answer:

    A Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan helps cover some or all of your out-of-pocket costs for Original Medicare (Parts A & B), such as your copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

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    Different Medicare Supplement plans offer different coverage—you can learn more about what each plan will pay for in the table below.

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan A?

    Short Answer:

    Plan A is the most basic Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.

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    Plan A covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

    Plan A does not cover:

    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part A deductible
    • Medicare Part B deductible
    • Medicare Part B excess charges
    • Emergency care abroad

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan B?

    Short Answer:

    Plan B is one of the standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan options.

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    Plan B covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Medicare Part A deductible

    Plan B does not cover:

    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part B deductible
    • Medicare Part B excess charges
    • Emergency care abroad

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan C?

    Short Answer:

    Plan C is one of the standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan options. Besides plan F, it is the only other plan that covers the Part B deductible.

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    Plan C covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part A deductible
    • Medicare Part B deductible
    • 80% of emergency care abroad (up to plan limits)

    Plan C does not cover:

    Plan C will no longer be available to new enrollees as of January 1, 2020.

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan D?

    Short Answer:

    Plan D is one of the standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan options.

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    Plan D covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part A deductible
    • Emergency care abroad (up to plan limits)

    Plan D does not cover:

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan F?

    Short Answer:

    Plan F offers the broadest coverage of all Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans and is, by far, the most popular plan choice. However, despite its popularity, Plan F will no longer be available to new enrollees as of January 1, 2020.

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    Plan F covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part A deductible
    • Medicare Part B deductible
    • Medicare Part B excess charges (that is, any medical expenses above the amounts allowed by Medicare)
    • 80% of emergency care abroad (up to plan limits)

    Note: There is also a high-deductible version of Plan F.

  • What is high-deductible Medicare Supplement Plan F?

    Short Answer:

    High-deductible Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan F is a typically lower-cost version that offers the same coverage as the standard Medicare Supplement Plan F, but requires you to pay a deductible before coverage kicks in. In 2018, you must cover all costs up to $2,240 before the Plan F benefits kick in.

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    After that, Plan F covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part A deductible
    • Medicare Part B deductible
    • Medicare Part B excess charges
    • 80% of emergency care abroad (up to plan limits)

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan G?

    Short Answer:

    Plan G is one of the more popular standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan options. It offers the same broad coverage as the most popular plan (Plan F), with the exception of paying the Medicare Part B (medical insurance) deductible.

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    Plan G covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part A deductible
    • Medicare Part B excess charges
    • 80% of emergency care abroad (up to plan limits)

    Plan G does not cover:

    • Medicare Part B deductible

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan K?

    Short Answer:

    Plan K is one of the standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan options.

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    Plan K covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • 50% of Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • 50% of blood (first 3 pints)
    • 50% of Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • 50% of skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • 50% of Medicare Part A deductible

    Plan K does not cover:

    • Medicare Part B deductible
    • Medicare Part B excess charges (that is, any medical expenses above the amounts allowed by Medicare)
    • Foreign travel emergency

    Plan K has an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,240.

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan L?

    Short Answer:

    Plan L is one of the standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan options.

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    Plan L covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • 75% of Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • 75% of blood (first 3 pints)
    • 75% of Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • 75% of skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • 75% of Medicare Part A deductible

    Plan L does not cover:

    • Medicare Part B deductible
    • Medicare Part B excess charges
    • Emergency care abroad

    Plan L has an out-of-pocket maximum of $2,620.

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan M?

    Short Answer:

    Plan M is one of the standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan options.

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    Plan M covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • 50% of Medicare Part A deductible
    • Emergency care abroad (up to plan limits)

    Plan M does not cover:

  • What is Medicare Supplement Plan N?

    Short Answer:

    Plan N is one of the more popular standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan options.

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    Plan N covers:

    • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
    • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment, except for a co-payment of up to $20 for some office visits, and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don't result in an inpatient admission
    • Blood (first 3 pints)
    • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
    • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
    • Medicare Part A deductible
    • 80% of emergency care abroad (up to plan limits)

    Plan N does not cover: