What You Need to Know About Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medicare Supplement insurance, or Medigap, helps you pay some of the out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover. It’s available in a variety of plans, depending on your health needs and budget.

When to Get a Medicare Supplement Policy

The best time to buy a Medicare supplement policy is during your one-time open enrollment period, which starts when you enroll in Part B at age 65 or older and ends six months later. During this open enrollment period, you can change your mind about a policy you’ve already bought, cancel it or switch to a different plan.

During this time, you can also apply for coverage under Medicaid View more or a state Medicare savings program. However, companies may impose restrictions like a preexisting condition waiting period on these policies.

Guaranteed Issue

People who lose their Medicaid or other Medicare coverage because of a financial change have a guaranteed issue right to buy a Medigap policy. You can apply for a policy within 63 days from the date your coverage ends or from the date you receive notice that coverage will end, whichever comes first.

These policies are available from any company that sells Medigap in your state. It’s important to shop around and compare rates to find the right plan for your needs.

Medigap Policy Options

Standardize your healthcare with predictable out-of-pocket expenses that put the control of and planning for future medical costs right where it belongs: in your hands. These standardized, labeled plans help you save money, stay out of the doctor’s office and take charge of your healthcare.

Some plans, including Plan G and Plans Select and Innovative N, cover all out-of-pocket Medicare costs for services that are approved by Medicare, except for the Part B deductible. These policies also include a limiting charge benefit that pays up to 80% or 100% of Part B excess charges.

Medigap policy premiums are guaranteed renewable, meaning an insurance company can’t cancel your policy or raise your premium unless you made intentional false statements on the application or didn’t pay your premium. These plans also don’t include prescription drug coverage, but you can purchase a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) to pay for medications.

The cost of a Medigap policy will depend on your health status, the type of doctor you choose and where you live. You’ll pay a monthly premium to your insurer in addition to your Part B premium.

There are 8 standardized supplement policies that are available in Indiana. These are labeled A through N and are available to all people who are eligible for Medicare before January 2020.

Plan A is the most basic Medigap policy, with the lowest premiums. It pays 100% of your Part A coinsurance, deductible and some copayments.

Typically, it also covers all Part B coinsurance, deductibles and some copayments. It also pays for certain preventive services at $0 copay and a $0 deductible.

Most Medigap policies are available with no network restrictions, so you can use any doctor who accepts Medicare patients. This means you don’t need to get a referral from a specialist, either.