Medicare supplement plans are private insurance plans that can be added on to your Original Medicare coverage.
These optional plans can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
These plans can be used to pay for things like Medicare deductibles and copayments.
Medigap plans cannot be combined with Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap plans, are optional private insurance plans that you can add on to your Original Medicare coverage. These plans can be used to help pay for your share of the cost for Medicare-covered services.
There are several types of Medigap plans, and each has different coverage, rates and availability. Because Medigap plans are private insurance plans, you might not be able to find the same plans or rates everywhere. You will need to check with insurance companies in your area to find out what specific plans are offered and which might be the best Medicare Supplement Plan in Colorado for you.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
There are 10 different types of Medigap plans, plus high-deductible versions of two of these plans. Each plan is named with a letter, like Medigap Plan A or Medigap Plan G. The federal government has set standards for what each plan must cover, although some insurance companies may not offer every one of these plans, or may choose to include additional coverage.
All Colorado Medigap plans will cover:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance for hospital and hospice care
- Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayments
- Blood needed for medical procedures (first 3 pints in a year)
Some Colorado Medigap plans will also cover:
- Part A coinsurance for skilled nursing care facility
- Part A deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Up to 80% of foreign travel emergency healthcare
You can see exactly what’s covered in each plan by using this side-by-side comparison chart. It shows the 10 regular policies and the two high-deductible Medigap policies. Each of these Medicare Supplement Plans is offered in Colorado, but availability can vary from one insurance company to another and between zip codes. Plans C and F can no longer be sold to people who became eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020. This is the result of a change that prohibits plans from fully covering Part B deductibles.
Rates of Medigap plans can vary based on the insurance company offering the plan. So me plans also determine costs based on your age, while others price premiums based on the market rather than age.
Rates vary by plan type and insurance company, but Medigap premiums range from about $36 to $1,262 per month for standard plans and $32 to $350 per month for high-deductible plans in Colorado in 2022. Most plans offer full coverage of Part B copayments and coinsurance, too.
When you have a Medigap plan, your Original Medicare pays first. Many people are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, but pay an income-based premium for Part B coverage, plus deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. Medigap plans can be used to cover your share of the Part A deductibles, and any copayments or coinsurance you are left with after your Medicare benefits are paid. Although you will pay a premium for your Medigap coverage, for people who have a lot of healthcare needs — and expenses — the cost of your Medigap premium is usually less than you would pay for out-of-pocket costs without a supplemental plan.
You may also consider using a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare with Medigap coverage. A GoHealth licensed insurance agent can help you find the right fit based on your budget and your healthcare needs.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
If you are eligible for Original Medicare, you can purchase a Medigap plan. However, if you don’t buy a Medigap plan when you are first eligible for Medicare, there’s no guarantee you will be able to buy a plan later on, and you could pay more if you do get one.
You will get the best prices and the most choices if you purchase a Medigap plan during the initial six-month open enrollment period. This period begins the first month you have Medicare Part B coverage. After this initial period, you may not be able to buy a plan at all, especially if you have existing health conditions.
If you’ve decided to add a supplement plan to your Original Medicare coverage, you should start by reviewing the different types of plans to see what will best fit your needs. Next, compare which insurance companies offer those plans.
You can use Medicare’s online plan finder tool to help you locate plans and providers in your zip code. Or you can call GoHealth and speak to one of our licensed insurance agents, who can also help you thoroughly compare the plans in your area so you can find the right one that will fit your needs.
At one point, Medigap plans were allowed to include prescription drug coverage. That changed in 2006. If you bought a Medigap plan before January 1, 2006, you can keep the coverage, but if you ever remove your drug coverage you won’t be able to add it back on later.
While you can’t wrap prescription coverage into your Medigap plan anymore, you can still get medication coverage through Medicare. To get prescription drug coverage, you will need to purchase a Medicare Part D plan.
If you do have drug coverage from a Medigap plan purchased before 2006, you cannot be enrolled in a Part D plan at the same time.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
Medigap plans can only be added to Original Medicare, so if you have opted to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have to contact the insurance company that supplies your Medigap coverage and cancel your policy.
Medicare Advantage plans combine all of the elements of Original Medicare plus optional services like drug coverage, high-deductible plans and more. If you switch from Original Medicare with a Medigap plan to a Medicare Advantage plan and are not happy with the plan, you have a one time twelve-month grace period to switch back to Original Medicare and get your Medigap plan back, or buy a different one.
You have to qualify for Original Medicare in order to purchase a Medigap plan. If you don’t sign up during your initial eligibility period, the insurance company providing the plan can also deny coverage or charge you more for your plan.
The price of your Medigap plan varies depending on the type of plan you choose, what services are covered and the company that is providing the plan. You will usually pay a monthly premium plus a share of other costs like copayments and coinsurance.
Medigap plans were allowed to cover prescription medications before January 1, 2006. If you purchased one of these plans, you can keep your coverage. But if you drop this coverage or change your plan, you will not be able to get the same drug coverage with your Medigap plan again. Now, you can only add drug coverage with the purchase of a Medicare Part D plan.
Medicare Advantage plans are designed to provide additional services and cover some out-of-pocket costs, so they can’t be combined with Medigap plans. Supplemental plans can only be added to Original Medicare.
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