Medicare Supplement Plans can be added on to Original Medicare, but not Medicare Advantage.
These optional plans can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
These plans, also called Medigap, are purchased from private insurance companies.
Medigap plans help cover your healthcare costs after Original Medicare pays its share.
Medicare Supplement Plans are optional private insurance plans that you can add on to Original Medicare. These plans, also called Medigap, 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 how much they will cost.
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. 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 Connecticut 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 Connecticut 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 company sets its own prices for these 12 plans, but coverage stays the same. This means that if you purchase Medigap Plan G in Connecticut, your coverage will be the same regardless of your plan provider.
Each of these plans is offered in Connecticut, but availability can vary from one insurance company to another, and even between zip codes. There are also high-deductible versions of plans F and G, but 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.
Costs of Medigap plans can vary based on the insurance company offering the plan. Some plans also determine rates 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 $60 to $1,381 per month for standard plans and $50 to $89 per month for high-deductible plans in Connecticut. Most plans offer full coverage of Part B copayments and coinsurance, too.
When you have a Medigap plan, your Original Medicare benefits pay out first. Many people are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, but will pay an income-based premium for Medicare Part B coverage, plus deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. Medigap plans can be used to cover your share of 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, because insurance companies will be allowed to deny you coverage based on pre-existing health conditions.
If you’ve decided to add a supplement plan to Original Medicare, 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 to speak to one of our licensed insurance agents, who can help you compare Medigap plans to find the one that will best 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 change plans or 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 you’re not happy with your choice, you will have a one-time, 12-month grace period during which you will be able to get your Medigap plan back or buy a different one.
The price of your Medigap plan depends on the type of plan you choose, what is covered and the company providing the plan. Usually there is a monthly premium payment, and sometimes a share of things like copayments and deductibles for different types of services.
Medigap plans could include prescriptions before January 1, 2006, but not anymore. 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 beyond what Original Medicare covers, so Medigap plans can’t be combined with them. Medigap plans can only be added to Original Medicare.
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