Medicare Supplement Plans are private insurance plans that can be added to your Original Medicare coverage.
These optional plans can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
These plans, also called Medigap 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. These plans can be used to help pay for your share of the cost for Medicare-covered services.
If you are eligible for Medicare in Hawaii, you are eligible to enroll in a Medigap plan. There are several types of Medicare Supplement Plans in Hawaii, 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 which 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. 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 Hawaii 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 Hawaii 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. Each of these plans is offered in Hawaii, but availability can vary from one insurance company to another and between zip codes. Medigap 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. Some 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 $40 to $800 per month for standard plans and $30 to $160 per month for high-deductible plans in Hawaii in 2022. Most plans offer full coverage of Part B copayments and coinsurance, too.
When you have a Medigap plan, your Original Medicare coverage is applied first. Many people are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, but will 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 Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap). However, if you don’t buy a Medicare Supplement Plan when you first enroll in 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 Medigap 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 pre-existing health problems.
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. GoHealth licensed insurance agents can also help you find plans in your area and thoroughly help you compare them 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. 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 have a one-time 12-month grace period to switch back to Original Medicare and get your Medigap plan back, or buy a different one.
You must be enrolled in Original Medicare to purchase a Medigap plan. It’s best to sign up for a plan during your initial Medicare Open Enrollment Period. This six-month enrollment period begins the month you enroll in Medicare Part B. If you don’t enroll in a Medigap plan during this time, the insurance company providing the plan can deny coverage based on your health conditions.
The price of your Medigap plan can vary based on which plan you choose, what services are covered and the company providing the plan. Most plans require a monthly premium payment, and sometimes you will also pay a share of costs, like copayments and deductibles, for different types of services.
Medigap plans purchased before January 1, 2006, were allowed to cover prescription medications. If you purchased one of these plans before the rules changed, you can keep your coverage. However, if you ever drop this coverage or change your plan, you will not be able to get drug coverage with your Medigap plan again. Today, you can only add drug coverage with the purchase of a Medicare Part D plan.
No. Medicare Advantage plans are already designed to provide additional services and cover some out-of-pocket costs. Medigap plans can only be added to Original Medicare plans.
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