Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap, 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 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.
If you are eligible for Medicare in Illinois, you are eligible to enroll in a Medigap plan. There are several types of Medicare Supplement Plans in Illinois, 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. A GoHealth licensed insurance agent can help you find the best Medicare Supplement Plans in Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois 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 plans is offered in Illinois, 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. Some plans also determine costs based on your age, while others price premiums based on the market rather than age.
Rates vary by insurance company and plan type, but Medigap premiums in 2022 range from about $50 to $920 per month for standard plans and $32 to $220 per month for high-deductible plans in Illinois 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 still 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 Part A deductibles, as well as any copayments or coinsurances you are left with after your Medicare benefits are paid. Although there is a monthly premium for Medigap coverage, the cost of a Medigap premium for many people is often less than what they would pay for out-of-pocket costs without a supplemental plan.
Some Medigap plans also give discounts for things like:
- Being a non-smoker
- Paying your premium annually instead of monthly
- Joining as a married couple
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 your initial 6-month open enrollment period. This period begins the first month you have Medicare Part B coverage. During this time, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage, even if you have pre-existing conditions. After this initial period, plans can choose to deny coverage based on your health status.
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 additional services like drug coverage and hearing, vision and dental coverage. 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 can 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 supplement enrollment period. This six-month enrollment period begins when 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.
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. 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.
Before 65 Guide
Understanding health insurance before age 65, especially when considering early retirement