Medicare Supplement Plans are offered by private insurance companies to save you money with Original Medicare.
These plans, also called Medigap plans, can be used to help pay for your share of healthcare costs after your Medicare benefits are applied.
Medigap policies cannot be combined with Medicare Advantage plans.
The cost of your monthly Medigap premium, and how much you will pay in other out-of-pocket costs, will depend on your individual plan.
Healthcare can be expensive, especially as your health needs increase with age. Medicare is a federal healthcare program that helps pay for hospital costs and doctor’s appointments, but you will still be expected to pay a share in the form of deductibles and copayments. Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap plans, are private insurance plans that can help you cover these out-of-pocket costs if you have Original Medicare coverage.
Medigap plans are available across Kentucky and can be added to Original Medicare only — not Medicare Advantage plans. For the cost of a monthly premium, your Medigap plan can reduce how much you spend in deductibles and copayments. These plans aren’t mandatory, but signing up when you first become eligible for Medicare will guarantee you coverage and the best price.
Anyone who is eligible for Medicare in Kentucky can enroll in a Medigap policy. You will need to consider your healthcare needs and budget to find the best plan for you. A GoHealth licensed insurance agent can help you find and compare specific Kentucky Medigap policies in your area.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
There are 12 types of Medigap plans, including two plan types — G and F — that offer high-deductible versions. This means that if you agree to pay a higher deductible when you receive care, you can lower your monthly premium payment.
Each Medigap plan type must cover at least a minimum set of services that are dictated by the federal government. Beyond that, each insurance company has some room to tailor individual plans and prices.
All Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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 compare each of the 12 available Medigap plans in this side-by-side comparison chart. All of these plans are offered in Kentucky, but specific prices and availability can vary from one insurance company to the next.
Plans C and F are the only exception, as these 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 after that date.
Prices for supplemental insurance in Kentucky will depend on the plan you choose and the company you purchase your plan from. Prices can vary based on where you live, how old you are, whether or not you are married and what health conditions you might have.
You are only guaranteed Medigap coverage during the initial enrollment period when you first become eligible for Medicare. After that, you can be denied Medigap coverage altogether, or at the very least pay more for your plan.
Monthly premium rates for Medicare Supplement Plans in Kentucky range from about $47 to $1,683 in 2022. For the two high-deductible plans, you can expect to pay a monthly premium of between $31 and $596.
Most standard Medigap plans offer a $0 deductible for Part A services, and a Part B deductible somewhere between $0 to $233. For the high-deductible plans, you will pay around $2,400 for an overall plan deductible, but pay no separate deductibles for Part A or B coverage. Copayment and coinsurance rates also vary by plan, but usually range from $0 to about 10% of the service cost after your deductible is met.
No matter which Medigap plan you choose, Original Medicare pays its share of your healthcare costs first, and then the coverage from your supplemental insurance policy is applied. Although you pay a monthly premium for your Medigap coverage, people who have a lot of healthcare needs — and expenses — usually pay less than they would pay for out-of-pocket costs without a Medigap plan.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
You can sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan if you are eligible for Original Medicare. This generally includes people who are age 65 and older, or may include people under 65 who qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
The best time to sign up for Medigap is during your initial enrollment period, which is a six-month window that begins the first month you have Medicare Part B. During this period, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on any pre-existing health conditions, or charge you more for the same plan. After the initial enrollment period, you are not guaranteed coverage, and your rates may increase based on your age and overall health.
If you do add a Medicare Supplement Plan to your Original Medicare, you should check which plans best fit your health needs and your budget. You can use Medicare’s online plan finder tool to help you locate plans and providers where you live, and compare what different plans cost and cover. GoHealth licensed insurance agents can also help you find and compare the best plans in your area for you.
Medigap plans used to be able to cover prescription medications, but this changed in 2006. Plans purchased after January 1, 2006, can’t include prescription drug coverage.
If you were not eligible for Medicare before 2006, or you changed your Medigap plan and lost your coverage, your best option for a prescription drug plan is to sign up for Medicare Part D. A Medicare Part D plan is a private health insurance plan designed to help you cover the cost of prescription medications. You should consider your current and future medication needs when you first sign up for Medicare. If you don’t sign up for one of these plans when you are first eligible, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty based on how long you went without a drug plan.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
Medicare Advantage plans combine all the coverage of Original Medicare plus additional services like drug coverage, dental care or vision. These plans can often save you money through consolidation of these services, so you can’t add a Medigap policy to these plans. Medicare Supplement Plans can only be used with Original Medicare.
If you already have Medicare Advantage and you want to enroll in a Medigap plan, you will have to withdraw from your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare. If you have Original Medicare with Medigap coverage and you want to join a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have to contact the company you purchased your Medigap policy through and cancel the plan before your new Medicare Advantage begins.
If you’ve switched from an Original Medicare plan with Medigap coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan and you’re not happy with your choice, you are allowed a one-time, 12-month grace period to switch back to Original Medicare and get your Medigap plan back or buy a different one.
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