Medicare Supplement Plans are private insurance plans that can be added to Original Medicare .
Medigap plans help cover your share of your Medicare costs after you pay a monthly premium, and sometimes a deductible.
Anyone who qualifies for Medicare can buy a Medigap plan.
There are 12 different Medigap plan choices in Maryland. You’ll get the best rate if you sign up when you’re first eligible for Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap plans, are private insurance plans that you can add on to Original Medicare in Maryland. You pay a monthly premium for your coverage, but your plan will then help cover your share of your healthcare costs after your Medicare benefit is paid. This can help save you money on things like copayments and deductibles.
Medigap plans are offered in every state, in some form. Anyone who is eligible for Medicare can sign up for a Medigap plan. There are several types of Medicare Supplement Plans offered in Maryland, 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. Insurance rates and coverage can depend on where you live, your overall health, how old you are when you sign up and what insurance company you choose to purchase your plan from.
In general, there are 10 different types of Medigap plans, plus high-deductible versions of two of these plans. The federal government sets the rules for what each plan must cover, but states and insurance companies can set their rates and other specifics for each plan.
You can find a description of each type of Medigap plan and what they are required to cover in this side-by-side Medigap comparison chart.
There are high-deductible versions of Plan F and Plan G that might save you money on your monthly premium, but cost more when you need healthcare services. Plans C and F were changed in 2020, and can no longer be sold to people who became eligible for Medicare after January 1 of that year. The reason for this change is that Medigap plans are no longer able to fully cover Part B deductibles.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
Rates for Medicare Supplemental Plans depend on a lot of things like your age, health, what company you purchase your plan from and where you live. In Maryland, Medigap monthly premiums range from about $56 to $3,131 for standard plans in 2022, and $32 to $355 for high-deductible plans.
Some Medigap plans give discounts for things like:
- Being a non-smoker
- Paying your premium annually instead of monthly
- Joining as a married couple
Medigap plans that offer more coverage for Part A deductibles usually have lower monthly premiums, and plans with higher monthly premiums have lower deductibles. If you weren’t eligible for Medicare until after January 1, 2020, you can’t buy a Medigap plan that covers the Part B deductible.
With all Medigap plans, your healthcare costs are paid using your Original Medicare coverage first, and then your supplemental insurance coverage is applied. Many people with Original Medicare 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 would normally have to pay after your Medicare benefits are paid.
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.
Anyone who is eligible for Original Medicare can purchase a Medigap plan, but if you don’t sign up when you are first eligible for Medicare, your insurance rates might be higher. There’s also no guarantee you will be able to buy a plan later on, and you could be denied because of pre-existing health conditions.
You will get the best prices and choices for coverage with a Medigap plan during your initial six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period begins the first month you have Medicare Part B coverage. After this, you may not be able to buy a plan at all or it may cost you more — especially if you already have health problems.
If you do decide to add a Medicare Supplement Plan to your Original Medicare, it’s good to start your search by checking what plans are offered in your area, and what plans are the best fit for you. You can use Medicare’s online plan finder tool to help you find plans and providers in your zip code, or you can talk to a GoHealth licensed insurance agent to help you find and compare plans in your area.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
Medigap plans used to be allowed to cover prescription medications, but that changed in 2006. If you bought a Medigap plan before January 1, 2006, you can keep your coverage, but if you change your plan and remove the drug coverage you won’t be able to add it back on later.
Although you can’t combine prescription coverage with your Medigap plan anymore, you can still get drug coverage through 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.
Medigap plans can only be added to Original Medicare, not Medicare Advantage. If you are enrolled 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 cover the same things as Original Medicare, as well as extra services like drug coverage, dental care, vision and more. If you switch from Original Medicare with Medigap to a Medicare Advantage plan and you’re not happy with your choice, you have the option of going back to your original Medigap plan or buying a different one during a one-time, 12-month grace period.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
Anyone who is eligible for Medicare can sign up for a Medigap plan. You will get the best prices during your initial Medicare Supplement open enrollment period. This six-month period begins the first month you have Medicare Part B coverage. If you sign up after the initial enrollment period, the insurance company providing the plan can deny you coverage or charge higher rates based on your health.
The price of your Medigap policy may depend on several things like where you live, what insurance companies offer plans in your area, your age when you sign up, whether you enroll during your initial Medicare enrollment period and what pre-existing health problems you may have.
Medigap plans purchased before January 1, 2006 can include prescription medication coverage. You can keep this coverage if you signed up before these rules changed, but if you ever drop or change your Medigap plan, you may lose your drug coverage. Today, you can only add drug coverage with the purchase of a Medicare Part D plan.
No. Medigap plans can only be combined with Original Medicare, not Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage is already designed to provide additional services and reduce some out-of-pocket costs.
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