Medicare Supplement Plans can be added to Original Medicare to help you pay for your share of healthcare costs.
These plans are optional and can be used to help pay for copayments and coinsurance for Medicare-approved healthcare expenses.
These plans are also called Medigap plans, and they are only sold by private insurance companies.
Medigap plans can only be used with Original Medicare, not Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Supplement Plans are also called Medigap plans, and you can add them to your Original Medicare coverage. These private insurance products are optional and can be used to help pay for your share of healthcare costs after Medicare pays its portion.
If you qualify for Medicare in Missouri, you may qualify for a Medigap plan. There are several types of Medigap plans in MIssouri, and each offers slightly different coverage, rates and availability. Since Medigap plans are private insurance products, you might not get the same plans or rates from every insurance company. 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
In general, there are 10 different types of Medigap plans, plus high-deductible versions of two of these plans. Each Medigap plan is named with a letter, like Medigap Plan A or Medigap Plan G. The federal government sets standards for what basic services each plan must cover, but not every insurance company offers every type of plan — and usually not for the same price.
All 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 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.
While each of these plan types is offered in Missouri, generally speaking, availability, prices and extra coverage can vary by provider. Additionally, there are also high-deductible versions of Medigap plans F and G, and 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 2020 rule change that prohibits plans from fully covering Part B deductibles.
How much you pay for your Medigap plan depends on the insurance company you purchase it from. Some plans determine costs based on your age or other factors, and you might be able to get discounts for things like being married or being a non-smoker.
Rates vary by plan type and insurance company, but Medigap premiums range from about $58 to $922 per month for standard plans and $42 to $247 per month for high-deductible plans in Missouri as of 2022. Most plans offer full coverage of Part B copayments and coinsurance, too.
When you have a Medigap plan, your Original Medicare is used to pay for your medical costs first. Many people are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, but pay an income-based premium for Part B coverage, plus deductibles and other 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 Medicare benefits are paid. You will pay a premium for your Medigap coverage, but for people who have more extensive healthcare needs, the cost of your Medigap premium is often less than you would pay for out-of-pocket costs without a Medicare Supplement Plan.
A Medicare Advantage plan is another option for coverage. These plans combine all the coverage offered with Original Medicare with additional benefits, like prescription drugs, vision or dental. A GoHealth licensed insurance agent can help you find the right plan for your budget and healthcare needs.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
If you are eligible for Original Medicare, you should be eligible for a Medigap plan. If you don’t buy a Medigap plan when you are first eligible for Medicare, though, there’s no guarantee you will be able to buy a plan later on, or that you will get the best price for your coverage.
You will get the best options and price for your Medigap coverage if you buy a plan during your initial six-month open enrollment period. This period begins the first month you have Medicare Part B coverage. After this period, insurance companies are permitted to deny you coverage or raise your plan rates based on pre-existing health conditions and other factors.
If you want to add a Medigap plan to your Original Medicare, you should check into what plans are available in your area. You can use Medicare’s online plan finder tool to help you locate plans and find specific rates in your zip code. You can also call GoHealth’s licensed insurance agents to help you find plans in your area and compare them to see which will best fit your needs.
Medigap plans used to be allowed to include prescription drug coverage, but that changed in 2006. If you bought a Medigap plan before January 1, 2006, you can keep it, but if you ever remove your drug coverage you won’t be able to add it back on later.
To get prescription drug coverage with a Medigap plan, you will have to purchase a Medicare Part D plan. If you have drug coverage from a Medigap plan that you purchased before 2006, you can’t be enrolled in both this plan and a Part D plan at the same time.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
Medicare Supplement Plans can only be added to Original Medicare — not Medicare Advantage plans. If you have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will need to cancel your Medigap policy.
This is because Medicare Advantage plans are already designed to combine all of the elements of Original Medicare plus extra services like drug coverage, hearing and vision coverage, and more. If you switch to Medicare Advantage and want to go back to Original Medicare with a Medigap plan, you have a one-time, 12-month grace period where you can get your old coverage back or select a new plan.
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