Medicare Supplement Plans can be added to Original Medicare coverage to help offset your share of your healthcare costs.
These optional plans can be used to help pay for copayments and coinsurance.
These plans, also called Medigap plans, are sold by private insurance companies.
Medigap plans can’t be combined with Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap plans, are private insurance products you can add on to your Original Medicare. These optional plans can be used to help pay for your share of healthcare costs after Medicare pays a portion.
If you qualify for Medicare in New Jersey, you are eligible to enroll in a Medigap plan. There are several types of Medigap plans in New Jersey, and each has different coverage, rates and availability. Medigap plans are private insurance products, so 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.
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There are 10 different types of Medigap plans, plus high-deductible versions of two of these plans. 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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. Each of these plans is offered in New Jersey, but selection can vary from one insurance company to another and in different locations. Plans C and F can no longer be sold to people who became eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020, because of a change that prohibits plans from fully covering Part B deductibles.
Costs 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 $50 to $871 per month for standard plans and $46 to $217 per month for high-deductible plans in New Jersey 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.
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
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.
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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 have the most coverage options if you buy a Medigap plan during your initial six-month open enrollment period. This period begins the first month you have Medicare Part B coverage. After this initial period, insurance companies are able to deny coverage or raise rates based on your pre-existing health conditions.
If you want to add Medigap to your Original Medicare, you should check the different types of plans available in your area to see what will best fit your needs and budget. You can use Medicare’s online plan finder tool to help you locate plans and providers in your zip code. Or, GoHealth’s licensed insurance agents can 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. 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.
To get prescription drug coverage with a Medigap plan, 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.
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Medigap plans can only be added to Original Medicare. If you have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will need to cancel your Medigap policy.
Medicare Advantage plans 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 wish to switch back to Original Medicare with a Medigap plan, you’ll have a one-time, 12-month grace period during which you can get your old coverage back or select a new plan.
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