Medicare Supplement Plans are private plans that can be added on to your Original Medicare coverage.
You pay a monthly premium for these optional plans, but they can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
These plans, also called Medigap plans, cover things like Medicare deductibles and copayments.
You cannot add a Medigap plan to a Medicare Advantage plan, only Original Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Plans, sometimes called Medigap plans, are private insurance plans that you can add on to your Original Medicare coverage. These plans can help pay for your share of the costs for Medicare-covered services.
If you are eligible for Medicare in Ohio, you can enroll in a Medigap plan. There are several Medigap plans in Ohio. Each type of plan has different coverage, rates and availability, and these vary by plan provider, too.
Because Medigap plans are private insurance, 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, how much they will cost and who qualifies. A licensed GoHealth agent can help you walk through your options for Medicare Supplement Plans in Ohio.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
There are 10 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 sets standards for what each plan must cover, so — for example — any company that offers Medigap Plan G in Ohio must offer the same coverage. Some insurance companies may not offer every one of these plans, or they may choose to include additional coverage.
All Ohio 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 Ohio 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 type of Medigap plan is offered in Ohio, but availability can vary from one insurance company to another. If you became eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020, you cannot enroll in plans C and F. That’s because policies changed — now, plans cannot fully cover Part B deductibles.
Medigap rates depend on the insurance company offering the plan. Some plans determine costs based on your age, while others price premiums based on market conditions.
While rates vary by plan type and insurance company, premiums can range from about $39 to $1,014 a month for standard plans and $30 to $178 per month for high-deductible plans in Ohio in 2022. Most plans offer full coverage of Part B copayments and coinsurance, too.
Your Medigap plan can be used to cover your share of Part A deductibles, as well as any copayments or coinsurance you are left with after your Original Medicare benefits are paid. You will pay a monthly premium for your Medigap Ohio coverage, but often the cost of that premium is less than what you might pay for out-of-pocket costs if you did not have a supplemental plan.
Some Medigap plans also give discounts for things like:
- Not smoking
- 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 buy a Medigap plan. However, if you don’t buy a Medigap plan when you are first eligible, 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 six-month Medigap open enrollment period, when plans cannot choose to deny coverage based on your pre-existing health conditions. This period begins the first month you have Medicare Part B coverage. After this initial period, you may not be able to buy a plan at all due to your health status.
You can use Medicare’s online plan finder tool to help you locate plans and providers in your zip code. Or, you can call one of GoHealth’s licensed insurance agents, who can walk you through plans in your area to find the one that will best fit your needs.
Medigap plans were allowed to include prescription drug coverage before 2006. If you bought one of those plans, you can keep it. Any changes you make to your plan, however, could mean you lose this coverage. And any new plans bought after 2006 do not include prescription drug coverage.
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 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 enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have to contact the insurance company that supplies your Medigap coverage to cancel your policy.
Medicare Advantage plans combine all of the elements of Original Medicare plus other services like drug coverage, vision coverage and dental coverage. Once you switch to a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have a one-time 12-month grace period during which you can change back to your Medigap plan or buy a different one with no penalty.
Anyone who is eligible for Original Medicare can purchase a Medigap plan. The best time to do this is during your initial six-month enrollment period, which begins when you enroll in Medicare Part B. If you don’t enroll in a Medigap plan at this time, insurance companies can deny you coverage for a variety of reasons.
Most plans require a monthly premium payment, but these rates vary by company and coverage. Different plans may also require you to pay different amounts when it comes to copayments or coinsurance.
Only Medigap plans purchased before January 1, 2006, can cover prescription medications. Today, you can only add drug coverage with the purchase of a Medicare Part D plan.
Medigap plans can only be combined with Original Medicare. If you already have a Medigap plan, you will have to cancel it before enrolling in Medicare Advantage.
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