Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) plans in Colorado are available through private insurance companies, as they are in other states. They’re designed to help pay for costs that you incur under Original Medicare, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. As a Medicare beneficiary in Colorado, you may have several Medigap plan options, depending on the part of Colorado you live in. Understand what each Medigap plan covers, and get help selecting the one that may work for your health and budget needs.
How Medigap plans work in Colorado
Medigap plans in Colorado (and the rest of the United States) help cover health-care costs associated with Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, such as copayments, coinsurance, plan deductibles, and other out-pocket expenses. There are 10 standardized plans labeled by one of 10 letters (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N), and all plans of the same letter offer the same benefits. The same 10 plans are available in 47 states, including Colorado. Three states – Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin – offer different Medigap plans.
You must already be enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan in Colorado, as in other states. Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period may be the best time to join a Medigap plan. This period starts the first day you are age 65 or older and also enrolled in Medicare Part B, and it lasts for six months. During this time, you can sign up for any Medicare Supplement plan available in your area, with the insurance company of your choosing, and not be subject to medical underwriting or any restrictions for pre-existing conditions. This means that an insurance company can neither deny you enrollment in, nor charge you more for, a Medicare Supplement plan. You can apply for a Medigap plan after the Medigap Open Enrollment Period is over, but you may be denied coverage or charged more for the insurance policy.
Medigap plans sold today do not offer prescription drug coverage, so you may want to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to receive coverage for drug expenses. Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Colorado are available through private insurance companies, as they are in other states.
If you sign up for a Medigap plan, you must remain enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, and continue paying your Medicare Part B premium. Medigap plans are meant to work alongside Original Medicare; failure to pay your Medicare Part B premium may result in your being disenrolled from Medicare and losing your health coverage.
Types of Medigap plans in Colorado
Take a look at the 10 standardized Medigap plans available that may be available in Colorado. Plan availability may vary, as will plan premiums. In this chart, X indicates that the service (or item) is 100% covered; a percentage indicates what percent of the service/item is covered; and a blank cell indicates it is not covered.
|Medicare Supplement Plans|
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C||D||F*||G||K||L||M||N|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X***|
|First three pints of blood||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Medicare Part A deductible||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||50%||X|
|Medicare Part B deductible||X||X|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||X||X|
|Foreign travel emergency coverage (up to plan limits)||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|Out-of-pocket limits apply.**|
*Medicare Supplement Plan F offers a high-deductible version in which beneficiaries pay a certain deductible amount before the plan begins coverage. This amount may change from year to year.
**Once you reach the out-of-pocket limits (including the Part B deductible), both Medicare Supplement Plans K and L pay 100% of covered services in the above chart for the remainder of the calendar year.
***Medicare Supplement Plan N pays 100% of the Medicare Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 on doctor visits and up to $50 on emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
Choosing a Medigap plan in Colorado
As stated earlier, Medicare Supplement plans in Colorado with the same letter designation don’t vary in coverage or benefits. However, each independent insurance company offering Medicare Supplement plans can determine its own monthly premium structure. This means that a resident of Boulder in Boulder County may pay more or less than a resident of Fort Collins in Larimer County for an identical Medicare Supplement plan. It may be a good idea for you to compare all Medicare Supplement plans in Colorado that are available to you, and then make a selection based on your individual budget and health needs. To get started, feel free to enter your zip code where indicated on this page.
With several Medicare Supplement plan options generally available in Colorado, you may want to review each plan carefully before making your final selection.