Summary: Deciding which Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan to choose can pose challenges if you’re unaware of the differences between each plan. These Medicare Supplement tips make it easy.
Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap) plans are sold by private insurers. Medicare Supplement plans are designed to help pay some of the out-of-pocket costs not paid by Medicare. These costs typically include Medicare deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. You can compare Medicare Supplement plans and choose the one best suited to your needs. The comparison chart below makes it clear and simple.
How do I compare Medigap plans?
Medigap plans have standardized benefits. Medigap plans in 47 states are grouped into up to 10 different standardized plans. These are labeled A – N. Each lettered Medigap plan covers a slightly different set of Medicare coverage gaps. Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have their own standardized Medicare Supplement plans.
As you compare Medigap plans, you’ll note that generally those plans providing more coverage may have higher premiums.
Medigap plans: how do I read the Medicare Supplement comparison chart?
You can compare Medigap plans side-by-side using the Medicare Supplement comparison chart below. The Medicare Supplement comparison chart shows you exactly which benefits each plan may cover.
In the Medicare Supplement comparison chart, “Yes” means the lettered Medigap plan may pay 100% of the benefit. If a percentage appears in the row, the Medigap plan may pay part of the benefit (like 50% or 75%) and you will typically pay the rest. “No” means the Medicare Supplement plan will generally pay nothing for that benefit.
|Medigap Plans for Most States
|Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes**|
|First three pints of blood||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Medicare Part A hospice coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Medicare Part A Deductible||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||50%||Yes|
|Medicare Part B Deductible*||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|Medicare Part B Excess Charges||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Foreign Travel Emergency (Up to Plan Limits)||No||No||80%||80%||80%||80%||No||No||80%||80%|
|Out-of-Pocket Limit***||None||None||None||None||None||None||$5,880 (in 2020)||$2,940 (in 2020)||None||None|
*As you review the Medicare Supplement comparison chart, note that some insurers in some states offer high-deductible Medicare Supplement Plan F. If you choose the high-deductible option, you must pay for Medicare-covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles) up to the deductible amount of $2,340 in 2020 before your Medicare Supplement plan will pay anything. A high-deductible Plan G might become available in 2020.
Also, please note that Medicare Supplement Plan F, high-deductible Plan F, and Medicare Supplement Plan C won’t be available to people who become eligible for Medicare on January 1, 2020 or later. Read more about Medicare Supplement Plan F going away.
**For Medicare Supplement Plans K and L, after you meet your annual out-of-pocket limit and your annual Part B deductible ($198 in 2020), the Medicare Supplement plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
***Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient hospital admission.
Once you compare Medigap plans to find the right benefits for you, you are ready to shop for the best price. All Medigap plans of the same letter (Plan G, for example) must provide identical basic benefits. But companies can set their own premiums, and even offer extra benefits. You can compare Medigap plans and their costs by typing in your zip code and clicking on the button on this page.
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