Medicare A and B cover up to 80% of your medical charges after the Part B deductibles are met. This leaves patients with a Medigap – the remaining 20% of the patient’s medical expenses. But Medicare Supplemental Insurance policies are available to help cover that gap.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance policies are sold by private insurance companies to Medicare beneficiaries and overseen by state insurance departments. These plans are specifically designed to pay costs related to Original Medicare, so depending on the plan, they can pay
- the deductible for Medicare Part A or Part B
- the 20% coinsurance leftover after Medicare coverage
- other out-of-pocket expenses
They do not cover prescription medications or costs leftover from Medicare Part D.
Premiums for Medicare Supplemental Insurance policies can vary depending on the level of coverage offered by the plan and where Medicare beneficiaries live.
To enroll in a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan, you must first enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Within the first six months of enrollment into Medicare Part B, you can purchase a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan regardless of any pre-existing condition – this is called a Guaranteed Issue Right.
Specific Medicare Supplemental Insurance policies such as Plan F offer predictable coverage in addition to a monthly premium and typically do not require referrals for specialists. They are also considered guaranteed renewable, so the insurance provider cannot cancel the policies unless the premiums go unpaid.
When it comes to picking a Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy, Plans F, G, and N are the most popular options – but it is a good idea to consult an independent Medicare specialist who can advise you on which type of plan is best for you.