What is a Medicare Supplement Plan?
Medicare Supplement Insurance is also called "Medigap"
because it helps fill gaps in costs not paid by Parts A and B
including copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. Medicare
Supplement Insurance Plans are easy to comparison shop because
they are standardized under federal law, which requires each
plan to offer the same basic coverage, regardless of the
For many plans, the only difference is the
Why Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Having Medicare Supplement Insurance in addition to Original
Medicare protects you from unexpected costs, giving you access
to the care you need with peace of mind.
Guaranteed Issue means that you can’t be denied coverage due to
a pre-existing condition, not that it can’t be taken away. The
plan is guaranteed renewable as long as the premium is paid and
a misrepresentation is not made on an application. SmartMatch
licensed insurance agents work with you to ensure you get the
coverage that meets your needs at the price that fits your
Benefits of Medicare Supplement Insurance:
Guaranteed renewability each year
As long as you pay your premium, your coverage will continue
year after year and cannot be cancelled (except in specific
cases, like providing inaccurate information on your
Simplified plan options
Because Medicare Supplement Insurance is standardized, it’s
fairly straightforward to understand and compare plans.
Nationwide network of doctors and specialists
Medicare Supplement Insurance enrollees can visit any doctor
that accepts Medicare patients. Doctors or hospitals that accept
Medicare patients MUST accept all Medicare Supplement Insurance
Plans, regardless of the insurance carrier.
Plan options and comparison chart
There are 10 standard Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan types
available in most states, each with an assigned letter from A to
N (Plans F and C are
only available to
those who were eligible for Medicare prior to Jan. 1, 2020).
|Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||50% ||75% ||Yes ||
|Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||50% ||75% ||Yes ||Yes|
|Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||50% ||75% ||Yes ||Yes|
| || ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||50% ||75% ||Yes ||Yes|
| ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||50% ||75% ||50% ||Yes|
| || ||Yes || ||Yes || || || || |
| || || || ||Yes ||Yes || || || |
| || ||80% ||80% ||80% ||80% || || ||80% ||80%|
| || || || || || ||$5,880 ||$2,940 || |
As of Jan. 1, 2020 Medicare Supplement plan types C and F will
no longer be made available to beneficiaries who become
Medicare-eligible after Dec. 31, 2019. For those who became
Medicare-eligible prior to Jan. 1, 2020, Medicare Supplement
plan types C and F will remain active and available for future
Plan F also offers a high-deductible plan. If you choose this
option, this means you must pay for Medicare-covered costs up to
the deductible amount of $2,300 in 2019 ($2,340 in 2020) before
your Medigap plan pays anything.
After you meet your out-of-pocket yearly limit and your yearly
Part B deductible, the Medigap 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
Standardized Basic Benefits
All Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans must include the same
standardized basic benefits regardless of the insurance company
Note: Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans generally
do not cover dental, vision, and hearing costs, long-term care,
or prescription drug costs, but they must cover at least a
portion of the following basic benefits:
Medicare Part A coinsurance costs up to a year after Medicare
benefits are exhausted
- Medicare Part A hospice coinsurance care or copayments
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments
When is the best time to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance
You cannot enroll in a Medicare Supplement policy until you have
enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B). After you have
Original Medicare, you can choose to enroll in a Medicare
Supplement Insurance policy during your Medicare Supplement
Insurance Open Enrollment Period.
Open Enrollment Period
The Medicare Supplement Insurance Open Enrollment period is a
once in a lifetime chance to enroll in a Medicare Supplement
Insurance Plan in which an insurance company cannot use medical
underwriting to decide whether to accept your application. The
Medicare Supplement Insurance Open Enrollment period starts on
the 1st day of the 1st month in which you turn 65 (or older) and
are enrolled in Medicare Part B. Some states have additional
Open Enrollment Periods, including those for people under 65.
During this time you can sign up for any Medicare Supplement
Insurance Plan that suits your needs.
In most cases
the best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance
policy is during your Medicare Supplement Insurance Open
Enrollment Period as you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy
after that, and even if you are able to, it may cost more.
your six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, insurance
companies are required by law to sell you any Medigap policy an
insurance company offers regardless of any pre-existing
conditions or health history. If you enroll after your Medicare
Supplement Insurance Open Enrollment Period, (if, for example,
you want to switch insurance carriers) you may have to answer
health questions as insurance companies are generally allowed to
use the medical underwriting process to decide whether to accept
your application and how much to charge you for the Medigap
policy, unless you have a guaranteed issue right under certain
Guaranteed issue rights
Guaranteed issue rights are available in specific situations
outside of your Medigap Open Enrollment Period in which
insurance companies must sell any Medigap policy they sell and
cover your pre-existing conditions regardless of your past or
present health issues. These are usually situations where you
lose coverage due to circumstances outside of your control or
you are exercising a trial right. There are many situations
where you could qualify for guaranteed issue and in some states
there are additional special circumstances that qualify for it.
It’s best to connect with a licensed agent if you think you may
be eligible for one of these rights.
licensed insurance agent will make sure you understand all the
details about your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan’s costs
and benefits before you enroll.