Filling in the Gaps - Medigap
To help cover the costs that Original Medicare does not cover, you can purchase a supplemental plan, called Medigap or Medicare Supplemental plans. These plans vary by what they cover. No matter which Medigap plan you purchase, they all help fill the gaps in Original Medicare.
- You must have Medicare Parts A and B to buy a Medigap plan.
- Medigap plans are sold by private health insurance companies.
- There are 11 different Medigap plans from which to choose. The plans are standardized, meaning Plan A sold by one health insurance company will have the same coverage as Plan A sold by another health insurance company.
- Health insurance companies can choose which of the 11 plans to offer.
- Monthly premiums can differ among companies.
Benefits of Medigap Coverage:
- Medigap follows the same rules as Original Medicare for providers, meaning you can keep your doctors and choose your hospitals – compared to a Medicare Advantage plan that places restrictions on the provider networks.
- With Medigap, your costs are predictable and you know what you’re paying (see below).
- Fills in Medicare coverage gaps so you aren’t left with high out-of-pocket expenses when an illness or injury strikes.
For more information about choosing a Medigap policy, visit www.medicare.gov or view Medicare.gov's PDF, Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare .
When to Sign Up for Medigap Coverage:
The best time to sign up for Medigap coverage is during your six-month initial open enrollment period. This period begins the first day of the month in which you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Part B.
If you join during this open enrollment period, you are assured the lowest monthly premium. If you purchase a Medigap plan outside the open enrollment period, the company selling you the policy can use medical underwriting to charge you more or deny you coverage.