Overview: Medicare Supplement insurance, commonly referred to as “Medigap,” is a private form of medical insurance that covers the gaps left by Medicare. You can buy a Medigap policy to help pay for certain Medicare out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance. Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies, not the federal government. Medigap is different from Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C). Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative way to get Medicare benefits and often include certain additional benefits not provided through Original Medicare. You cannot have a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time. Medigap plans supplement Original Medicare by providing certain benefits not provided through Original Medicare. You must have Original Medicare in order to get a Medigap plan., Benefits: There are 9 different categories of benefits that Medigap plans may cover. Each standardized Medigap plan option has a different combination of these benefits. Plan F is the only plan that covers a percentage of all 9 benefits., Eligibility: To be eligible for Medigap, you must be: 1. Enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B (Original Medicare) 2. 65 or older, or have a disability, Plans: When you buy a policy, you have 10 standardized plan options to choose from in most states. (Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin have different options.) The plan options are regulated by the federal government. Each plan option is referred to by a different letter: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Every plan with the same letter has the same benefits, no matter which company you buy from. That means Plan A from one insurance company includes the exact same benefits as Plan A from a different insurance company. The only difference is price and who is providing the coverage. Certain plans are more popular than others such as Plan F, Plan C, and Plan N., Enrollment: You can buy a Medigap policy during your personal Medigap Open Enrollment Period to avoid paying higher premiums or to avoid being denied coverage., Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period is a 6-month period that starts the day you are both 65 years old and enrolled in Original Medicare. If you only bought Part A when you turned 65, the 6-month period starts the day you buy Part B. There are some situations where you can buy a policy with the same protections as during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
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