Medicare Supplement Insurance (also known as Medigap) is private insurance that fills coverage gaps in original Medicare Program Parts A and B. There are 10 federally-standardized Medigap plans which may cover deductibles, co-insurance and co-payments. The benefits are the same within each plan, but the monthly premiums vary.
A Medigap policy, combined with Medicare Parts A & B, provides almost 100% coverage for Medicare covered services. Note that if a provider does not participate with Medicare, then neither Medicare nor Medigap will pay the costs.
How Much Does Medigap Cost?
The cost of a Medigap policy can vary, depending on the plan benefits, the company, and your age. Most Medigap policies will increase in cost as you age.
When Should I Apply for Medigap?
The best time to enroll in Medigap is during the six month open enrollment period that begins with your eligibility for Medicare Part B. Only during that six month period are you guaranteed enrollment in a Medigap plan; i.e., you cannot be turned down because of your health condition. Unlike Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) and Medicare Advantage, there is not an annual open enrollment period.
Shopping for A Medigap Plan
When you shop for a Medigap plan, you should assume that you are making a decision that will last forever. There are very limited circumstances that will allow you to re-shop for Medigap. The Maryland Insurance Administration publishes every six (6) months an updated Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Rate Guide that identifies the insurance carriers authorized to sell Medigap plans in the state of Maryland.