Medicare Supplement insurance policies, commonly called Medigaps, are health insurance policies that offer standardized benefits to work with Original Medicare (not with Medicare Advantage). They are sold by private insurance companies. If you have a Medigap, it pays part or all of certain cost-sharing “gaps” that remain after Original Medicare pays first. Depending on where you live, you have up to 10 different Medigap policies to choose from: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N (policies in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Minnesota have different names). Each policy offers a different set of standardized benefits that ranges from basic to more comprehensive. Standardization means that policies with the same letter name offer the same benefits.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to purchase a Medigap policy during The Annual Open Enrollment, but certain limitations apply as to who can buy a Medigap and when. There are federal protections for people over 65 to purchase a Medigap in certain situations, and some states offer additional enrollment protections.
You may run into problems if you try to buy a Medigap outside a protected Medigap enrollment period. For instance, companies can refuse to sell you one or impose certain medical requirements. If a company does agree to sell you a policy, you may need to pay a higher monthly premium and be subject to a six-month waiting period before the Medigap will cover pre-existing conditions. Be sure to contact Medigap insurers in your state to learn if they will sell you a Medigap policy outside protected enrollment periods.
Also note that in some states if you currently have Original Medicare and a Medigap, you may not be able to purchase a Medigap again in the future if you drop Original Medicare to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Clicking third-party links will open a new tab and will take you away from YourMedicare.com. YourMedicare.com, LLC does not control the linked sites’ content or link.
YourMedicare.com takes pride in providing you as much information as possible concerning your Medicare options, but only a health insurance broker licensed to sell Medicare can help you compare your plan options from various insurance companies. When you’re ready, we recommend you discuss your needs with a YourMedicare.com Licensed Sales Agent.
This content was created and copyrighted by the Medicare Rights Center ©2021. Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities. These materials are presented here with support from YourMedicare.com and may not be distributed, modified or edited without Medicare Rights’ consent.