All Medicare Supplement plans are required to provide the same benefits nationally. Medicare Supplement plans help pay deductibles, copays, and coinsurance as well as additional out-of-pocket costs for services that were not covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B) such as hospitalization, doctor’s visits, lab costs, medical equipment, and more.
Medicare Supplement plans typically do not cover prescription drug coverage, dental services, vision services, and long term care. After 2006, Med Supp plans don't cover prescriptions, but are commonly paired with standalone Part D prescription drug plans.
In order to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, you must be 65 years or older and you must be enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B). In some cases, those under 65 who have qualifying disabilities may be eligible for Medicare Supplement plans.
The best time to buy ais during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP). This period lasts six months and begins the first day of the month in which you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. The reason the OEP is important is that this is when you have guaranteed-issue rights to buy a Medicare Supplement plan. Insurance companies are not allowed to use medical underwriting during this period.
After your six-month open enrollment window, Medicare Supplement plans are medically underwritten in almsot every state, meaning that if you apply for coverage outside of your open enrollment window, you can be declined or charged more based on your medical history.
Learn more about what each plan offers and what benefits are covered.
*Plans F and G also offer a high-deductible plan is some states. With this option, you must pay for Medicare-covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, and deuctibles) up to the deductible amount of $2,700 in 2023 before your policy pays anything. (You can't buy plans C and F if you were new to Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. See previous page for more information).
**For Plans K and L, after you meet your out-of-pocket yearly limit and your yearly Part B deductible ($226 in 2023), the Medigap plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
***Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance. You must pay 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 an inpatient admission.