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Medigap Supplemental Plans

If you're concerned about Medicare costs, a Medigap health insurance policy (also called Medigap supplemental insurance or a Medicare supplemental plan) helps pay the "gap" between what Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) pays and what you pay out of your own pocket. You can get a Medicare Supplement policy through private insurance companies.
See Medicare Supplement Plans

What you should know about Medigap

The Medigap policy you purchase must be clearly identified as "Medicare Supplement Insurance." There are 10 different Medigap coverage options to choose from. Plans are labeled A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N (Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available).

All insurance companies selling a particular Medigap plan type in your area must offer the same coverage, but may offer it at different prices. So, you may want to shop for the best price.

You can get a Medicare Supplement Plan only if you already have Original Medicare. Medigap covers Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), but it does not cover Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage plans), Medicare Part D (prescription drug plans), or any other private health insurance, Medicaid, Veterans' Administration benefits, or TRICARE.

Because Medigap policies are regulated by state and Federal laws, the benefits for all the coverage options are the same regardless of insurer. The differences will be in the price, who administers the plan, and which of the 10 options the insurer chooses to offer. Choose a health insurer you trust, and shop around for the best prices.

Residents of Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin also have the option to buy a Medicare SELECT policy. If you choose this type of Medicare Supplement Plan, then you will have to use a specific network of doctors and hospitals. See Plans

Open enrollment for Medicare Supplement Plans

Your open enrollment for Medigap supplemental insurance begins the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and are covered under Medicare Part B. You have six months to enroll. If you are under 65, check with your state's Social Security Administration to see if it offers additional open enrollment periods.

Be aware that Medigap plans supplement Original Medicare to fill in cost gaps. If you are considering a Medicare Advantage plan, you won’t need, and can’t be sold, a Medigap plan.

As long as you enroll during this six-month open enrollment period, the insurance company cannot refuse to sell you a Medigap policy, charge you more because you have health problems, or make you wait for coverage to begin. However, you may have to wait up to six months for coverage of a pre-existing condition. Original Medicare will still cover that health problem even if your Medicare Supplement Plan doesn't cover your out-of-pocket costs.

If you enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan outside of your open enrollment period, the private insurance company may "underwrite" the plan. That means you may be subject to a physical, and the insurance company can refuse to sell you the plan or they can adjust your premium based on your health status.

If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you are not allowed to use and can't be sold a Medigap policy. However, if you later return to Original Medicare, Parts A and B, you have a 12-month special enrollment period to sign up for a Medigap Supplement Plan.
See Medicare Supplement Plans

How insurance companies set Medigap premiums

There are three ways an insurance company can set Medigap premium rates:

  • "Community-rated" (or "no-age-rated") premiums are the same for everyone, regardless of age.

  • "Issue-age-rated" (or "entry-age-rated") premiums are based on your age when you first buy the policy. The sooner you enroll, the less you will pay.

  • "Attained-age-rated" premiums are based on your current age, meaning it goes up as you grow older.

Other factors impacting the premium rates can include inflation, geography, medical underwriting (if you did not enroll when first eligible), and other discounts. You should check with each specific health insurer to see how it sets Medigap prices before you buy.

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Find out more

eHealth’s licensed Medicare sales agents can help you decide if a Medigap plan is right for you. Call us with your questions. Make an appointment

What our customers say about our licensed insurance agents:

  • Ms. Tuesday N. was very well versed and knowledgeable regarding my mother's situation; her service skills are outstanding. I was very pleased, and she kept my mother interested in what she had to say, which is very difficult for me at times. Thank you, Tuesday, for the incredible service. You're amazing and ONE OF A KIND. I will be in touch to continue with my mother's application and receive more of your excellent services. Thank you again.

    -Eloise F, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Very professional and knowledgeable, and explained everything and answered my questions.

    -Richard S, Madera, CA

  • Steve could not have been more courteous, friendly, and most helpful. I did not feel rushed and he answered all my questions and provided information I did not know--that I did not know to ask. I will definitely contact him again if or when I have further questions or need to re-enroll in the fall.

    -Anonymous, Atlanta, GA

Tips from our licensed Medicare insurance agents
Investigate Medicare Supplement Plans
Your Medigap plan and Drug plan don't have to come from the same insurer
Know how Medicare works when you travel
Our licensed Medicare insurance agents are available to help you with free, unbiased assistance. They don’t work for insurance companies and aren’t driven by sales commissions.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

Find an affordable Medicare plan

Are you ready to learn about the specific Medicare plans that may work for you? You can go about it in several ways:

  • Contact the Medicare plan directly.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY users 1-877-486-2048; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Contact a licensed insurance agency such as eHealth.
    • Call eHealth's licensed sales agents at 1-, TTY users 711, .
    • Or enter your zip code where requested on this page to see a quote.

This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on the website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.

eHealth Medicare is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency certified to sell Medicare products.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.