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Medigap Plans – The Same as Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

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Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is the basic Medicare benefit package granted to eligible individuals when they turn 65 or enter their 25th month of receiving disability benefits. Original Medicare provides broad coverage of many hospital and medical expenses. But Medicare comes with out-of-pocket costs. Medigap insurance plans, also known as Medicare Supplement insurance plans, may cover Medicare copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and other expenses not covered through the basic benefit package.

There are 10 standardized Medigap insurance plans denoted by the letters A through N in 47 states (Medigap Plans E, H, I and J are no longer sold). Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have their own standardized Medigap plans.

  • Plans having different letter names (for example, Medigap insurance Plan L and Medigap Plan M) have different levels of coverage.
  • Plans having the same letter name (such as every Medigap insurance Plan L) include the same coverage no matter where you buy them. However, not every Medigap insurance Plan L will necessarily charge the same premium.
  • Please note that some companies may offer additional innovative benefits.

Because Medigap insurance plans are offered by private insurance companies, the cost and availability of each lettered plan may differ. Not every insurance company offers all 10 plans. Some popular Medigap insurance plan types are more comprehensive than other Medigap insurance plan types; they cover the basic benefits and may also cover foreign travel emergencies and excess charges.

To be eligible to enroll in a Medigap insurance plan, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B, and reside in the plan’s service area. Be aware that each Medigap insurance  policy only covers one person.

The best time to enroll in a Medigap insurance plan is typically during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins on the first day of the month that you are both enrolled in Medicare Part B and aged 65 or older. This enrollment period lasts for six months. During this time, you have the guaranteed issue right to enroll in any Medigap plan that’s available in the area where you live, regardless of your health status. Outside of this enrollment period, you may be subject to medical underwriting, and may be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition.*

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.

*Pre-existing conditions are generally health conditions that existed before the start of a policy. They may limit coverage, be excluded from coverage, or even prevent you from being approved for a policy; however, the exact definition and relevant limitations or exclusions of coverage will vary with each plan, so check a specific plan’s official plan documents to understand how that plan handles pre-existing conditions.

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