Before you buy a Medigap policy, understand the benefits offered by each type to find the best one for you.
Insurance companies may offer up to ten different Medigap policies labeled A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Each lettered policy is standardized. This means that all policies labeled with the same letter have the same benefits, no matter which company provides them. For example, Medigap policy A offered by company 1 provides the exactly the same benefits as Medigap policy A offered by company 2.
Be aware that companies are not required to offer all 10 standardized Medigap policies. Some standardized policies may not be offered in your state.
Minnesota, Massachusetts and Wisconsin have different ways of standardizing Medigap policies. If you live in one of these states, please contact your State Department of Insurance for more information on purchasing a Medigap policy.
Remember, Medigaps help pay remaining Medicare costs, including deductibles, coinsurance and copays. Medigaps do not help pay for Medicare premiums. All Medigap policies must offer the following basic benefits:
- Hospital coinsurance coverage
- 365 additional days of full hospital coverage
- Full or partial coverage for the 20% coinsurance for doctor charges and other Part B services
- Full or partial coverage for the first 3 pints of blood you need each year
- Hospice coinsurance for drugs and respite care
Beyond these basic benefits, each standardized Medigap covers a different amount of Medicare costs. Depending on which Medigap policy you choose, you can get coverage for additional expenses Medicare doesn’t cover, including:
- Hospital deductible
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Part B deductible
- Emergency care outside the U.S.
- At-home recovery
- Preventive care that Medicare does not cover
- Excess physician’s charges (Some Medigaps will pay the limiting charge or the amount above the Medicare-approved amount non-participating doctors can charge).
Medigap Policy A is usually the least expensive but it only covers the basic benefits. Policies C and F cover the most Medicare costs and are the most popular. However, they generally cost more. For a full explanation of what each policy covers, please click below.
Policies sold before June 1, 2010
Keep in mind that policies sold today have slightly different benefits than those before June 1, 2010. Also, policies E, H, I, and J, are no longer sold. If you bought your Medigap before June 1, 2010, and have a discontinued policy, you can keep it as long as you like. The insurance company must continue to renew the discontinued Medigap policy it each year.
Follow the link below for more information on your coverage with a Medigap policy sold before June 1, 2010.