A Medicare Supplement, also known as Medigap insurance, is a private insurance policy designed to help you pay for coinsurance or deductibles incurred Original Medicare. Medicare Supplements can also pay for certain services or items not covered by Medicare, such as prescription drugs. However, supplement plans only work with Original Medicare, not Medicare Advantage Plans.
Medicare Supplement plans are available to supplement your Original Medicare benefits. You can only purchase this plan after you enrolled for Original Medicare. Medigap pays any remaining deductibles, copays, or costs that Original Medical doesn’t cover. If you have met your Original Medicare deductible, your Medicare Supplement policy will pay the 20 percent of the bill not covered by Medicare Part A or Part B.
Enrolling in Medicare Supplement
As a Medicare beneficiary, you are entitled to a one-time, 6-month open Medicare Supplement enrollment period. You have the right to buy any Medicare Supplement policy sold in your state, no matter any health problems you may have. This enrollment period starts when you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. If you enroll in Medicare Part B due to disability, the open Medicare Supplement enrollment period begins when you reach 65.
For those who postpone enrollment in Medicare Part B because they are still employed or covered under a working spouse’s health plan, the Open Enrollment Period starts when you enroll in Medicare Part B. All Medicare Supplement policies are guaranteed renewable, so this means your plan will continue as long as you pay the premium.
Moreover, there are more limited enrollment periods during which some patients are guaranteed the right to purchase certain Medicare Supplement policies. These options are usually activated by certain events like the termination of your other health coverage.