Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medicare is health insurance for

  1. People age 65 or older
  2. People under 65 with certain disabilities, including End Stage Renal Disease

You have two Medicare insurance coverage choices.

Watch My Medicare Coverage Choices

1. Original Medicare

Part A

Drawing representing Medicare Hospital Insurance

Hospital Insurance

  • Inpatient Care
  • Inpatient Nursing Care
  • Inpatient Services and Supplies

Part B

Drawing representing Medicare Medical Insurance

Medical Insurance

  • Doctors' Services
  • Outpatient Care
  • Preventive Services

2. Medicare Advantage

Part C

Drawing representing Medicare Advantage (HMO/PPO)

Advantage Plans

  • Medicare Part A
  • Medicare Part B
  • May offer additional benefits

Part D: Optional Prescription Drug Coverage

Drawing representing Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare Part D is a prescription drug option run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare to help cover the cost of prescription drugs. It may help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future.

You have out-of-pocket costs with Original Medicare.

Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance

Reflects 2017 Medicare Program

Feature Medicare Pays You Pay
Deductible Nothing $1,316
Hospital Inpatient Care
First 60 Days 100% $0
Coinsurance 61-90 days All but $329 a day $329 a day
Coinsurance 91-150 days All but $658 a day $658 a day
Coinsurance 151+ days Nothing Eligible Expenses
Blood All but three pints Three pints
Skilled Nursing Facility Care
First 20 Days 100% $0
Coinsurance 21-100 days All but $164.50 a day $164.50 a day
Coinsurance 101 days and after Nothing All

Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance

Reflects 2017 Medicare Program

Feature Medicare Pays You Pay
Deductible Nothing $183
Coinsurance Generally 80% of Medicare approved expenses Generally 20% of Medicare approved expenses
Excess Benefits Nothing All
Blood All but three pints Three pints

Additional Benefit

Reflects 2017 Medicare Program

Feature Medicare Pays You Pay
Emergency Care Received Outside the U.S. Nothing All costs

Medicare supplement insurance helps you pay your out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare Supplement

Drawing of a puzzle, representing a wholistic medicare supplement insurance strategy
  • Medicare Part A Coinsurance
  • Medicare Part B Coinsurance
  • Deductible Coverage Available
Works with Original Medicare Parts A and B

A Medicare supplement insurance policy, also known as a Medigap policy, helps pay your share (coinsurance, copayments or deductibles) of the costs of Medicare-covered services. Some Medicare supplement policies cover certain costs not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B.

Companies Offer the Same Basic Benefits

Medicare supplement insurance companies can only sell you a standardized Medicare supplement policy identified by letters A through N. Each standardized Medicare supplement insurance policy must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it. Cost and customer service are usually the only difference between Medicare supplement policies sold by different insurance companies.

When You can Apply for Medicare Supplement Insurance

You can apply for a Medicare supplement insurance policy just about any time you’re eligible for Medicare and enrolled in Medicare part B, including when:

  • You’re in your open enrollment period
  • You’re past your open enrollment period as long as you don’t have other coverage
  • You want a Medicare supplement plan with a lower premium
  • You leave your Medicare Advantage/Private Fee for Service plan
  • Your employer discontinues its group retiree health coverage

Your open enrollment period lasts for six months and begins on the first day of the month in which you’re both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B (some states may have additional open enrollment rights under state law). During the period, an insurance company cannot use medical underwriting. This means you’re in a guaranteed issue situation and the company cannot:

  • Refuse to sell you any Medicare supplement insurance policy it sells
  • Make you wait for coverage to start (except in limited circumstances)
  • Charge you more for a Medicare supplement insurance policy because of any past or present health conditions

In the six months prior to and following your Medicare Part B eligibility (typically age 65), you can be approved for a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy with answering a single health question.

Learn more about your open enrollment period