Is a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Right for You? | OpenMedicare
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Is a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Right for You?

Published January 21, 2022

Overview of Medicare Supplement

When it’s time to enroll in Medicare, you will have several choices. Since Original Medicare covers only about 80% of your medical costs, you may want to consider buying a Medicare Supplement Insurance or (Medigap) plan, which help fill the gaps and may cover most of the remaining 20% of services that Medicare approves. You can also choose a Part C or Medicare Advantage plan, which includes Medicare Parts A, B and usually D in one package which we describe here.

How to Determine If Medicare Supplement Is Right for You

How do you decide if a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is right for you? If you do not choose a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, you may need to be ready to pay for the 20% of costs Original Medicare does not cover. If you are not comfortable taking the potential risk of paying that extra 20%, you can purchase a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan.

There Are 10 Medicare Supplement Plan Options

There are ten Medicare Supplemental insurance plans (A-N) that are standardized in terms of the benefits they can offer, but they differ in what is covered in each of the plans and the costs for that coverage1. The more the plan covers, the more you may pay for the Supplement.

All plans cover your hospital coinsurance, but most plans do not cover Medicare Part B excess charges or the Part B deductible. You may pay a monthly premium for Medicare Supplemental Insurance coverage that ranges in terms of your gender, your age and whether or not you smoke.

Affordable Alternatives to Medigap

What if you cannot afford a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan? Since the premiums for these plans can vary tremendously, what do you do if you cannot afford the monthly plan premium? You may be eligible for Medicaid, which is assistance for people with low income. Check with your state Medicaid program about your eligibility.


An advantage of a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is the freedom it offers you to seek medical care from any provider who takes Medicare patients, no matter what they county or state. There are no referrals required and no preauthorization for treatments. A Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan may be best for you if you can afford the monthly plan premium and you want to be able to go to any medical provider.

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