Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Section 5: ready to enroll 

How to Buy a Medigap Policy

Choose a plan within six months of signing up for Part B to avoid being turned down or charged more






• Find the right policy

• What you’ll pay

If you’ve chosen original Medicare, you may benefit from Medigap, a supplemental insurance policy from a private insurer. Although you’ll pay an additional monthly premium for a policy, it can cover some of Medicare’s deductibles, copayments and other out-of-pocket expenses.

If you don’t have employer or retiree coverage or Tricare military health insurance, you should consider a Medigap policy. You can buy this policy anytime, but in most states it’s best to do so within six months of enrolling in Part B. That way, insurers can’t reject you or charge more because of preexisting conditions.




Although private insurers sell Medigap plans, federal and state rules standardize the coverage. Insurers can offer up to 10 plans, each with a different letter designation.

In most cases, plans with the same letter must include the same benefits, no matter which insurance company offers it. (Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have a different set of standardized plans.) But the plans aren’t offered at the same price. Choose the letter plan that provides the coverage you want, then shop around on Medicare’s Medigap plan finder.

To learn what the policies cover, visit Here’s how to get a policy.

1. Go to the plan finder and type in your ZIP code.

screenshot of the medicare medigap plan finder website instructing the user to enter their zip code to find a medigap policy that works for you

Enter your age, sex and if you use tobacco to get more accurate cost estimates. You’ll see price ranges and information about copays, deductibles and benefits for the letter plans in your area.

Below are the estimated monthly costs for Plan G for a nonsmoking 65-year-old man who lives in Richmond, Virginia.

screenshot of the medicare plan finder website showing an example of a list of two medigap plans available along with their estimated monthly costs, deductibles and plan benefits

3. Click Plan Details for information about coverage and general costs for each letter plan. Click View Policies for a list of the insurers that offer Medigap policies with each letter designation in your area and estimated premiums.


Contact the plans you’re interested in for specific premiums. Medicare’s Medigap plan finder has links to websites for every plan. Go to View Policies and click Visit company website, which lists company addresses and phone numbers.

Premiums for plans with the same letter designation can vary widely based on the insurer you choose. For example, the 65-year-old in Richmond man who doesn’t smoke and wants to look at Plan G offerings that don't have high deductibles, will page from $124 to $419 a month depending on the company, according to the plan finder.

Some companies give discounts for multiple policies and/or household discounts. Companies that use the attained-age pricing formula to set rates initially offer a low premium to younger buyers but have regular premium increases based on age and inflation. With issue-age pricing, premiums are based on your age when you buy the policy and can increase because of inflation. A company that uses community-rated pricing charges the same premium to all people in a state who have a policy with the same letter designation, regardless of their ages.


Keep in mind: If more than six months has passed since you enrolled in Part B, your premium may be based on your health status. You could wait up to six months to be covered for existing medical conditions.

If you buy a Medigap policy within six months of enrolling in Part B or within 63 days of losing job-based health insurance that’s considered secondary to Medicare (generally coverage from an employer with fewer than 20 employees), then you can't be charged more or be denied coverage because of health problems. But, in most states, your premium will depend on your age, gender or smoking status.


Some state insurance departments list premiums for Medigap plans. To find your state’s insurance department, visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website.

To buy a Medigap plan, contact the insurance company first. You may be able to enroll online, by phone or by mail or use an insurance agent.


You’ll pay your Medigap premium to the insurer, not to the federal government. Ask the company if it offers automatic payment options and discounts for enrolling in an automatic payment plan or for insuring both you and your spouse.

For help exploring your Medigap options, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Its counselors often have information about prices and rules for specific plans available in your area.

Updated March 28, 2024

How to Enroll in a Part D Plan
How to Get Help Enrolling in Medicare