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How to Find the Right Medigap Policy for You

Use the Medigap plan finder to research policies


spinner image graphic of medicare website on a tablet showing a bridge drawing and with an umbrella a calendar a clock and hourglass symbolizing time limits on signing up for medigap coverage
Getty/AARP

After you enroll in Medicare, your next step is to determine if you want coverage from original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, insurance that a private company manages within rules that the federal government sets.

If you decide to get coverage through original Medicare, you can use any doctors or hospitals that accept Medicare payments. But you’ll still have out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, deductibles and other expenses.

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If you have employer, retiree or Tricare for Life military health insurance, those policies can fill in some of Medicare’s gaps. If not, you could benefit from buying a supplemental Medigap policy from a private insurer.

Although you’ll pay an additional monthly premium for a policy, it can cover most of Medicare’s copayments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. You can’t buy a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, which usually has different out-of-pocket costs.

You can buy a Medigap policy anytime, but in most states the best time to buy is within six months of enrolling in Part B at age 65 or older. That way, insurers can’t reject you or charge you more because of a preexisting condition.

Using the Medigap Plan Finder

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

In most cases, each letter plan has to offer the same benefits, no matter which insurance company issues it. But two plans with the same letter designation may have different premiums.

Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin offer different standardized plans. For more information about what policies cover, visit Medicare.gov or you can check out the Medigap plan finder. We show you how:

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

spinner image screenshot of zipcode medicare screen
Courtesy Medicare.gov

2. Enter your age, sex and whether you use tobacco, and then click Update Prices to get a more accurate cost estimate. You’ll see price ranges and information about copays, deductibles and benefits for the letter plans in your area.

spinner image medigap plan option screenshot with plan details and view policies buttons circled
Courtesy Medicare.gov

Below are the estimated monthly costs for Plan G, one of the most popular policies, for a nonsmoking 65-year-old man who lives in a Cincinnati suburb.

3. Click Plan Details for coverage information and estimated costs. Click View Policies for a list of insurers that offer Medigap policies with each letter designation in your area along with each policy’s estimated monthly costs. You’ll also see contact information for the insurer.

This page also shows the type of pricing each plan uses. Medigap plans have three types of pricing:

  • Attained age policies have premiums that are low for younger buyers but regularly increase based on age and inflation.
  • Community rated policies cost the same statewide for people of all ages who have a policy with the same letter designation.  
  • Issue age policy premiums are based on the age you buy the policy and can increase because of inflation, not because you get older.
spinner image medigap plan option screenshot with plan details and view policies buttons circled
Courtesy Medicare.gov

4. Contact the plans you're interested in for details about premiums. When you're on the View Policies page, you'll see a Visit company website link along with each company's address and phone number.

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Medigap has its own rules

In most states, if more than six months has passed since you enrolled in Part B, your premium may be based on your health status unless you qualify for a guaranteed issue right. This means an insurer can’t refuse to sell you a Medigap policy in certain situations, such moving out of a Medicare Advantage plan’s service area.

If you don’t qualify for a guaranteed issue right, you won’t know the bill for your premium until you apply and answer the Medigap insurer’s questions about your health. Rules may vary for people who qualify for Medicare before age 65 because of a disability.

You can usually buy a Medigap plan at the company’s website or by phone or mail. You can also 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 have information about prices and rules for plans available in your area. You can also find information about Medigap policies at your state insurance department website.

How Do Medigap Plans Work?

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