Medigap: Pros and Cons

Learn if Medicare supplemental insurance is right for you by checking out our Medigap pros and cons list

by Amy De Vore+ on Jun 05, 2015 | 7 Comments

Medicare Supplement insurance is more commonly known as Medigap which we will refer to it as such throughout the rest of the article. Everyone including the federal government now calls it Medigap and, plus,  it’s a more fun name to say. Now should you buy Medigap? Check out our list first. 

Medigap Pros and Cons

Medigap Pros Medigap Cons
Plans cover all or part of Medicare additional fees Monthly premiums can be pricey
Plans are easy to compare Plans difficult to switch once enrolled
Guaranteed 6 month enrollment when 1st eligible May not be able to enroll after initial enrollment period
All plans offer an additional 365 days in hospital Not all plans cover hospital deductible
Some plans offer extras like excess charges, foreign travel, and Silver Sneakers program Does not include drug coverage
Nationwide coverage Doesn’t cover acupuncture


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68% of people who read this article also read: Medicare Advantage VS Medigap

What is Medigap?

You have seen the pros and cons list but what exactly is Medigap? Medigap is additional insurance offered by private companies that you can buy to fill in the “gaps” of Original Medicare. While Original Medicare covers much of your medical costs, it still requires you to pay many fees such as copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. These fees can add up and many retirees are unable to afford them.

There are 10 different standardized Medigap plans that can help pay some or all of these cost. Medigap extends your Medicare benefits by adding an additional 365 days of hospitalization coverage . Medigap can also offer coverage not available under Original Medicare such as $50,000 of Foreign Travel Emergency. Visit our Medicare Overview Page to learn more or you can head straight to our Medigap Pros and Cons list below.

Pros and Cons of Medigap Recap

After looking at the list you should now know that Medigap can be somewhat expensive and you will still have to purchase additional drug coverage.  But if you have it, it will reduce most or all of your additional cost and you will be able to use this with any doctor that accepts original Medicare.

How Expensive is Medigap

That depends on your age, zip code and which plan you select. You can get an instant quote by clicking the button below:
How Much Does Medigap Cost? <-- Click here to get an instant quote in your area.

Alternatives to Medigap?

Most people who are not comfortable with Medigap’s Monthly premium consider Medicare Advantage (MA).  Unlike Medigap, MA replaces your Original Medicare. It doesn’t fill in all the gaps but it is usually less expensive. You might want to check out Medicare Advantage pros and cons, to decide which plan is right for you. For further questions call 800-930-7956 or click here to get a Medigap quote Print Friendly Version

Reader Comments and Questions

(Click here to leave a comment)

By Name Removed on November 11, 2018

I am 65-1/2 and on a medigap plan G. I feel that I am paying a lot for a medigap plan for covearge that I don't need at this time. It seems that an advantage plan would be less costly and give the coverage I need. My health is good, however, I had a mild stroke 5 years ago and take 2 meds for that. I also have an enlarged prostate, and take 2 meds for that. Colon caner is in the family history. If I switch to an advantage plan, will I have problems getting into a medigap plan down the road?

Medigap providers can decline your coverage if you have a past history of major health issues such as stroke or cancer. Each provider makes their decision differently but most factor in how recent the diagnosis was and what current treatment you are taking. There is no guarantee you will be approved on a new plan. There is a special enrollment rules where you can return to your Medigap plan if you are not happy on MA during the first year.
-Amy at Senior65.com


By Sandra on February 22, 2018

Remember- you get what you pay for. In my opinion, there is no advantage to an advantage plan. Very strict networks, difficult to get needed testing approved at times and lots of out of pocket costs.


By joyce on November 01, 2017

I used to think I was reasonably intelligent and healthy besides, but with the onslaught of plans and forms to study and complete, I can only conclude that I am a stupid idiot because I can't understand enough to make a wise decision about healthcare coverage.

Seems to me we're introducing competition in every possible corner, and this only serves to complicate the issues and leave people like me totally befuddled--unless, of course, we're wealthy--because every source of every healthcare service must push its program. In that case it doesn't matter how difficult the system is; we can just spend money until everything is covered.

I'm for a one-system, single-payer program with options that apply equally to everyone in the system, not just to members of a certain service. As long as we have dozens of healthcare organizations competing for every dollar of healthcare expense, we will have confusion that does nothing for anybody.


By Robert on October 05, 2015

I had United Health Care MA for 4 months in 2014 but was unhappy because it did not cover Cleveland Clinic network, so I switched to Aetna MA on 1./1/2015. I have a preexisting cancer condition which was diagnosed in 3/1/2012 (which was handled on wife's family plan--when she retired I went with the UHC MA plan in 2014) Now considering moving up to a Medigap plan but I'm seeing restrictions because of pre existing condition and also some Medigap plans have rules reguarding switching only during MA "trial periods"....very confusing.

Robert,
If you want to enroll in a Medigap plan, you can apply 60 days before your current Medicare Advantage plan ends. As for preexisting conditions, you will have to answer medical questions if you're over 65; however, each company can ask different questions. Some companies will you approve you, while others won't. So you'll want to apply, then see if you are approved.
-Jacima from https://www.senior65.com/


By Karen D. on July 22, 2015

I see that one of the cons is that Medigap doesn't cover drug coverage. That seems odd to me. I mean don't all health plans cover drug coverage? And, since they don't how much will I have to pay for a drug plan? This just all seems like another way for the government to get more money from me.

Karen,
Prescription drug coverage is not covered by Original Medicare; however, drugs administered by a doctor may be covered. Separate prescription drug plans, known as Part D, vary in cost based on your current drugs. Hope this helps. Feel free to call us with a list of your drugs and we will find give you quotes on drug plans.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Jerry on June 10, 2015

Which plans offer foreign health care? I'm turning 65 in August and traveling for a month to Australia in October. Would like to be covered. Thanks much.

Jerry,
Lucky you! Here is the answer to your question: Medigap plans C, D, F, G, M, and N, all offer foreign emergency travel. Check out the article Comparing Medigap plans to learn more about which each plan offers.
-Jacima from https://www.senior65.com/


By Ben Roth on June 09, 2015

I like pros and cons lists. You say Medigap is Pricey on the cons list. How Pricey is Pricey?!?



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