Most people with Original Medicare have the option to purchase a Medicare Supplemental Plan (Medigap). Since Medigap requires that you are concurrently enrolled in Original Medicare, we are here to help you answer the following big question: “Which is Better-Original Medicare by itself or Original Medicare with a Medigap plan?” Spoiler Alert: Medicare with Medigap is better but it comes at a cost. Let’s find out if it is worth it!
What is Medigap?
Medigap is additional insurance that you can purchase and is designed to fill in the “gaps” of fees not covered by Original Medicare. It helps to cover many of the out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare makes patients pay. As we stated above, when you enroll in a Medigap plan, you are still enrolled in Original Medicare.
Medigap Key Highlights
Here is a brief overview of what you get when you add Medigap to Original Medicare. For an additional monthly premium, Medigap can:
- Extend hospitalization by 365 days
- Pay all or part of your hospital coinsurance
- Pay all or part of Part A deductible of $1,556
- Pay all or part of your Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility daily fee of $194.50
- Offer foreign emergency healthcare (Medicare does not offer)
Comparing Original Medicare to Original Medicare with Medigap
The chart below will show you the benefits you get with Original Medicare only vs Medicare with two different Medigap plans. For the best understanding, we will show a minimal coverage Medigap plan that has low enrollment (Medigap Plan A) as well as a plan that offers greater benefits and is very popular (Medigap Plan G).
The chart explains what you pay for the following health services:
|Benefits||Original Medicare||Medigap Plan A||Medigap Plan G|
|Doctor and Hospital Network||Nationwide network of doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare assignment||Nationwide network of doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare assignment||Nationwide network of doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare assignment|
|Part A Hospital Deductible||$1,556 for each 60-day benefit period*||$1,556 for each 60-day benefit period*||$0|
|Medicare Part B Deductible||$233||$233||$233|
|Hospital Days 60-90||$389 per day||$0||$0|
|Hospital Lifetime Reserve Days After Day 90||$778 per day (max of 60 days)||$0 PLUS an extra 365 days||$0 PLUS an extra 365 days|
|Skilled Nursing Facility Fee Days 21-100||$194.50 per day||$194.50 per day||$0|
|First 3 Pints of Blood for a Transfusion||100%||$0||$0|
|Medicare Part B Copays/Coinsurance||20%||$0||$0|
|Medicare Part B Excess Charges||100%||100%||$0|
|Foreign Emergency Healthcare||100%||100%||20% (max coverage $50k)|
*Medicare requires that your Part A deductible be paid each time you enter a hospital after 60 days of your previous release.
Should you choose to add Medigap to your Original Medicare?
From the chart above, you should now understand that Medigap can save you a lot of money on medical fees that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. We believe that if you can afford Medigap with Original Medicare, you should consider purchasing this additional insurance. Medigap offers great financial protection for seniors. If you cannot afford Medigap, we do not recommend Original Medicare alone. Instead, consider a Medicare Advantage plan.
To find out how much Medigap costs in your area, get an instant Medigap insurance quote. If you need help with Medigap plans, call one of our Senior65 agents at 800-930-7956. Our agents will NOT charge you a fee for a quote or to help enroll you in a Medicare supplemental plan.