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Deciphering Medigap Coverage Levels: Plans and Benefits Explained

Almost everyone in the United States with Medicare benefits from Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) must also enroll in a separate plan called a Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap policy. These private insurance plans are designed to cover the costs that Original Medicare leaves out, such as deductibles and copayments. In Virginia, there are 10 different standardized Medigap plans, each identified by a letter of the alphabet, that will help you pay for your healthcare expenses.

Each plan is identical in terms of coverage, but the monthly premiums may differ by insurer. This is why it’s important to do your research and choose a plan that best fits your budget. If you’re not sure what plan is best for you, it can be helpful to consult a certified retirement counselor at your local Senior Services Department. These professionals can help you determine the best option for you, as well as answer any questions that you might have about Medicare Supplement Insurance.

The most popular Medicare Supplement plans in Virginia Virginia Medigap Insurance Companies include Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. Plan F, which pays the annual Part B deductible, is the most comprehensive plan available, while Plan N provides a low-cost option with great benefits. Medicare Advantage plans have been gaining popularity in recent years, and they are an excellent choice for people who want to limit their out-of-pocket healthcare expenses while still having access to the wide range of benefits that Original Medicare provides.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Medicare Supplement insurance policy, it’s recommended that you do so during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is a six-month period that begins when you first sign up for Medicare Part B, and it’s the only time that insurers are required to use medical underwriting to accept or reject applications for coverage. Changing your Medicare Supplement plan outside of your Open Enrollment Period can be more difficult, and you might be subject to a health screening and/or medical underwriting if you do so.

In addition to a Medicare Supplement insurance policy, most people with Medicare will also need to enroll in a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to help cover the cost of their medications. These are available through private insurance companies, and they are regulated by the state. In 2022, there were 42 insurers selling Medicare Part D plans in Virginia. Each insurance company can pick its own pricing methodology for Medicare Part D plans, but most of them utilize attained-age rating. This means that your premium will increase each year you remain enrolled in the plan. Other options for calculating your Medicare Part D premium include issue-age and community rating, but these methodologies aren’t commonly used by insurance providers in Virginia. You can check the cost of the Medicare Part D plans offered in your area using our online Medicare Part D premium calculator.