Buying a Medigap policy
If you chose Original Medicare, you may also want to buy a Medigap policy to help pay your share of costs. In most states, there are only a few Medigap standardized plans to pick from. But, there can be many insurance companies that sell policies for the same plan.
When to buy a Medigap policy
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is when you’re 65 (or older) and first get Part A and Part B. Generally, you need Part A and Part B to buy a Medigap policy.
This is your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. You have 6 months after your Part B coverage starts to buy a policy. During this time, you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems.
Can I buy a policy later?
After your Medigap Open Enrollment Period ends, you might not be able to buy a Medigap policy. If you’re able to buy one or want to switch policies later, it may cost more.
How to buy a Medigap policy
- Decide which plan you want.
- Medigap plans are standardized, and in most cases named by letters, like Plan G or Plan K.
- Not all plans are offered in every state, and if a state offers a plan, not all insurance companies sell policies for it.
- Compare the benefits of each lettered plan to help you find one that meets your needs now and in the future. You might not be able to switch Medigap policies later.
- Pick your policy.
- Find insurance companies selling the standardized plan you want and talk to them.
- Call your State Insurance Department for a list of companies selling policies in your state. Ask if they have any complaints against insurance companies.
- Contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to get free help choosing an insurance company in your area. SHIPs aren’t connected to any insurance company or health plan.
- Contact the company.
- Get an official quote from the company. Read your Medigap policy carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand it.
- When you’re ready to buy, contact the company and fill out their application.
- After your Medigap Open Enrollment Period ends, insurance companies don’t have to sell you a Medigap policy, unless you have Medigap protections, called "guaranteed issue rights." You’ll need to give the company proof of your situation. Learn more about guaranteed issue rights.