Step 3

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 both Part A and Part B. You need both 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.

If you’re under 65, you might not be able to buy a Medigap policy, or you may have to pay more. This is true even if you buy a Medigap policy in the first 6 months you have Medicare.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Pick your policy.
Shop by price
The benefits in each lettered plan are the same, no matter which insurance company sells it. Price is the only difference between policies with the same letter sold by different companies. Costs can vary widely between companies, so contact more than one company to get an estimate.
  1. 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.

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