Applying and Plan Options

When can I apply for a Medicare supplement plan (Medigap)?

Once you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, you can apply for a Medicare supplement insurance plan, also known as Medigap, at any time.*

Your acceptance into a Medicare supplement plan is guaranteed if you apply within the 6-month period beginning on the first day of the month in which you're both:

  • At least age 65 or older, and
  • Enrolled in Medicare Part B

In some states, your acceptance is guaranteed even if you apply outside of this time period.**

Understanding your health care needs and how you will use a Medicare supplement insurance plan will help you choose a plan with the right cost and benefit structure for you.

*If you choose to apply outside of your Medicare supplement Open Enrollment period or a Guaranteed Issue period, you may be underwritten and not accepted into the plan. (This does not apply to residents of Connecticut and New York where guaranteed issue is ongoing and Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed available.)

**New York and Connecticut have ongoing guaranteed issue and Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed available.


What Medicare supplement plans are available?

See below for available AARP Medicare Supplement Plans and benefits. The checkmark (✓) means the plan pays 100% of your out-of-pocket costs for that benefit. Otherwise, the plan pays 50%, 75%, or 80%, or no benefit as shown.

Note: In Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin, there are different standardized plan options available.

Basic Benefits Plan

Part A coinsurance plus coverage for 365 additional days after Medicare benefits end.

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Part B coinsurance (generally 20% of Medicare-approved expenses) or copayments for hospital outpatient services. Plans K, L, and N require insured to pay a portion of Part B coinsurance or copayments.

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes 2

First 3 pints of blood each year.

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes

Part A coinsurance or copayment

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes
Additional Benefits
Skilled Nursing Facility Care
No No Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes
Part A Deductible No Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes
Part B Annual Deductible No No Yes Yes No No No No
Part B Excess Charges4 No No No Yes Yes No No No
Foreign Travel
emergency care3
No No 80% 80% 80% No No 80%
Annual Out-of-Pocket
spending limit
No No No No No $5,5601 $2,7801 No

1For Plans K and L, after you meet your out-of-pocket yearly limit and your yearly Part B deductible ($185 in 2019), the Medicare supplement plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

2Note: Plan N pays 100% of the Part B co-insurance, except for a co-pay of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 co-pay for emergency room visits that don't result in an inpatient admission.

3Care needed immediately because of an injury or an illness of sudden and unexpected onset. Benefit is 80% and beneficiaries are responsible for 20% after the $250 annual deductible with a $50,000 lifetime maximum for medically necessary emergency care received outside the U.S. during the first 60 days of each trip.

4In New York, excess charges are limited to 5%. Under Ohio and Pennsylvania law, a physician may not charge or collect fees from Medicare patients which exceed the Medicare approved Part B charge. Plans F and G pay benefits for excess charges when services are rendered in a jurisdiction not having a balance billing law. Vermont law generally prohibits a physician from charging more than the Medicare approved amount. However, there are exceptions and this prohibition may not apply if you receive services out of state. In Texas, the amount cannot exceed 15% over the Medicare approved amount or any other charge limitation established by the Medicare program or state law. Note that the limiting charge applies only to certain services and does not apply to some supplies and durable medical equipment.

When you’re looking at Medicare supplement plans, consider how much you’ll pay for services, like hospital stays or doctor visits, and how much you’re willing to spend on your monthly plan premium and out-of-pocket costs. Benefits and costs vary depending on the plan chosen.

Medicare Supplement Plan A offers just the Basic Benefits while Plan B covers Basic Benefits plus a benefit for the Medicare Part A deductible, which could be one of the largest out-of-pocket expenses if you need to spend time in a hospital. Plans A and B have lower monthly premiums with higher-out-of-pocket costs for things like Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance, Part B Excess Charges, and Foreign Travel Emergency Care.

Plans C, F, and G offer the most supplemental coverage, paying many of your out-of-pocket costs for Medicare-approved services. Consider one of these plans if you are willing to pay a higher monthly premium in exchange for more covered benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs.

Plans K and L are cost-sharing plans offering lower monthly premiums because they pay a percentage of the coinsurance instead of the full coinsurance amount. Once the out-of-pocket limit is reached, these plans pay 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

Plan N covers the Part B coinsurance, but you pay copayments for covered doctor office and emergency room visits in exchange for a mid-range monthly premium.

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