How to Shop for Medicare Supplements

You may have heard the term “Medigap.” It’s just another name for Medicare supplement. Here are some things to consider before you buy one.

Supplement Plans

  • You must have Medicare Part A and Part B to buy a Medicare supplement.
  • When you buy a Medicare supplement from BCBSNE—or any insurance company—you pay a separate monthly premium for your supplemental policy in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
  • A Medicare supplement policy covers one person. If you and your spouse both want a Medicare supplement, you should buy one for each.
  • Once you’re actively enrolled in a Medicare supplement, you will be able to continue to renew the policy even if you develop health problems.

Drug Coverage

  • Prescription drug coverage is separate
  • If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).

Switching Plans

  • If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to a Medicare supplement, but make sure you can leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your supplement policy begins.
  • Pre-existing conditions can become an issue if you switch plans.—If you enroll in your supplemental insurance plan at the time you first become eligible for Medicare, pre-existing conditions aren't an issue. If you wait or you don't like your insurance provider and decide to switch later, you may run into health questionnaires and potential waiting periods.
  • Best time to buy a Medicare supplement
  • Protection from Medicare scams