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Medicare Supplement Insurance

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Medicare is a good start to maintaining health care coverage, but it’s just a start. SHIIP--SMP can help you sort through dozens of supplemental coverage plans. Below you'll find a number of resources to help you.

I am turning 65 and going on Medicare. What do I need to know about Medicare supplement insurance?

Buying Medicare supplement insurance is a way to protect yourself from some of the costs not covered by Medicare. It is also called “Medigap” or “Med Supp” insurance. There are 10 standardized Medicare supplement plans identified by the letters "A" through "N." Plans F and G are also available as a high deductible plans. Plans C and F are only available to individuals eligible for Medicare prior to January 1, 2020.

The benefits in each plan are identical from company to company. SHIIP--SMP has a free guide that explains Medicare supplement insurance— Iowa Medicare Supplement & Premium Comparison Guide. You can also find this guide under “Resources.”

If you have an employer-sponsored retiree health plan or receive Medicaid benefits you may not need a Medicare supplement. The SHIIP fact sheet, Getting Ready to Retire provides more information. You can also find this fact sheet under “Resources".

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, a Medicare Supplement will not pay benefits. Questions? Call SHIIP (800) 351-4664 (TTY 800-735-2942).

Can those who have Medicare because of disability buy a Medicare supplement plan?

A limited number of companies offer Medicare supplement insurance to those with disabilities. SHIIP--SMP’s "Iowa Medicare Supplement & Premium Comparison Guide" lists those companies (see the guide under "Resources" on the left side of this page. It is important to note that only a few plans are guarantee issued. Policies that are guarantee issue will accept those with Medicare due to disability no matter what health conditions may exist. The waiting periods for pre-existing conditions should also be checked. This information is found in the premium section of the guide.

Is there a resource for viewing how often Medicare supplement companies/plans increase their rates?

Click here to view the History of Iowa Standardized Medicare Supplement Rate Changes by Company.