As of the beginning of 2006 there are twelve different kinds of Medicare Supplemental insurance plans, each of which is called a Medigap plan. They are labeled by one of the letters A to L. Each of them offers different benefits. Plan A has the fewest benefits and is the most inexpensive, while plan J has the largest amount of benefits and the highest overall cost. All twelve Medicare Supplemental insurance plans are not available in all states. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts have a different set of options, but the options given are similar.
No matter which company you choose to go through, the benefits provided by a particular Medicare Supplemental insurance plan are the same. In other words, plan A and plan J have different benefits, but if you purchase plan A from one company it is the same plan A offered by another company. For this reason it is wise to shop around for the lowest priced version of the particular Medigap plan you are looking for.
The smartest time to buy a Medigap plan is within the first half year of enrolling in Medicare Part B. This is because during this time insurance companies are required to accept you no matter what preexisting conditions you may have.
If your premiums are based one your age, then they start off lowest when you first join, but keep getting higher as you age, becoming less affordable when you are least able to pay. They can also be based on your issue age, which means that the prices don’t go up as you age but may start out higher. Finally, it can be based on your location.