Best Time to Buy a Medicare SupplementMedicare Supplements are plans offered by private insurance companies that help pay some or all of the deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments that Original Medicare does not pay.

Some Medicare Supplements will also offer coverage for medical care that is not covered by Original Medicare, such as when traveling outside of the United States. Click this “link” to read my article, “Medicare and Foreign Travel,” on my website.

Nine Things to Know About Medicare

  1. Medigap and Medicare Supplement are two different words that have the same meaning and refer to the same product.
  2. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A & Part B before you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement.
  3. You will continue to pay your Part B premium to the federal government and will pay your Medicare Supplement premium to your chosen insurance company.
  4. Medicare Supplements are perfect for snowbirds and people who travel, as there are no networks and you may go to any doctor, hospital, or lab that accepts Medicare anywhere in the United States. If your doctor accepts Medicare, he or she will accept your Medicare Supplement.
  5. Plans are standardized; meaning all plans with the same letter must offer the same benefits. The only difference in any plan with the same letter is the monthly premium a company may charge.
  6. Medicare Supplements cover only one person. To provide coverage for both your spouse and you, you each have to buy your own plans.
  7. The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement is during your six-month open enrollment period. During this time, no company in your state can refuse to sell you the Medicare supplement plan of your choice regardless of your health. If you decide to put off buying a Medicare supplement, unless you have a Guarantee Issue right, a company may refuse to provide you coverage or may charge you a higher premium.
  8. Medicare Supplements are guaranteed to be renewable regardless of any health problems you may have. The only way your plan can be canceled is for non-payment of premiums or you were dishonest on the application.
  9. Medicare Supplements do not include a drug plan. You will need to buy a separate Part D prescription drug plan.


  • Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage Plans are not the same. Medicare Supplements enhance Original Medicare while Medicare Advantage Plans replace Original Medicare.
  • You cannot have both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement; you can only have one or the other.
  • Original Medicare and Medicare Supplements do not generally cover private-duty nursing, long-term care, hearing aids, dental, or vision.

Are you confused by your Medicare options? I specialize in Medicare products and represent all Medicare Supplement plan types. Call or email today to start plotting your course through the Medicare maze. I make the complex simple by shopping the plans and rates for you. There is never a fee and you are under no obligation to use my services.

Medicare Explained in Plain English