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Medicare Supplement Plan B

What is Medicare Supplement Plan B?

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan B is not the same as Medicare Part B, which is part of Original Medicare (along with Medicare Part A).

Medigap Plan B serves to fill in the gaps in coverage left by Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. Original Medicare coverage may leave you with out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. You may have the option to enroll in a Medigap plan that helps cover the remainder of these expenses. Medigap Plan B specifically covers:

  • Medicare Part B out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments and coinsurance
  • Part B preventive care coinsurance
  • The first three pints of blood used in a medical procedure
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part A hospital out-of-pocket expenses up to 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
  • Hospice care copayments and coinsurance

The best time for beneficiaries to enroll in Medigap Plan B may be during their Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. This enrollment period is not the same for everyone.

This period begins on the first day of the first month that you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B, and lasts for six months. During this time, private insurance carriers may not use medical underwriting to assess a beneficiary’s health condition.

This means that if you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and live within a Medigap plan’s service area, you can enroll in that Medigap plan without fear of being denied coverage or charged higher premiums based on a pre-existing health condition, however waiting periods may apply. 

If you miss your open enrollment period, you have the option of applying for Medigap Plan B (or any Medigap plan available to you in your area) at any time during the year, but you may be subject to coverage denial or higher premiums.