Medicare health insurance is a national health insurance program intended to provide seniors living on a fixed income with affordable health coverage. Original Medicare includes Part A, which primarily covers hospital visits, and Part B, which handles doctor visits and outpatient procedures.

Regrettably, Medicare doesn’t cover every single procedure, and the costly gaps in Original Medicare coverage which exist currently could lead to catastrophically high doctor bills if you aren’t insured. One inexpensive answer to this issue is to purchase supplemental coverage by having Medicare supplemental insurance (a.k.a. “Medigap”). Policy. For anyone who is at least 65 years of age and presently participating in Medicare, then you can enroll in a Medigap policy.

Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements

The CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is the governmental body in charge of regulating the 10 Medigap plans which are available for purchase. Since the plans are regulated, you can rest assured that Plan F insurance policy coverage in Iowa matches the coverage which will be available in any other state. All you should concern yourself with is choosing the best company and acquiring a cost-effective premium.

Medigap Enrollment In Iowa

There are more than a quarter of a million senior citizens in Iowa who depend upon a Medigap policy to cover their Medicare coverage gaps. Of those, most of them prefer Plan F by far. Plans C and N share the 2nd place position in Iowa.

Plan Type A B C D E F G H I J K L M N
Enrollment 1,243 341 3,814 995 3,875 207,689 5,371 112 351 18,387 130 2,513 12 3,617

Plan Coverage & Cost

The cost for your Medicare supplement plan can vary by county, by your zip code, and your personal characteristics, like age and the average level of exercise. There are other various and more complex variables that will influence your rate.

Estimating your monthly premium can be a tricky business. As common sense would suggest, the younger you are, the healthier you are, and the less frequently you indulge in unhealthy habits (such as smoking), the lower your premium will be. Your ZIP code will also be very impactful in determining how affordable your premium is. As an example, take a look at this list of Medigap companies in your area and the quotes they are offering seniors just like you:

Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Iowa

Iowa, like a number of other states in the country, has more senior citizens enrolled in Medigap plan F than any other accessible plan, making F the favorite by far. It isn’t difficult to understand; Plan F covers each of the gaps which Medicare does not for one sole, straightforward, and relatively inexpensive monthly premium.

Plans C and N are the next most popular Medigap plans which are currently available for sale in Iowa. Plans C and F are almost identical, save for the fact that Plan C requires members to pay excess charges for Medicare Part B coverage. Plan N has a similar requirement, as well as your Part B deductible, and co-pays for Part B coinsurance.

How do Medicare Plan Ratings Work?

We use a simple, easy-to-understand 5-star rating in order to evaluate Medigap providers. Obviously, things like customer service and financial stability are at the top of the list. The rating system also considers customer service and care management. Nobody wants to buy a plan from an insurance provider with a poor customer care record or serious financial problems. Like most 5-star rating systems, the more stars, the better.

Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks

Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions

One of the main reasons Medigap coverage is so popular among senior citizens is its versatility. Contrary to other supplement programs, Medigap insurance doesn’t include any limited HMO or PPO provider networks. You can utilize any doctor which accepts Medicare, in any state, wherever you happen to be. So if you love to take a trip, if you are in a non-urban area, or if you are amongst the millions of “snowbirds” who migrate south for the winter, your access to appropriate medical care won’t be restricted.

Doctors List

Unlike some other Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans, Medigap policies have the advantage of being accepted wherever Medicare is almost 100% of the time. This process is called Medicare assignment, and there’s an extra layer of convenience added to it. For starters, your doctor will file the medical claims for you instead of forcing you to do it for yourself. You will likely get a better price, too, because Medicare assignment means your doctor will accept Medicare pricing standards and not bill you any more than that. Just pay your coinsurance, co-payment, and whatever deductibles may apply, and you’re all set. Search for doctors here.

Drug, Vision, and Dental Coverage

As you may know, Medicare Part D has become primarily in charge of offering older persons with prescription drug coverage. Because of this, it is no longer required for Medigap policies to supply prescription drug coverage as being an option. Vision and dental are additional varieties of coverage that Medigap and Medicare will not pay for. You have the option to either acquire those covered privately on your own or to pay out-of-pocket if you find it less costly than an insurance plan.

Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll

The Medicare supplement enrollment process will vary based on how old you are, your Medicare enrollment status, and the company issuing your Medigap policy. Some providers will automatically accept you, with no hassle, if you are newly signed up for Medicare Parts A & B. But in case you delay your enrollment, or should you have other health problems, the process may well be somewhat more involved.

  • Initial Enrollment Period: Inside your first 6 months of enrolling in Medicare, you can also sign up for a Medicare supplement policy with automatic acceptance and no health questions asked.
  • Guaranteed Issue: Popular among retirees who are losing an employer or group health plan. The business you are applying to must accept and cover you, regardless of your current health status.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): The AEP actually is a requirement of various insurance plans, but not Medigap. Medicare supplement enrollment is not really restricted by AEP rules.
  • Underwritten: For those who miss the IEP and don’t meet the requirements for Guarantee Issue, you might have to go through the underwriting process. This commonly requires questions regarding your overall health, and possibly a medical exam in order to evaluate whether your insurance provider can cover you.

Free Look Period

For your protection, there is a 30 day “Free Look” assessment period for any Medicare supplement policy issued. You have 30 days from your initial day of coverage to choose whether your coverage suits your needs. Should you decide to go in a different direction, you can terminate your coverage and receive a complete refund.

What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?

In order to find the Medigap plan that’s right for you, you first have to find the right health insurance provider. They should be someone who has a strong financial outlook for the foreseeable future. They should also have a solid history of good customer service and high-quality patient care.

Once you find a company that fits these requirements, then you have to choose from one of the 10 available Medigap plans. This can be easier said than done, especially if your future healthcare needs are unpredictable. Try to get as comprehensive of a plan as you can afford. In the long run, paying a little bit more for a little extra coverage will be much less of a financial burden than purchasing too little and facing massive medical debt when you can least afford to pay it.

by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.