The federal Medicare program is a kind of health insurance which provides for most of the hospital- and doctor-related health-related costs of older persons. However, you’ll find coverage gaps that Medicare will not cover, and these gaps in coverage can be costly very quickly should you be depending upon Medicare alone to cover your needs. Thankfully, there’s a type of supplement insurance known as “Medigap” which provides an affordable option for senior citizens who want to safeguard their finances from these gaps.

Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are responsible for regulating Medigap plans. This helps ensure that, of the 10 obtainable plans, all insurance companies in all 50 states provide the same exact plans and coverage options. By doing this, the only real difference from one insurance company to another is the price of your monthly premium.

Medigap Enrollment In North Carolina

More than one quarter million retirees in South Carolina depend upon the most popular plan, Plan F, to protect them from potentially expensive Medicare coverage gaps. Plans C and G are also popular, likely because they are nearly identical to Plan F.

Plan Type A B C D E F G H I J K L M N
Enrollment 3,214 5,176 19,609 4,310 2,643 262,680 16,904 918 3,244 38,136 888 4,502 34 12,702

Plan Coverage & Cost

Health insurance – and the cost for it – are customized to you, and your individual circumstances. Your weight, smoking habits, age, gender, and particular location will all impact the monthly costs you pay for a Medicare supplement policy.

It’s important to shop around for the right plan because there are so many circumstances which determine your monthly premium that aren’t necessarily in your control. Your age and your general health at the time you apply can’t exactly be changed overnight (if at all). You can try and quit any unhealthy habits like smoking, which we encourage, but that can be difficult. Where you live in North Carolina will contribute to the cost as well. But before you decide to up and move just to get a better quote on your Medicare supplement insurance, check out the prices real customers are paying near you right now:

Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in North Carolina

Like a great many other states, North Carolina residents prefer Medigap Plan F above almost every other Medigap plans. It’s simple enough to see the reason why: Plan F covers 100% of the coverage gaps which can be found in Traditional Medicare and provides more benefits than the alternative 9 plans. Even so, because Plan F is so comprehensive, it is also the most costly Medigap plan on the market.

The next most popular Medicare supplement plan which North Carolina residents prefer is plan J. Unfortunately, if you are not yet enrolled in Medicare, then plan J will not be available to you once you are successfully enrolled. Plan J (along with plans E, H, and I) was eliminated as an option in 2010 when federal legislation reformed the program. These four plans were rendered obsolete when Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage became available.

How do Medicare Supplement Ratings work?

We refer to Medicare’s star rating system in order to evaluate the most popular medicare supplement insurance providers. Each year, Medicare analyzes and awards a company somewhere between 1 and 5 stars. It’s the easiest way for customers like you to get a good idea of a company’s overall quality. They evaluate things such as customer service ratings, level of care provided, and how simple their claims process is, just to name a few. The financial stability of an insurance company is also taken into consideration.

Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks

Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions

Medicare supplemental insurance coverage is one of the most accommodating selections when it comes to supplementing Medicare health insurance. Other sorts of coverage (Like Medicare Part C) typically come with limited provider networks, so that you can’t simply decide on what physicians you wish to see – your plan does that on your behalf. Having said that, this may be challenging and expensive if you are living far away from a major urban center, travel normally, or own a summer home in another state. Though with Medicare supplemental insurance, you won’t need to worry about such limitations. You can visit any doctor or visit any care center which also will take Medicare.

Doctors List

Finding a doctor or medical facility where you can get the best care will be the least of your worries with a Medicare Supplement plan. This is because so many doctors and facilities already accept Medicare. As long as your chosen healthcare provider accepts Medicare assignment, your Medigap insurance will also be accepted. This keeps your costs lower because Medicare sets the prices for you and your doctor. And you’ll only have to worry about deductibles, co-pays, or co-insurance as outlined by your plan. You won’t even have to worry about the paperwork, because your doctor will file these claims for you!

Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage

As mentioned previously, Medicare Part D is now largely in charge of offering golden-agers with prescription drug coverage. As a result, it’s no longer essential for Medigap policies to offer you prescription drug coverage as being an option. Vision and dental are additional types of coverage which Medicare supplemental insurance and Medicare will not pay for. You have the option to either obtain those covered privately on your own, or to pay out-of-pocket if you find it less costly than insurance coverage.

Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll

The Medicare supplement application process will vary based on how old you are, your Medicare enrollment status, and the organization issuing your Medigap policy. A number of companies will immediately accept you, with no hassle, if you’re newly enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. But in case you enroll late, or in case you have other health problems, the process may well be a much more involved one.

  • Initial Enrollment Period: Enroll in a Medicare supplement plan inside your first 6 months of receiving Medicare benefits, and you won’t get asked any intrusive health questions or refused coverage.
  • Guaranteed Issue: Typical among seniors who will be losing an employer or group health plan. The business you are applying to will have to accept and cover you, regardless of your existing health status.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): Medigap insurance is one of the few varieties of insurance that isn’t plagued by the AEP. You are able to enroll in or change Medicare supplement plans at any time all through the year.
  • Underwritten: If you miss the IEP and don’t qualify for Guarantee Issue, you might have to go through the underwriting process. This normally requires questions regarding your overall health, and maybe a medical exam in order to evaluate whether or not your insurer can cover you.

Free Look Period

The free look period helps to protect seniors such as you from being tied to a Medicare supplemental insurance plan which doesn’t suit your needs. Within your first 30 days of purchasing a new plan, you’re free to choose if you should keep your coverage, or terminate it without being financially responsible. Any upfront costs you pay during your first 30 days will be refunded in the event you elect to stop your coverage.

What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?

When it comes to a Medigap supplement, you need a plan that is both reliable and affordable. The hardest task, in our opinion, is finding a strong, stable company that will go the distance with you. That’s why utilize Medicare’s five-star rating system – it helps you figure out which companies you should consider purchasing coverage from.

Next, once you have a few top choices picked, you should shop around between them. You can do this quickly and easily with our help. We already have all the data you need in order to get free, accurate quotes in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is just figure out which of the ten plans you’re considering and we’ll help you get the ball rolling on getting your coverage.

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.