“Medigap” is a kind of Medicare supplement insurance coverage designed to fill the coverage gaps related to Traditional Medicare Parts A & B. Even though Medicare endeavors to be comprehensive, there are some healthcare necessities which it does not cover. And if you don’t have any Medigap insurance to pay for these basics, you could potentially end up having to pay thousands in out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. To be able to get Medigap insurance, you need to first be enrolled in Original Medicare.

Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements

You will find 10 Medicare supplement plans available for purchase, all of which are managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In accordance with the CMS rules, All Medigap plans have to give you exactly the same coverage, no matter the company providing the policy or the state you are in. What does this imply for you? Well, it means that Plan A is just the same across the country. The only points that can change are the overall cost, and the company which offers your policy.

Medigap Enrollment In Virginia

Like so many other states in the Union, Virginia seniors prefer the comprehensiveness and the ease of use of Plan F, as opposed to any other available Medigap supplement. The next most popular supplement, Plan C, has less than a tenth of the members which Plan F has.

Plan Type A B C D E F G H I J K L M N
Enrollment 3,337 5,215 13,472 2,541 2,719 184,942 8,588 1,060 7,984 31,597 605 1,401 11 7,135

Plan Coverage & Cost

The cost for a Medigap supplement can vary depending on countless personal variables that are unique to you personally, along with your life circumstances. Age, location, tobacco use, exercise habits, your health history, and gender are simply a few.

The cost of a Medigap plan in Virginia will depend on the level of coverage you have opted for and other underwriting standards. Assuming you are comparing two companies with identical coverage, you may wonder why there is such a big difference in premium cost. The reason is that different companies have different underwriting guidelines. For example, they may ask about your age, gender, overall health, and medical history. But they will also want to know where in Virginia you live by zip code. The cost of healthcare varies widely across Virginia so where you live is important. To get an idea of what to expect, we have prepared a chart showing what people near you are paying for their Medigap plans.

Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Virginia

Plan F is the most popular in Virginia, as it is in most other states, because of how comprehensive it is. It covers every single gap in Original Medicare (Parts A and B), so that you don’t have to worry about being charged extra for medical care. And all you have to do in order to get this coverage is pay one simple, monthly premium.

However, because Plan F is the most expensive, some seniors find that they can save money choosing a different plan. Plan G, for example, could save you money over Plan F if your Part B deductible is fairly low. Plan C could also save you money over plan F if you happen to belong to a network of doctors and hospitals who don’t charge in excess of Medicare Part B prices for treatment and care. It all depends on your personal circumstances.

How do Medicare Supplement Ratings work?

Medicare updates the Overall Star Rating system once-a-year that evaluates all companies offering Medicare plans. Medicare rates them in five different areas. The more stars the better the performance in Medicare’s opinion. The areas rated include how well a company uses inoculations, screenings, and tests as preventive techniques, how efficient the management of chronic disease like COPD is, complaints received, customer service, and what insureds think of the company. You can use this system to compare companies you are interested in.

Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks

Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions

Medigap plans are probably the most versatile options when it comes to supplementing your Medicare. Other sorts of coverage (Like Medicare Advantage) typically include limited provider networks, which means you can’t simply select what physicians you would like to see – your plan does that for you. Having said that, this may be difficult and costly if you reside far away from a major city, travel often, or own a summer home in another state. Though with a Medicare Supplement in Virginia, you won’t need to worry about these restrictions. You can visit any doctor or pay a visit to any care center that also accepts Medicare.

Doctors List

A lot of people like seeing the same doctor that they have become comfortable with. Good news is, you can keep your doctor when you buy a Medigap plan. If you buy another type of plan, you may have to give up your relationship with your doctor and any specialists you may be seeing. Other plans work through networks and PPO list restricting your choice to just the providers in those exclusive networks. With Medigap, if a physician or healthcare facility accepts Medicare, then Medigap is accepted as well. Medigap will work with any provider that takes Medicare meaning you can travel the country without worrying about having reduced levels of medical coverage. Other plans typically restrict coverage to emergency services only when you travel.

Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage

Sadly, neither dental nor vision care is covered by Medicare or Medigap. Until the laws change, you need to obtain vision & dental insurance from a private company on your own, or pay out of pocket. Prescription drugs, however, are a different story. Medigap used to supply prescription drug coverage until eventually Medicare Part D came along. Given that Part D is giving that service for seniors, it is no longer necessary for Medigap plans to give such benefits.

Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll

There are numerous ways to subscribe to a policy for Medicare Supplement in Virginia. However, take into account that they all ask you to register for Medicare first. For those who enroll at the right time, simply being a Medicare beneficiary allows you to buy Medicare Supplement in Virginia no strings attached. Other businesses may restrict you if you enroll later or if you have persistent health conditions.

  • Initial Enrollment Period: Enroll during the same window that you are eligible to enroll in Medicare, and you will be automatically accepted without hassle
  • Guaranteed Issue: You will be immediately approved, regardless of your health status. This type of enrollment happens usually when you find yourself losing an employer or group health plan and find yourself in abrupt need for alternative coverage.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): The AEP actually relates to numerous insurance plans. Medigap enrollment is not restricted by AEP rules.
  • Underwritten: The process by which a company asks you questions and maybe runs medical tests in order to decide if they might or might not offer you coverage.

Free Look Period

In order to make the purchasing experience easy and hassle-free, all golden-agers have 30 days after purchasing a new Medicare Supplement in Virginia to determine whether they wish to keep it. In the event you determine inside of those 30 days that you are not happy with your plan, you may cancel your plan for a full refund.

What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?

The perfect Medigap plan is a plan you understand, covers your needs within your budget, and is easy for you to use. In addition, it should also be financially strong and have an excellent reputation. It’s out there, you just have to find it. And we’re here to help you do just that. At Medigap.com we give you the tools you need for your search. We have compiled a comprehensive list of Medicare plans available to you in Virginia. Browse our site or contact us for more assistance and good luck in your search!

by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. 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.