Minnesota Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans | HelpAdvisor.com

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  • Minnesota seniors may purchase Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance to help pay for Medicare-related expenses such as copays and deductibles. Review our breakdown of Medigap plans in Minnesota for help choosing the right plan.

Medicare supplement insurance is a type of private insurance that's available to Minnesota seniors who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Sometimes referred to as Medigap, these plans cover some or all of the out-of-pocket costs that remain after Medicare reimbursement and may also offer coverage for services beyond the scope of Original Medicare.

Currently, more than 118,000 Minnesota seniors belong to a Medigap plan, which is almost a quarter of the state's Original Medicare enrollees. If you want to take advantage of this supplemental insurance once you turn 65, this article provides information about the types of plans available in Minnesota and Medigap’s enrollment criteria, so you can select a policy that’s right for you.

You can find Medicare Supplement plans where you live by comparing plans from several different insurance companies online.

What Are the Best Minnesota Medicare Supplement Plans?

Before choosing a Medigap policy, it’s helpful to understand the two primary types of plans available in Minnesota and what coverage they offer.

Basic Benefits Under Both Plans

Both of the main types of Medigap plans sold in Minnesota offer the same basic benefits, which include the following coverage:

  • Part A and B coinsurance
  • Three pints of blood annually
  • Cost sharing for hospice and respite care (Part A)
  • Cost sharing for home health services and supplies (Parts A and B)

The Basic Plan

Minnesota seniors who opt for the basic Medigap plan receive the foundational benefits listed above, plus the following additional coverage:

  • Medicare-approved preventive care
  • 20% of physical therapy costs
  • 50% of outpatient mental health services
  • 80% of emergency care received during foreign travel
  • Up to 100 days of residential skilled nursing care coinsurance
  • State-mandated benefits such as diabetic supplies, immunizations and routine cancer screenings

The Extended Basic Plan

Minnesota seniors who choose the extended basic plan also receive foundational benefits, as outlined above, plus the following additional coverage:

  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible (if you were Medicare-eligible prior to January 1, 2020)
  • Medicare-approved preventive care
  • Up to 120 days of residential skilled nursing care coinsurance
  • 20% of physical therapy costs
  • 50% of outpatient mental health services
  • 80% of customary fees
  • 80% of emergency care and other medical services received during foreign travel
  • State-mandated benefits such as diabetic supplies, immunizations and routine cancer screenings

For certain benefits, the extended basic plan pays for 100% of expenses, but you must first pay $1,000 in out-of-pocket costs each calendar year. 

Additional Medigap Policies in Minnesota

In most places across the United States, Medigap uses letter designations between A and N to distinguish plans. In addition to the two main plan types, Minnesota's Original Medicare beneficiaries may also purchase modified versions of Medigap Plans K, L, M and N. Plan F is also available to seniors who were eligible to enroll in Medicare prior to 2020.

Riders

If you purchase a basic Medigap plan in Minnesota, you can get additional coverage by adding one or more of the following riders:

  • Inpatient hospital deductible
  • Usual and customary fees
  • Preventive care not covered by Medicare

If you were Medicare-eligible prior to January 1, 2020, you may also purchase a Part B deductible rider.

How Do I Enroll in a Minnesota Medigap Plan?

If you’re enrolled in Medicare Part B, you may purchase a Medigap plan starting on the first day of your 65th birthday month, when Medigap’s six-month open enrollment period begins. This enrollment period stays open for six months, and during this time, an insurer may not deny you coverage or raise premiums regardless of your health.

Alternately, if you’re 65 but are still employed and receive health care benefits through an employer or union, you may delay Medicare Part B enrollment until you retire. At that time, your six-month Medigap enrollment period will begin.

Enrolling After Medigap’s Open Enrollment Period

If you’ve missed Medigap’s open enrollment period, you may still be able to purchase a policy. However, once the enrollment period closes, federal law lets Medigap providers use medical underwriting processes to assess an applicant’s risk, so if you’re in poor health or have certain medical conditions, you may find yourself having to pay higher premiums, or worse, being denied coverage altogether.  

However, if you’re protected by one or more guaranteed issue rights, you may still be able to purchase a Medigap plan at this time without being subjected to a medical underwriting assessment. These guaranteed issue rights are specific situations in which your right to purchase a Medigap policy is protected by federal law.

Guaranteed issue rights commonly apply to beneficiaries who’ve had to switch from Medicare Advantage plans to Original Medicare and wish to purchase supplemental insurance. This can happen when an enrollee’s MA plan has been discontinued or changes its service area or when the beneficiary moves out of the plan’s covered service area.

Guaranteed issue rights may also protect Medigap enrollees who’ve lost their policies for reasons outside of their control. This can happen when an insurer maintains misleading policies or is unwilling to adhere to the federal guidelines that govern Medigap plans.

If you fall into one of these categories or are experiencing another situation that may offer guaranteed issue rights protections, a provider may not deny you coverage and must charge you the standard premium rate, regardless of any underlying medical conditions.

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