The Best Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans in New Hampshire
- Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans help New Hampshire seniors cover the costs of copays, deductibles and other medical expenses. Read our review of New Hampshire Medigap plans to help you choose a suitable policy.
Many U.S. seniors receive medical benefits through Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), but this essential federal program may leave beneficiaries with high out-of-pocket costs for expenses such as deductibles and copays. Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) is designed to work alongside Original Medicare to help beneficiaries manage these costs.
In New Hampshire, more than 40% of Original Medicare enrollees are enrolled a Medigap plan from one of the private insurance companies that sell these supplemental policies. If you’re a Medicare-eligible senior or a younger resident of New Hampshire who qualifies for Medicare and who’s looking for a way to offset the high costs of medical care, keep reading to learn the ins and outs of Medigap plans.
You can find Medicare Supplement plans where you live by comparing plans from several different insurance companies online.
What Are the Best New Hampshire Medicare Supplement Plans?
When you’re ready to purchase Medigap insurance, New Hampshire has 10 different types of plans to choose from. The plans are standardized, with each type distinguished by a single letter ranging between A and N. Regardless of the insurance company that administers the policy, all plans designated by the same letter offer identical benefits.
No matter which plan you choose, you’ll receive certain core benefits, including coverage for hospice copays, Part A and B coinsurance and 365 days of inpatient hospital care after Part A benefits are depleted.
Each plan type builds on this foundation so you can choose different benefits and levels of coverage to suit your medical needs and budget. Depending on the plan you choose, available benefits may include up to 100% of coverage for Part A and B deductibles, the coinsurance for residential skilled nursing care and the cost of medical services received during travel abroad. Certain Medigap plans may also cover additional expenses such as any costs of medical care and supplies that exceed the Part-B-approved amounts. A more detailed comparison of benefits by plan letter is available in the chart below.
Individuals who have pre-existing conditions are eligible to purchase any available plan, but wait times may apply before Medigap reimbursement kicks in. Some benefits may also be impacted by restrictions or limitations as identified in the policy’s terms and conditions.
Why Some Plans Are More Popular Than Others
Plans F, G and N are generally considered the most popular Medigap plans, which may be due to cost. Although these plans often have high deductibles that can lead to additional out-of-pocket spending before coverage begins, they typically have low monthly premiums, so they’re more affordable than other Medigap plans. Plus, in addition to the core benefits available with all plan types, Plans F, G and N cover the Medicare Part A deductible and 80% of expenses incurred when receiving medical treatment abroad.
Despite Plan F's popularity, it's only available to beneficiaries who were eligible to enroll in Medicare prior to the beginning of 2020.
Other Factors to Consider
There’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to Medigap plans. However, when you’re choosing which plan to purchase, considering these five factors may help you choose a policy that suits your needs and budget:
- What percentage of costs are covered
- The price and frequency of premiums
- Annual out-of-pocket spending limits
When choosing where to purchase a Medigap policy, remember, not all insurance companies sell the same plans. If a private insurance company offers Medicare supplement insurance, they must sell, at a minimum, Plans A, C and F. However, the sale of other plan types is optional. By shopping around for a policy, you can compare prices and select a reputable insurer that’s easy to work with.
How Do I Enroll in a New Hampshire Medigap Plan?
If you’re planning on purchasing Medicare supplement insurance, the best time to do so is during your Medigap open enrollment period. Your Medigap open enrollment period starts as soon as you are at least 65 years old and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. This period remains open for six months. You'll only be offered one Medigap enrollment period, so it's important to take advantage of it.
If you haven’t yet retired, you may be able to delay your Medicare enrollment. Your Medigap open enrollment period would begin once you enroll in Original Medicare Part B.
While the open enrollment period is in effect, federal law prohibits insurance companies from using medical underwriting processes to determine eligibility or policy cost. At this time, all qualified applicants may apply for a plan without risk of denial, and companies may not raise premiums due to perceived health risks.
After the enrollment period ends, insurance companies can legally use medical underwriting processes to assess Medigap applicants. That means there’s no guarantee you can get coverage, and if you do qualify for a plan, you may be charged higher premiums if you're considered a high-risk applicant.
Guaranteed Issue Rights
There are exceptions, which are referred to as guaranteed issue rights. Through these guaranteed issue rights, Medicare beneficiaries who’ve experienced certain qualifying events may purchase a Medigap plan outside the open enrollment period without risk of denial or a higher premium.
Common situations resulting in guaranteed issue rights include:
- The loss of a Medicare Advantage plan if it led to a return to Original Medicare
- The loss of a current Medigap plan if it didn't result from the policyholder’s actions (such as a failure to pay premiums)
- The loss of employer- or union-related supplemental medical coverage
Other situations may also result in federal protections, so check with your potential Medigap provider for more information if you think you may qualify for a guaranteed issue right.
Who Isn’t Eligible for Medigap?
You must be 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B before you can purchase a Medigap plan. If you haven’t turned 65, even if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you may be able to buy a Medigap plan, but it may not be a legal guarantee in your state. Medicare Advantage members also may not purchase Medigap insurance.
AHIP. (Mar. 2022). The State of Medicare Supplement Coverage: Trends in Enrollment and Demographics. https://ahiporg-production.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/202202-AHIP_MedicareSuppCvg-02_v03.pdf.