The Best Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans in Washington
- Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans can help pay your Medicare costs like deductibles, copays, coinsurance and more. Learn about Washington Medigap plan options and find out how to compare plans where you live.
If you have recently become eligible for Medicare or are nearing eligibility, you may have questions about Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Medigap, as it is more commonly referred to, provides supplementary coverage that pays for many costs that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) do not. If you are currently enrolled in Medicare, Medigap plans can help you manage expenses associated with your medical care in the state of Washington.
More than a third (35%) of Original Medicare beneficiaries in Washington are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan.1
You can find Medicare Supplement plans where you live by comparing plans from several different insurance companies online.
What Are the Best Washington Medicare Supplement Plans?
Washington residents may have access to 10 different Medigap plans, two of which are available in standard and high-deductible versions. Each plan is referred to by its letter and is standardized for all plans with that letter. This means that Medigap Plan A from one company offers exactly the same coverage as Plan A from another company. The only difference will be in the price charged for these plans.
There are some points of similarity between all Medigap plans. Each offers at least some coverage for coinsurance requirements of Medicare Part A and Part B, also known as Original Medicare. All Medigap plans also provide coverage for up to 365 days in the hospital over what Medicare already covers. Some plans may offer additional coverage for emergency care received when you are outside the country or for skilled nursing facility care.
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C1||D||F1||G||K||L||M||N|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|First 3 pints of blood||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Medicare Part A deductible||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||50%||✓|
|Medicare Part B deductible||✓||✓|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||✓||✓|
|Foreign travel emergency||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|1. Plans C and F are not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
2. Plans F and G also offer a high deductible plan which has an annual deductible of $2,490 in 2022. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
3. Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,620 in 2022. Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,310 in 2022.
4. Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
View an image version of this table.
If you became eligible for Medicare coverage prior to January 1, 2020, you will have access to all 10 plans available in the state of Washington. Those who first turned 65 on or after that date, however, cannot enroll in Plan C or Plan F. These plans were phased out by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 and are not available to those newly eligible for Medicare.
Among Washington Medicare recipients, more affordable plans are far more popular than their pricier counterparts.
- Plans F, G and N are the most commonly chosen Medigap plans in the state.1
- The high-deductible versions of Plans F and G offer much lower monthly premiums, which makes them a budget-friendly option for those on a fixed income.
- Medigap Plan N offers predictable, affordable copays for regular visits to the doctor as well as for services rendered in the hospital emergency room that don't result in inpatient admission.
How Do I Enroll in a Washington Medigap Plan?
If you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B as soon as you turn 65, you will have a six-month window in which to apply for Medigap coverage on the most favorable terms possible. This is called your Medigap open enrollment period. The six months begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
During your Medigap open enrollment period, you will be able to purchase any Medigap plan offered in your area of Washington without any medical underwriting. This means insurance companies can't charge you higher rates or deny you coverage based on your health.
By purchasing a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan during your six-month Medigap open enrollment period, you can take pre-existing conditions out of the equation as a factor in the rates you pay for Medigap insurance. Because you can't be turned down for this insurance during the initial six months after you become eligible for Medicare, you can also take some of the stress out of obtaining supplementary insurance to cover the gaps in your Medicare coverage.
If you wait to purchase Medigap insurance until after the initial six-month period has concluded, insurers can charge you higher rates for Medigap plans as part of their underwriting process. They can even deny you this insurance if your pre-existing conditions are considered serious enough. Even if you're approved, you may have to undergo a six-month waiting period before receiving treatment for pre-existing conditions.
Under certain specific circumstances, you may qualify for guaranteed issue rights outside your initial six-month Medigap open enrollment period. Guaranteed issue rights are available for various reasons, such as if your current Medigap company goes bankrupt or ceases to offer plans in your area.
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.