Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B is one of 10 different standardized Medigap plan types. Learn about Plan B benefits and costs.
Medicare Supplement Insurance, also called Medigap, is a type of private insurance that is used together with your Original Medicare coverage (Medicare Part A and Part B) to help cover certain Medicare out-of-pocket expenses, such as copays and deductibles.
Medigap Plan B is one of the 10 Medigap plans available in most states, which include Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Each type of Medigap plan offers a different combination of standardized benefits.
Let’s take a look at what Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B covers and review the average cost of Medigap Plan B.
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What does Medicare Supplement Plan B cost?
The average premium cost for Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B in 2018 was $141.24 per month.1
It’s important to note that Medigap plan costs may vary based on factors such as age, gender, your health, how your insurance carrier rates (prices) its plans and where you live.
* Plan F and Plan C are not available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before 2020,... you may still be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C as long as they are available in your area.
1 Plans F and G offer high-deductible plans that each have 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.
2 Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,620 in 2022. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
3 Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,310 in 2022. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
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 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.+ Read more
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B provides 100 percent coverage for each of the following four benefit areas:
Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
If you are admitted to a hospital for inpatient treatment, Medicare Part A helps cover your hospital costs once you reach your Medicare Part A deductible, which is $1,556 per benefit period in 2022.
For the first 60 days of your hospital stay, you aren’t required to pay any Part A coinsurance.
But beginning on day 61 of your stay, you’re required to make a Medicare Part A coinsurance payment of $389 per day through day 90. After your 90th day in the hospital, you must pay $778 per day for up to 60 more days. Beyond that, you are responsible for all costs.
These coinsurance costs can add up quickly. Medigap Plan B covers 100 percent of your Part A coinsurance costs.
Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
Medicare Part B helps cover costs for things like doctor’s appointments, medical devices and preventive care.
After you meet your Medicare Part B deductible (which is $233 per year in 2022), you are typically responsible for a coinsurance or copay of 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for covered services.
For example, if you suffer a foot injury and need to use a wheelchair, Part B will help cover 80 percent of the cost of your wheelchair (after you meet your Part B deductible). For illustration purposes, if it costs $800 to buy the wheelchair and Medicare Part B covers it as durable medical equipment (DME), your Part B coinsurance cost would be $160.
Medigap Plan B would fully cover your $160 Part B coinsurance.
First three pints of blood
Original Medicare does not cover the cost of the first three pints of blood you might need for a blood transfusion. A pint of blood can potentially cost hundreds of dollars.2
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B covers 100 percent of the cost for your first three pints of blood.
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
Medicare Part A requires a copayment for prescription drugs used during hospice care. You might also be charged a 5 percent coinsurance for inpatient respite care costs.
Medigap Plan B covers 100 percent of your Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments.
Medicare Part A deductible
As mentioned above, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,556 per benefit period in 2022.
The Medicare Part A deductible is not annual — you could potentially need to meet this deductible more than once in a given year.
Medigap Plan B covers 100 percent of the Medicare Part A deductible.
What you need to know about Medigap Plan B
There are a few things to know about Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B, beyond what it covers.
Medigap Plan B should not be confused with Medicare Part B
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B could sometimes be mistaken for Medicare Part B. But these are actually two very different things.
Medicare Part B is one part of Original Medicare (along with Medicare Part A). Medicare Part B provides coverage for certain outpatient health care services and medical supplies.
Medigap Plan B helps cover some of the out-of-pocket Medicare costs listed above.
Medigap Plan B vs. Medicare Advantage plans
Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans are very different things. You cannot have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
Medicare Advantage plans provide all the same benefits as Original Medicare. Many Medicare Advantage plans also offer benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as coverage for prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing and more.
Medicare Supplement Insurance does not offer any medical benefits or coverage for prescription drugs and other services. Medigap plans only cover certain Medicare Part A and Part B out-of-pocket costs as outlined above.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B doesn’t cover everything
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B does not offer any coverage for the following Medicare costs:
Other Medicare Supplement Insurance plans may cover some or all of the benefits listed above, either partially or in full. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F, for example, covers all of them.
Learn More About Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan B may or may not be right for your health care needs. Research all of the plans available where you live and speak with a licensed insurance agent to evaluate your needs.
Learn about Medicare Supplement plans available where you live.
1 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2019. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.
2 Fisher, Miles. Your blood could be worth a lot. You should give it away for free. (July 5, 2017). Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-blood-donation-money-20170705-story.html.
About the author
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
Where you've seen coverage of Christian's research and reports:
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