Understanding Medicare Supplement Plan B: Coverage and Benefits

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Medicare Supplement Plan B, also known as Medigap Plan B, is one of several standardized supplemental insurance plans designed to work alongside Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Offered by private insurance companies, Plan B helps fill the gaps in coverage left by Medicare, providing beneficiaries with additional financial protection.

Coverage Details

Medicare Supplement Plan B covers a range of healthcare services and expenses. Let’s explore the key benefits and coverage areas:

  1. Medicare Part A Coinsurance and Hospital Costs: Plan B covers the coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles associated with Medicare Part A, which includes inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, and hospice care.
  2. Medicare Part B Coinsurance and Copayment: Plan B covers the 20% coinsurance and copayments required for Medicare Part B services, such as doctor visits, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and preventive services.
  3. First Three Pints of Blood: This plan covers the cost of the first three pints of blood received in a medical procedure.
  4. Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment: Plan B provides coverage for the coinsurance or copayment required for hospice care received under Medicare Part A.
  5. Skilled Nursing Facility Care Coinsurance: This plan covers the coinsurance associated with skilled nursing facility care after a hospital stay of at least three days.
  6. Foreign Travel Emergency Coverage: Medicare Supplement Plan B includes limited coverage for emergency medical care received outside of the United States.

Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan B

Choosing Medicare Supplement Plan B offers several advantages to beneficiaries:

  1. Reduced Out-of-Pocket Expenses: By filling the gaps in Medicare coverage, Plan B helps minimize your out-of-pocket expenses for both hospital and medical services.
  2. Freedom to Choose Providers: With Plan B, you have the freedom to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare patients, without the need for referrals or network restrictions.
  3. Predictable Costs: Plan B provides predictable costs by offering standardized benefits, enabling you to budget for healthcare expenses more effectively.
  4. Coverage on the Go: Plan B includes limited foreign travel emergency coverage, ensuring you have some protection in case of medical emergencies while traveling abroad.

How to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan B

To enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan B, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Eligibility: You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
  2. Open Enrollment Period: The best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during the six-month open enrollment period, which starts on the first day of the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
  3. Medical Underwriting: After the open enrollment period, insurance companies may subject you to medical underwriting, which could affect your ability to enroll or the cost of the plan.
  4. Guaranteed Issue Rights: In some situations, you may have guaranteed issue rights, allowing you to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without medical underwriting.


Medicare Supplement Plan B serves as a valuable option for individuals seeking additional coverage to supplement their Original Medicare benefits. By providing coverage for various medical expenses and minimizing out-of-pocket costs, this plan ensures greater financial security and peace of mind. As you explore your Medicare supplement options, make sure to assess your healthcare needs and compare plans to find the one that best suits your requirements.


  • Medicare Supplement Plan B is a comprehensive insurance plan designed to fill gaps in Medicare coverage.
  • It covers coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles associated with Medicare Part A and Part B services.
  • Plan B offers reduced out-of-pocket expenses, the freedom to choose providers, predictable costs, and limited coverage for emergency care while traveling abroad.
  • To enroll in Plan B, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria and consider the open enrollment period, medical underwriting, and guaranteed issue rights.

Helpful Resources:

  1. Medicare.gov – The official U.S. government site for Medicare information.
  2. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid programs.
  3. National Council on Aging (NCOA) – A nonprofit organization that provides information and resources for older adults and caregivers.
  4. Medicare Rights Center – A nonprofit organization offering education and advocacy for Medicare beneficiaries.

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