Blue Medicare Health Plans from Florida Blue

Medicare Supplements Explained

Original Medicare pays for many, but not all, health care services and supplies. A Medicare Supplement Insurance policy, sold by Blue Cross Blue Shield, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. Medicare Supplement Insurance policies are also called Medigap policies.

Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap or Medicare Supplement policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share. You have to pay the premiums for a Medigap policy.

Every Medigap policy must follow Federal and State laws designed to protect you, and it must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Insurance companies can sell you only a “standardized” policy identified in most states by letters A–N. All policies offer the same basic benefits but some offer additional benefits, so you can choose which one meets your needs.


Medicare uses information from member satisfaction surveys, plans, and health care providers to give overall performance star ratings to plans. A plan can get a rating between 1 and 5 stars. A 5-star rating is considered excellent. These ratings help you compare plans based on quality and performance. Medicare updates these ratings each fall for the following year. These ratings can change each year.

You can only switch to a 5-star Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if one is available in your area.

You can only use this Special Enrollment Period once during the timeframe below.


You can switch to these plans once from December 8–November 30:

A 5-star Medicare Advantage Plan

A 5-star Medicare Cost Plan

A 5-star Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

If you move from a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes prescription drug coverage to a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you’ll be disenrolled from your Medicare Advantage Plan, including the health benefit. You’ll be returned to Original Medicare for coverage of your health services.

If you move from a Medicare Advantage Plan that has drug coverage to a 5‑star Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t, you may lose your prescription drug coverage. You’ll have to wait until your next enrollment opportunity to get drug coverage, and you may have to pay a Part D late enrollment penalty.

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