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Medicare Supplement Plans in West Virginia

If you’ve recently enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you’re probably wondering about Medicare Supplement plans in West Virginia. Your Original Medicare coverage comes with a variety of out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance payments. Depending on which doctors you see and how often you travel, Part B excess charges and overseas medical expenses may impact your budget as well.

Medicare Supplement plans are often referred to as Medigap policies because they cover those Medicare “gaps.” This page contains everything that you need to know about Medicare Supplement plans in West Virginia. Our goal is to answer your questions in one convenient place.

Medicare Supplement Plans in West Virginia: Enrollment Statistics

  • The five largest counties in West Virginia include Kanawha County, Berkeley County, Monongalia County, Cabell County and Wood County.
  • In 2015, there were more than 400,000 Medicare beneficiaries in West Virginia.
  • More than 85,000 West Virginia residents were enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B as well as a Medicare Supplement plan in 2015. This translates to almost 30 percent of the state’s Medicare beneficiaries.
  • With more than 50,000 participants, Medigap Plan F was the most popular Medicare Supplement plan in West Virginia in the last few years.

Rate Calculation for Medicare Supplement Plans in West Virginia?

When you compare Medicare Supplement plan rates online, the difference in premiums comes down to a variety of personal factors, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location (zip code, county)
  • Smoking habits

The weight that your age carries at the time that you enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in West Virginia depends on the method of calculation used by your chosen insurance company. There are three options from which every company much choose:

  • Attained-Age Rating

    This is the most common type of Medicare Supplement plan rating in West Virginia and most other states. Your age at the time of each policy renewal will impact your premium. You will receive the lowest rates when you first enroll in your Medigap plan, and the cost will go up over time.

  • Community Rating

    Your age isn’t factored into your premium. Every participant enrolled in your plan will receive the same rate.

  • Issue-Age Rating

    Your age at the time your policy is issued will factor into your premium without increasing over time. These aren’t always the cheapest Medicare Supplement plans when you initially compare premiums online, but they may become more affordable over time compared to attained-age policies.

Available Medicare Supplement Plans in West Virginia

There are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans in West Virginia. If you count the high-deductible version of Plan F, you may consider that 11 plans. This will change in 2020 since the federal government will no longer allow the sale of Plans F and C after 2019. If you purchase one of these Medigap policies prior to 2020, you will continue to receive those standardized benefits even after this change is implemented.

How Does A Medicare Supplement Plan in West Virginia Cover Prescription Drugs?

Since Part D was added to your Original Medicare coverage, Medicare Supplement plans do not include prescription coverage. Since you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B or will do so in the near future, you qualify to enroll in Medicare Part D as well. You do this by comparing rates online, selecting your preferred insurance company and then enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan.

If you need help paying for your Medigap plan plus your Part D benefits, you may qualify for the Medicare Extra Help program. This is a nationwide program that allows lower-income seniors to receive added financial assistance for their prescription medications.

When to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans in West Virginia

You don’t have to wait for a nationwide Medigap plan open enrollment period to apply for a Medicare Supplement plan in West Virginia. You will have personal enrollment periods that allow you to secure a Medicare Supplemental policy after you become an Original Medicare beneficiary, including:

  • Initial Enrollment Period – This is your best chance to enroll in a Medigap plan because insurance companies are required to accept your application for coverage and cannot ask questions regarding your medical history when determining your rate. You’re also entitled to guaranteed renewal, which means that your insurance company cannot cancel your policy in the future unless you fail to make your payments.
  • Special Enrollment Periods – If you don’t enroll in a Medigap plan during your initial enrollment period, you may receive additional opportunities to receive guaranteed enrollment and renewal without answering medical questions. This only applies to select Medicare beneficiaries in strict circumstances, but it usually happens when you decide to enroll in Original Medicare late because you already have adequate healthcare coverage when you turn 65.

You can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan in West Virginia outside of these enrollment periods, but your insurance company will put you through the underwriting process. You will answer questions regarding your medical history, and your answers will determine whether you’re accepted into the plan and what you pay for your coverage.

Can I Use My West Virginia Medicare Supplement Plan In Other States?

Yes, your Medigap plan will cover your out-of-pocket expenses as long as your chosen medical provider accepts Original Medicare as payment. As a beneficiary of Original Medicare, Part A and B coverage will apply to your bills first. Your Medicare Supplemental plan will then pick up any remaining charges covered under the plan’s benefit package. Some of the best plans will even cover some of your overseas medical charges.

Keep in mind that your zip code impacts your premium but not your choice of doctors. If you move to a new zip code, you will likely see a change in your Medicare Supplement plan premiums.

West Virginia Medicare Resources:

  • West Virginia Medicare Premium Assistance Programs – If your income at or close to the federal poverty level, you may qualify for financial assistance as a Medicare beneficiary in West Virginia.
  • West Virginia SHIP – As a Medicare recipient, you and your loved ones are entitled to free counseling about your healthcare coverage options.