Medicare Supplement Plans (also called Medigap Plans) have been primarily the same for 17 years. On June 1, 2010, two new plans are being introduced, along with changes to the remaining Medigap plans.

The new Medicare Supplement Plans M and N offer lower-premiums than the existing Medicare Supplement plans. Plan M uses a coinsurance to keep your monthly premiums lower. That means you pay part of your bills, in exchange for a lower premium. In exchange for slightly lower monthly premiums, those on Plan M would split the Medicare Part A deductible with the insurance company 50/50.

Plan M does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible, but there are no doctors’ office co-pays after you meet the Part B deductible. This plan’s premiums are projected to be about 15 percent lower than the most popular of the current plans – Plan F.

Unlike the deductible-sharing method of Plan M, Plan N uses co-pays to help reduce the premium costs. The system of co-pays is set at $20 for doctors’ visits, and $50 for emergency room visits. It is currently projected that this co-pay system will take effect after the Medicare Part B deductible is met. This plan should provide 30-percent-lower premiums than the popular Medigap Plan F premiums.

These new Medicare Supplement Plans are really helpful if you are leaving the Medicare Advantage program because the Medicare Advantage premiums are expected to increase. If you’re unhappy with the changes in Medicare Advantage Plans, take a look at the new Medicare Supplement Plans.

You can use our Medigap How-To Guide to learn more about Medigap Plans, which generally have fewer restrictions on which doctors you can see than Medicare Advantage Plans. Or, you can call us at MediGap Advisors for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, and you can talk to licensed agents – not just telephone operators. You can reach us at 866-323-1441 to schedule evening or weekend telephone appointment times that fit your schedule.

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage.