Medicare Supplement Plan Comparison
The market for Medicare Supplement plans is full of people with unique health care needs and different gaps to fill in their Medicare coverage. With 10 plans to choose from, everyone can find their ideal plan. Our comparison chart lays out each one from A to N, so you can see the benefits side-by-side and shop efficiently.
You’ll notice that the monthly premiums get higher with the coverage level. It’s really a trade off between how many out-of-pocket expenses you’re willing to cover in exchange for a lower premium.
The short version of the official name — Medicare Supplement — refers to the gaps in Medicare coverage which these policies fill. Medigap plans typically pay for your deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Unlike federally-managed Medicare, the Medigap market consists of policies offered by private insurance companies.
Let’s start with the leading plans
The most popular Medigap policies are Plan F and Plan G. A quick look at the comparison chart shows that Plan F covers every gap in Medicare and the next best plan, Plan G, differs only by not picking up the Medicare Part B deductible. Plan G is a good choice for people who will pay more for the Plan F premium than the cost of the Part B deductible.
Plan N is becoming another top choice, offering lower premiums to people who don’t mind covering some of the costs, including Medicare-approved surcharges.
What’s in the plans?
The Medigap Comparison chart above makes it easy to see your options side by side. Here’s a snapshot of each plan with a short description of how they can help you save on out-of-pocket expenses. Make sure you don’t confuse Plans A, B, and D with Parts A, B, and D; the basic rule of thumb is that Plans are Medigap and Parts are Medicare.
This is the most bare-bone Medigap plan, but it does have one major thing going for it. Plan A policies will cover the 20% you are usually responsible for when you receive outpatient treatment. This may be the most useful bit of coverage you’ll need in terms of savings. Every Medicare insurance company is required to offer Plan A, but note that in some states it doesn’t have to be offered to people with disabilities under 65.
This plan duplicates Plan A, while also covering your Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible. It’s one of the plans that picks up after Medicare has paid its part.
This is another popular plan which has extensive coverage — in fact, it covers everything but Medicare surcharges. It will pay your deductibles and the outpatient 20% expenses, which would be your responsibility otherwise.
Be mindful this is not Part D prescription drug coverage. This plan covers a lot of items but leaves the Part B deductible and any Medicare-approved surcharges for you to pay.
This is the longest-running Medigap best-seller. Why? Because it covers everything you’d normally be stuck with. It essentially eliminates your out-of-pocket expenses. That’s a comfort, especially if you have a lot of health care visits every year and have to cover copays every time.
Second only to Plan F in popularity, Plan G covers the same items up to the Part B deductible. It’s also possibly a better value, with competitive premium rates.
Plans K, L, and M**
These are outliers in the Medigap market, seldom requested or sold. They offer partial coverage of a certain set of benefits, covering 50% or 75% of many items. With much lower premiums, they make sense for healthy people, those aging into Medicare, and those who still have employer-sponsored group health care.
Plan N is the newest Medigap product, offering affordable premiums for people who don’t mind paying the copays for doctor and emergency room visits or physician surcharges. This is also a plan for people who are looking for the lowest possible rates.
Easy access to doctors with Medigap
Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, you’re free to use any Medicare-approved doctor or facility with a Medicare Supplement plan. That means a network of literally hundreds of thousands of providers, nationwide. If the doctor accepts Medicare, you’re good to go, regardless of which carrier you use. And 93% of primary care physicians are part of Medicare.
The 3 types of Medigap plans
What you pay for your plan may depend on where you live. States have 3 different ways of setting your rate based on age. These are:
In some states, attained-age-rated plans wind up being the most affordable, but in others, issue-age-rated offer the best deal. Remember that issue-age-rated policies can increase annually based on the inflation of health care costs.
Last words on Medigap
As you shop among these plans don’t forget they are standardized, which means, for example, that Plan F has the same set of benefits no matter who is offering it in which state — and this applies to all Medigap plans.
medigapcoverage.com powered by pollen helps you find the lowest-priced insurers, and we go further to see if you qualify for a household discount for even more savings. We also track how rates increase among the best-priced carriers, and we focus only on A and B+-rated companies.
On request, you can get a customized report comparing Medicare Supplement plans in your service area with information on rate increases. This way you can be assured of getting long-term rates that stay at the level you want.
To get comparison rates now, just click on the button below. The medigapcoverage.com powered by pollen instant quote engine makes it easy to find your perfect plan.
*Medigap Plan F is also sold in some states by a number of insurance companies as a high-deductible plan. By choosing the high-deductible option, you’re responsible for Medicare-covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, deductibles) until you meet the $2,700 deductible.
**With Medigap Plans K and L, once you meet both your yearly out-of-pocket limit and annual Part B deductible ($226 in 2023), the plan will pay 100% of covered services for the remainder of the calendar year.
***Plan N covers 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for up to $20 in copayments for office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits not resulting in an inpatient admission.
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Table of Contents
Plan F and Plan G are the choices of more people than any other plans. Plan F covers every gap in Medicare and Plan G offers the same benefit set, minus covering the Medicare Part B deductible. Plan G is a good choice for people who will pay more for the Plan F premium than the cost of the Part B deductible.
Medigap plans are designed to fill gaps in Original (Part A and Part B) coverage such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. MA plans offer benefits not included in Original Medicare, such as hearing, vision, and basic dental. Medigap plans allow you to use any Medicare-approved doctor or facility — a vast network of providers, nationwide. MA plans restrict you to a much smaller network.
I know that Medicare Supplement plans are standardized, but does that mean plan rates are the same everywhere?
Standardization helps make shopping for Medigap plans easier. But rates vary by location and insurer, and depending on your age, gender, zip code, and tobacco use. This is where it pays to have the help of specialists like medigapcoverage.com powered by pollen to help you find the plan with the right mix of cost and benefits.
- Best overall Medicare supplement for new enrollees: Plan G.
- Best overall Medicare supplement before 2020: Plan F.
- Best low cost Medicare supplement: Plan K.
- Best alternative to Plan G Medicare supplement: Plan N.
Medicare Supplement policies are private health insurance designed to cover gaps in Original Medicare. They are also known as Medigap plans. These take care of costs such as copays, coinsurance, and deductibles which can become expensive if you need regular care from a doctor or hospital. If you need medical care while traveling outside the U.S., you can buy Medigap policies to help cover those costs. As a supplement to Original Medicare, you’re required to have Part A and Part B before you canget a Medigap policy. This way, Medicare is responsible for the Medicare-approved costs of the covered care, and the remainder is covered by your Medigap plan.
Optimal coverage comes with higher costs, making Plan F the most expensive Medigap plan. Plan F is known as “first-dollar coverage” and it takes care of everything provided during a doctor or hospital visit. Your only responsibility is for dental, vision, medications, and equipment, such as hearing aids.
The Federal government ended the Plan F option for new enrollees last year to keep the healthcare system from being overused by patients who had their deductibles covered. The next best coverage after Plan F is Plan G.
Medigap Plan G offers every advantage of Plan F except for the deductible, which you have to cover. Because it isn’t as comprehensive as Plan F, Plan G is more affordable.
For people who don’t go to the doctor often, Plan K is worth considering. It is the most affordable because it provides just 50% of Medicare Part B coinsurance, the Part A deductible, blood, skilled nursing, and Part A hospice costs. For comparison, Plan G and others offer full coverage of these expenses, and more.
It’s hard to argue against plans which cut your traditional Medicare costs. For most people, having the extra coverage these supplemental plans provide is common sense, unless they want the specific features of a Medicare Advantage plan.
Most people would benefit from not having to pay out-of-pocket to stay healthy. Medicare supplement insurance or a Medicare Advantage plan offer vital savings now, but are indispensable should a catastrophic health issue occur.
Of the 10 Medicare-approved Medigap plans, Plan G and Plan N are the most popular. Plan F is no longer available to new Medicare enrollees as of 2020, but it is still popular among people who bought this plan prior to 2020.
- Plan F$128–$342
- Plan F (high deductible)$22–$88
- Plan G$106–$325
- Plan G (high deductible)$29–$58
Before getting a Medicare supplement plan, you need to be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). People with Medicare Advantage Plans who want to go back to Original Medicare can buy a Medigap policy prior to switching.
The security of having lower or no out-of-pocket healthcare costs can offset the premiums you’ll have to pay for whichever Medigap plan you choose, which vary depending on the benefits offered.
The national average cost for Medicare Supplement Plan F is $1,824 annually, which is $152/month; Medigap Plan G will cost you around $143 per month.
Since Plan F was discontinued for new enrollees as of 2020, Plan G offers the most coverage for people 65 and older. It has a lower premium than Plan F and duplicates its benefits, except for the Part B deductible.
It depends on your specific needs, but for most people a Medigap plan is very useful in supplementing the coverage of Medicare Part A and Part B. A Medicare Advantage plan is an affordable way to get healthcare coverage not offered by Original Medicare.
Historically, Plan F has been the most popular because it covers all the out-of-pocket costs Medicare does’t pay for. This includes the 15% extra charge billed by providers who do not take Medicare as full payment.