Once you’re on Medicare, you may start looking for ways to supplement your Medicare coverage. By now, you probably know that Medicare only covers 80% of your qualified medical bills after deductibles and copays, leaving you responsible for large out-of-pocket payments. Thankfully, Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, protect you from the gaps in your Medicare coverage.
To make it simple, Medicare Supplement plans cover the leftover 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover, and can be the difference that allows you to afford quality healthcare, while still leaving some of your nest egg for yourself.
After knowing the basics of what a Medicare Supplement plan does, it’s important to know how to compare them.
How Do I Compare Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare Supplement plans vary in coverage, with each coverage level categorized by a letter. The different plans range from the plan letter A through the plan letter N. Think of the different Medicare Supplement plans like gas prices. You might get gas at one station for $2.15 per gallon and at another for $2.30 per gallon. They’re virtually the exact same product—but from different companies. This is how Medicare Supplement plans work. If you get a Plan G at one company, you’ll get basically the same coverage as you would at another company. The main difference will be the price. Choosing the right plan letter for you will be one of the most important parts of choosing coverage. The chart below shows how to compare the different plans.
As mentioned, once you choose the plan letter you like, every carrier will offer you the same basic benefits, coverage, and claims-paying process. The only thing that the providers can determine is how much to charge you, and in some cases, whether or not to accept your application. To avoid getting overcharged, we recommend that you work with a Medicare advisor that represents a variety of trusted carriers to ensure that your application is accepted, and to avoid getting over-charged.
What Is the Best Medicare Supplement Plan?
It’s almost impossible for us to guess which plan will be the best for you. The best Medicare Supplement plan for you will change based on your needs. For example, if you don’t have many doctor visits during the year, you may be able to save money by selecting a plan that doesn’t cover copays.
There are 10 plans available, but we find that our clients tend to prefer 3 plans in particular. For most of our clients, the best Medicare Supplement plans are:
Other Medigap plans are:
- Medicare Supplement Plan A
- Medicare Supplement Plan B
- Medicare Supplement Plan C*
- Medicare Supplement Plan D
- Medicare Supplement Plan K
- Medicare Supplement Plan L
- Medicare Supplement Plan M
*It’s important to remember that Medicare Supplement Plan F and C will not be available to anyone that becomes eligible for Medicare after December 31st, 2019. Instead, the plan that will offer you the highest level of coverage is Medicare Supplement Plan G. But don’t worry, Plan G is very similar to Plan F. The only difference is that with the Plan G you will have to pay the Part B deductible. If you are not eligible for Plan F, you should consider Plan G or Plan N. Plan G’s high deductible option, Medigap Plan G High Deductible, is only available to people that become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1st, 2020.
How Much Do Medicare Supplements Cost?
Medicare Supplement costs, or premiums, depend on a variety of factors. Your age, zip code, and tobacco-use status, as well as carrier-specific discounts might determine what you pay for your insurance. Carriers might also charge a different premium for each plan letter; however, a lower-coverage plan may not necessarily be less expensive.
What Carriers Offer Medicare Supplement Plans?
To give our clients the best experience, we represent over 30 companies. Thousands of seniors trust us to help them compare rates from multiple companies, and to take the hassle out of shopping. A few of the carriers we represent include:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, as an authorized agent
- United Healthcare, AARP’s endorsed Medicare Supplement plan provider
Whether you are about to start Medicare, or have been on it a while but are reevaluating your coverage options, it’s helpful to work with a Medicare advisor. We are here to help you through the application process, and for every year after. We can’t wait to serve you.
Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.