Medicare supplements plans are lettered A – N and each plan covers a different set of the gaps in Medicare. You can compare Medicare supplement plans side-by-side using the Medicare supplement plans comparison chart below. This makes comparing Medicare supplement plans pretty easy. ( Medicare supplements and Medigap plans are the same thing)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services updates the Medigap plans comparison chart every year, although most plans do not have benefit changes from year to year.
Some Medigap plans will have higher premiums and offer more coverage. Other Medigap plans will have lower premiums because you agree to pay some of the gaps in Medicare yourself. If you compare Medicare supplements, you’ll be able to see which plans cover what’s most important to you.
This Medicare supplement plans comparison chart below is reprinted directly from Medicare’s Guide to Health Insurance for people with Medicare.
What is Medigap Insurance?
Medigap plans are policies that pay after Medicare to fill the in the gaps. You can choose a Medigap plan that will help you to pay for your deductibles, copays and coinsurance. (Again, these plans are also called Medicare supplements – same thing, just two different terms.)
You can read more about these plans and how they work here.
Which is the Best Medicare Plan?
Plan F and Plan G are the two most popular Medigap plans. As you can see in the Medigap comparison chart, Plan F covers all the gaps in Medicare. Plan G is only slightly different, so it is also a popular seller.
When you compare Plans F and G side by side, you’ll immediately notice that Plan G has only one difference: the Part B deductible. If you compare annual premiums for Plan G and the premiums save you more than you will pay out for the Part B deductible, then enrolling in Plan G makes sense.
In recent years, we’ve also seen a growing interest in Plan N too. Plan N offers lower premiums if you are willing to do a bit of cost-sharing. Unlike Plan F or G though, Plan N does not cover excess charges. You’ll want to read up on this and understand what that means before enrolling.
For a list of Medicare supplement insurance companies, visit this page.
How to Compare Medigap Plans – Benefits
Learning how to compare Medicare supplement plans is fairly easy. Medicare publishes a booklet each year that includes this Medicare Supplements Plans comparison chart. The Medigap comparison chart allows you to see and compare Medicare supplement plans side by side. The Medicare supplement comparison chart below shows you exactly which benefits each plan covers.
*Medigap Plan F is also offered as a high-deductible plan by some insurance companies in some states. If you choose the high-deductible option, it means you must pay for Medicare-covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, deductibles) up to the deductible amount of $2300 in 2019 before your policy will pay anything.
**For Medigap Plans K and L, after you meet your annual out-of-pocket limit and your annual Part B deductible ($185 in 2019), the Medigap plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of that calendar year.
***Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission. You can find this chart as well as other great info in Medicare’s Choosing a Medigap booklet as well, which you can find here.
Medicare Supplement Plans Comparison Chart: 10 Plan Options
The Medigap Plans comparison chart above compares all of the plans side by side. This allows you to see which ones have the most benefits, and which ones cover the least. As mentioned above, Plan F and Plan G cover the highest percentage of benefits, leaving you with very little out-of-pocket. Below is a list of Medicare supplement plans with a brief overview on each plan:
Medigap Plan A offers the most basic of all the Medigap plans. Even still, it will cover the 20% that Medicare doesn’t pay for on outpatient treatments. That’s arguably the most important piece of all Medigap plans. All Medicare insurance carriers must offer Plan A. However, some states do not require companies to offer it to people under age 65 on Medicare disability.
Medigap Plan B covers everything that Plan A covers but it also picks up the Medicare Part A hospital deductible. Plan B is a Medigap plan that pays after Medicare pays. Don’t confuse it with Part B, which is part of your Original Medicare benefits that pays for outpatient medical.
Medigap Plan C is one of the most comprehensive supplements. It covers everything except Medicare excess charges. This means it pays both of your deductibles and the 20% that you would normally owe toward all outpatient expenses. Medigap plans C & F are very popular.
Plan D covers most things but does not pay the Part B deductible nor any Medicare excess charges. This makes it one of the least popular Medigap plans. Don’t confuse it with Part D, which is your drug coverage – two different things.
Medigap Plan F has long been the most popular selling Medigap plan in the Medicare supplement world. It covers ALL of the items that you would normally pay. It leaves you with nothing out-of-pocket for covered services. Many people enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t even owe a copay for doctor visits or hospital stays.
There is also a high-deductible version of Plan F that provides great Medigap coverage after you meet a deductible first.
Medigap Plan G has been gaining in popularity in recent years. It covers everything that Plan F does except for the Part B deductible. Premiums for Plan G are often very competitive, which can often make it a better value than Plan F. When compare Medicare supplements between Plan F and G in most states, we often find that Plan G is a better value annually.
These plans offer partial coverage of certain benefits. For instance, Plan K covers 50% of most items and Plan K covers 75% of most items. All three of these plans are rarely requested by Medicare beneficiaries, so not all carriers offer them. However, you can often find good Medicare supplement rates for these plans in certain areas.
Medigap Plan N was created in 2010. It offers lower premiums in exchange for you paying copays for certain things like doctor and emergency room visits. It also does not cover the Medicare excess charges. The lower premiums have been attractive to many beneficiaries, but we sometimes find that policyholders find the small bills for excess charges to be annoying.
When you are learning how to compare Medicare supplement plans, just remember that Plan N is the one that requires copays from you for doctor and E.R. visits. That’s why the premiums are lower. People interested in the Medigap policies which offer the most affordable rates are usually interested in Plan N.
Access to Doctors on Medicare Supplement Plans
Another great feature is that Medigap policies enable you to see any doctor that participates in Medicare. You will have access to hundreds of thousands of providers across the United States.
Visiting a doctor is easy with Medigap plans because it doesn’t matter which insurance company your Medigap plan is through. As long as the doctor accepts Medicare, he will accept your Medicare supplement too.
People often get confused about this because there are other types of plans, called Medicare Advantage plans, which require you to use networks. As long as you stay with Original Medicare, then you can see any doctor who participates in Medicare. Around 93% of all U.S. primary care physicians accept Medicare.
Types of Medicare Supplement Plans
Depending on where you live, there may be three types of Medicare supplement plans. This can include community-rated, issue age rated or attained age rated. In some states, attained age rated often ends up being the most cost-effective. In other states, issue age rated seem to be the lowest.
Be aware that any Medigap policy that is issue age rated still has annual rate increases due to inflation in the cost of healthcare. You can learn more here in this post.
Compare Medigap Plans – Rates for 2019
When you compare Medicare supplement insurance prices, keep in mind that plans are standardized. Each company sets their own rates but the benefits for a Plan F are the same no matter where you buy. The same goes for all other Medigap plans. This allows you to shop prices between policies easily.
We generally look at the top 3 – 5 lowest priced carriers for our clients. Then we determine whether you are eligible for a household discount. We also look at the history of rate increases at the lowest-price carriers.
Finally, we review financial ratings. There are lots of great A and B+ rated companies out there, so there’s really no need to go with any company who has a lower rating.
Our agency will provide you a customized report to compare Medicare supplement plans in your zip code. This will help you compare current rates AND rate increases over the last few years. This helps you choose a carrier with stable long-term rates.
Just click the orange button at the bottom of the page to request your free comparison of Medigap plans in your area. Our Medicare supplemental insurance cost comparison software can provide all the details you need.
Already know which Medigap plan you want? Read our expert’s reviews of the Medigap insurance companies here.
Shop Rates with our Free Medigap Plans Comparison Report
Once you determine which Medigap plan feels right for you, you can then shop rates. Boomer Benefits makes this easy our free Medigap rate comparison report, which you can request using the orange button below. We also provide education for people to new to Medicare.
Are you still learning about benefits under Medicare and Medigap policies? Don’t miss our New-to-Medicare page where you can sign up for our New to Medicare mini-email course. You’ll get great tips on when to enroll, how to enroll, and where to find the coverage that best fits you. This is an important step that you should take before you get a Medicare supplement costs comparison.
Once you learn the basics, you’ll understand what your Original Medicare benefits cover. It’s then much easier to choose the right supplement from the Medigap plan chart. For free help with what Medigap plans cover, reach out to us for free assistance at (855) 732-9055 today!
To continue learning about Medicare supplements and what they cover, go next to: Medicare Plan F where you can read why Plan F is the most popular plan in the nation.