Best Medicare Supplement Plans Chicago

Compare affordable Medicare Plans

Russell Noga
by Russell Noga | Updated February 21st, 2024

Searching for Medicare supplement plans in Chicago? Discover the key information you need on Medicare supplement plans in Chicago, plan choices, provider comparisons, and a simplified enrollment process – all here to help you make the most informed decision for your healthcare coverage.


Key Takeaways

  • Medicare Supplement plans in Chicago, also known as Medigap plans, offer identical basic benefits across different providers due to standardization, making it easier for residents to choose based on cost and service.
  • Chicagoans have various Medigap plan types to choose from, with Plans F, G, and N being the most popular for their comprehensive coverage; during the six-month open enrollment period, insurers cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
  • Comparing Medigap providers is crucial as premium costs can vary; AARP/UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, and Cigna are notable providers in Chicago, each with distinct plan options and pricing strategies.


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Understanding Chicago Medicare Supplement Plans


Understanding Chicago Medicare Supplement Plans


In the heart of Illinois, Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, serve as a beacon of financial protection for seniors. These plans are designed to fill the gaps left by Original Medicare, covering costs such as co-insurance, copayments, and deductibles. With a variety of Medigap plan types available, residents of the Windy City can choose the coverage that best suits their healthcare needs and preferences.

Medigap plans in Illinois are standardized. Consequently, all plans offer identical basic benefits, regardless of the insurance provider. For example, Plan A from Provider X will offer the same benefits as Plan A from Provider Y. This standardization provides consistency and enables Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans based on cost and customer service, rather than benefits.


Eligibility Criteria for Chicago Medicare Supplement Plans

So, who can benefit from these plans? If you’re enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B, you’re eligible for a Medigap plan. Illinois requires Medigap insurers to provide plans for individuals under 65 with disabilities, offering a six-month window for guaranteed-issue upon enrollment in Medicare Part B. This means that during this period, insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge higher premiums due to pre-existing health conditions.

Even outside the open enrollment period, Chicago residents can still apply for Medigap plans. However, insurance companies can use medical underwriting to determine eligibility and premiums. So, it’s wise to seize the opportunity during the open enrollment period to avoid potential hurdles.


Types of Medigap Plans in Chicago

Chicago residents have 10 standardized Medigap plan types to choose from, each denoted by a letter (A through N). It’s important to note that while benefits remain consistent across insurance companies, premiums, and customer service may vary. This underlines the importance of shopping around to find the plan that best suits your needs and budget.

Among the array of options, Plans F, G, and N are the most popular choices, making up 94% of all Medigap plans sold in Illinois. Each of these plans offers comprehensive coverage levels, with varying premium costs. For example, Plan G is favored by individuals who became Medicare-eligible after January 1, 2020, due to its coverage of Part B excess charges. On the other hand, Plan N offers lower premiums in exchange for cost-sharing measures, such as copayments for doctor visits and emergency room visits.

Top Providers of Medicare Supplement Plans in Chicago


Top Providers of Medicare Supplement Plans in Chicago


Having covered the basics of Medigap plans, we now turn our attention to the top providers in Chicago.

AARP/UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, and Cigna stand out as leaders in the field, offering competitive rates and high customer satisfaction rates.



In Illinois, AARP/UnitedHealthcare is recognized as one of the top Medicare Supplement companies. It is valued for its:

  • Competitive Pricing
  • Positive customer feedback
  • Affordability
  • High customer satisfaction

The company offers comprehensive coverage, working alongside Original Medicare to cover various out-of-pocket costs, including coinsurance and hospital costs, as well as the Medicare Part A hospital deductible.

AARP/UnitedHealthcare’s Plan G policy in Illinois stands out as a cost-effective choice, coming in $192 per year cheaper than the state average. With a high renewal rate among members, the company has established a strong reputation for customer satisfaction.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois offers a variety of Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, including supplement plans in Illinois such as:

  • Secure plans that provide standard benefits at lower rates for qualifying individuals
  • A Medigap purchasing window for disabled beneficiaries who missed their initial enrollment period
  • A guaranteed-issue policy for individuals over 65 outside their initial enrollment window.

The company’s commitment to accessibility and variety is reflected in its online presence. Plan documents and management tools are readily available to members online, facilitating easy access to information and resources.



Cigna is another top player in the Medigap market in Chicago, known for its comprehensive coverage options. While Cigna’s Plan F monthly rates are higher than the Illinois average, the company offers a high-deductible version of Plan F with premiums of just $58.18 per month.

This alternative Plan F includes a healthy rewards program and coverage for foreign travel emergency expenses, providing more comprehensive benefits than basic Medicare plans. Despite the higher monthly rate for the standard Plan F, these additional benefits make Cigna a competitive option for Medicare Supplement coverage in Chicago.



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Comparing Costs of Chicago Medicare Supplement Plans

Comparing Costs of Chicago Medicare Supplement Plans


Having explored the different types of Medigap plans and top providers in Chicago, we will now examine the costs.

The cost of a Medigap plan, which provides essential Medigap coverage, can vary widely depending on several factors, including the plan type, your age, and your geographical location.


Factors Affecting Plan Costs

Your geographical location plays a significant role in the cost of your Medigap policy. Different insurance companies charge varying rates for the same plan in different locations. Your age is another crucial factor in policy pricing. Many insurers employ age-based pricing strategies, causing Medigap premiums to increase as beneficiaries age.

If you’re a tobacco user, you might face higher Medigap premiums due to the additional costs associated with tobacco-related health risks. Additionally, the cost of Medigap policies is influenced by the underwriting method used. Some insurers use community-rated pricing, where premiums are constant, while others employ issue-age-rated or attained-age-rated methods, which can increase premiums as you age.


Tips for Saving Money on Medicare Supplement Plans

Even though the benefits of Medicare Supplement plans are standardized, premiums can vary significantly between insurers. Therefore, it’s crucial to compare quotes from different companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. High-deductible options like Medicare Supplement Plan G and less common plans like Plan K may also offer lower monthly premiums, providing options for those willing to pay a higher deductible or accept less coverage.

Another way to potentially reduce your overall costs is to opt to pay in monthly installments rather than lump sums or quarterly. This can make your Medicare Supplement plan more manageable and less of a financial burden.

Enrollment Process for Chicago Medicare Supplement Plans

Enrollment Process for Chicago Medicare Supplement Plans


The process of enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan in Chicago involves the following steps:

  1. Determine your preferred coverage.
  2. Compare policies from different insurance providers.
  3. Provide proof of age, Illinois residency, and enrollment in Medicare Part B.


Open Enrollment Period

Enrolling in a Medigap plan is most beneficial during the Open Enrollment Period. This period begins when you are enrolled in Medicare Part B and are aged 65, and it lasts for six months. During this period, you can:

  • Enroll in any Medigap plan offered in your state
  • Get coverage regardless of any pre-existing conditions
  • Pay the same premium as someone who is in perfect health

After the Open Enrollment Period, insurance companies can use medical underwriting to determine your premium, which means they can increase your premiums based on your health conditions.

Missing this window can lead to higher premiums or denial of coverage for pre-existing health conditions and missed coverage opportunities due to medical underwriting requirements. However, Illinois offers a state-specific exception that allows individuals to enroll in a Medigap policy without a pre-existing condition exclusion if they miss their Open Enrollment Period.


Special Enrollment Periods

Special Enrollment Periods allow individuals to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan outside the Open Enrollment Period due to specific circumstances. These circumstances could include losing other health coverage, moving out of a plan’s service area, or the Medigap insurance company going bankrupt.

During these periods, guaranteed-issue rights come into play, allowing individuals to purchase a Medigap policy regardless of health conditions or any preexisting health conditions. Additionally, the ‘Birthday Rule’ in Illinois enables individuals to change to another Medigap plan within 45 days from their birthday if they are not satisfied with their current plan.

Navigating Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement Plans in Chicago

Navigating Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement Plans in Chicago


Beyond the discussed options, Medicare Advantage plans, including the medicare advantage plan, also present a viable alternative for the federal Medicare program coverage.

Let’s dive into the differences between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans and find out which might be the best fit for you.


Pros and Cons of Each Plan Type

Medicare Supplement plans in Chicago offer comprehensive coverage, helping pay for expenses not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles and hospital costs. These Medicare Supplement plans cover the gaps in Original Medicare, ensuring flexibility in healthcare decisions. However, they do not offer additional benefits like dental, vision, and hearing coverage, which are available in Medicare Advantage plans.

On the other hand, Medicare Advantage plans can provide Medicare benefits such as:

  • Lower out-of-pocket costs
  • Some plans offer $0 premiums and consistent co-pay amounts
  • Extra benefits not provided by Original Medicare, such as dental, vision, and hearing care, and even non-medical perks like gym memberships

However, these plans often restrict beneficiaries to specific networks of doctors and hospitals, which can change annually.

Local Resources for Medicare Beneficiaries in Chicago

While navigating Medicare options can be daunting, a variety of local resources are accessible to provide assistance. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and various senior centers and community organizations provide counseling, education, and support to guide you through the process.


State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) offers free statewide health insurance counseling services for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers in Illinois. This service can be a valuable resource for understanding the complexities of Medicare and making informed coverage decisions. They offer a range of educational materials and videos, including Medicare Basics in American Sign Language, to cater to the diverse needs of beneficiaries.

In addition to their direct services, SHIP collaborates with senior centers and community organizations to provide local assistance and education to Medicare beneficiaries. These organizations can facilitate access to SHIP resources and counseling services for seniors who need help navigating Medicare plans and options.


Senior Centers and Community Organizations

Senior centers and community organizations play a crucial role in supporting the senior community in Chicago. The Golden Diners Program, for instance, offers nutritious meals and opportunities for socializing to older adults. Satellite senior centers extend their reach by providing services, programs, and activities tailored to local needs, fostering an active and socially engaged senior community.

In addition to social and recreational opportunities, these centers also provide important legal assistance. Professional attorneys help seniors navigate various legal issues they may encounter, adding another layer of support for the elderly community in Chicago.


In conclusion, navigating the world of Medicare Supplement plans in Chicago might seem daunting, but with the right information and resources, you can make informed decisions that best suit your healthcare needs and financial situation. Remember, the best plan for you depends on your individual health needs, budget, and personal preferences. So, take the time to understand your options, compare plans from different providers, and make use of local resources like SHIP and senior centers. Your health and financial stability are worth the effort!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best supplemental insurance for Medicare in Illinois?

The best supplemental insurance for Medicare in Illinois is offered by Cigna, State Farm, and AARP/UnitedHealthcare, with popular plans including F, G, N, C, and D. It’s important to note that you cannot purchase a Medigap plan if you have Medicare Advantage, as Medicare Advantage Plans in Illinois replace your entire Medicare plan, including Original Medicare.


What is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan for 2023?

The most popular Medicare Supplement plan for 2023 is Medicare Plan G, known for its excellent coverage of the gaps in Part A and B Medicare, making it a top choice due to its comprehensive benefits.


Which Medicare Supplement plan has the highest level of coverage?

The Medicare Supplement plan with the highest level of coverage is Medicare Plan F, also known as Medigap Plan F. This plan provides the most comprehensive coverage, including deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, leaving you with no out-of-pocket expenses.


What does an average person pay for Medicare with a supplement?

On average, the Medicare Supplemental health insurance cost for Plan N premiums is between $100.57 and $173.83 per month, depending on the beneficiary’s age. Additionally, the monthly Medicare premiums for Part B, Medicare Advantage, Part D, and Medicare Supplement average $174.70, $28, $59, and $137, respectively, but can vary based on coverage and income.


Speak to the Professionals about Medigap Plans and Original Medicare

If you find understanding the benefits involved with Original Medicare and Medigap Plans challenging, you’re not alone. Whether it’s a Medigap plan, or you want to know more about the best Medicare Supplement Plans in Chicago, we can help. Call our team at 1-888-891-0229 for a free consultation or complete the contact form on this site, and an expert will call you back at a convenient time.

We have decades of experience advising our clients on the complexities of Medicare and Medigap plans, the benefits, cost and deductibles. We’ll ensure you get the best rate in your state and advice you can trust.

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