Best Medicare Supplement Plans San Jose

Compare affordable Medicare Plans

Russell Noga
by Russell Noga | Updated March 6th, 2024

Are you exploring Medicare Supplement Plans in San Jose, specifically “medicare supplement plans san jose”, and feeling overwhelmed by your options? Navigating the landscape of Plan F, G, and N can be simplified. This article delivers the essentials of each plan’s coverage and how to select one that aligns with your healthcare needs and budget—without the sales pitch. We’ll take you through the benefits, compare costs, and provide you with the knowledge to confidently enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan that offers stability and clarity for your medical expenses.


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Understanding Medicare Supplement Plans in San Jose

Understanding Medicare Supplement Plans in San Jose


Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, is designed to cover gaps in medical costs not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B. In San Jose, the most popular Medigap plans are Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N, covering nearly 89% of the state’s Medigap members. However, be aware that despite being the most comprehensive, Medigap Plan F is not accessible to new Medicare members who became eligible after January 1, 2020.

Regardless of your selected plan, rest assured that all Medicare Supplement plans with the same letter offer the same coverage, standardized across the United States. But you might be asking, what exactly do these different plan types cover? We’ll explore that next.


Types of Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement plans are standardized across the United States, meaning that each plan letter offers the same basic benefits regardless of the insurance company or location. For example, Medigap Plan G provides extensive coverage including:

On the other hand, Medigap Plan N covers Part A coinsurance and hospital costs as well as Part B coinsurance or copayment, but it may require copayments for office visits and emergency room visits and does not cover Part B excess charges.

As of 2021, the most popular Medicare Supplement plan in California is Plan F, with 59% of members enrolled, followed by Plan G at 19%, and Plan N at 11%.


How to Choose the Right Plan

Choosing the right Medigap plan might seem overwhelming at first, but it becomes easier when you know what to look for. You should examine differences in coverage, including Part B excess charges and copayments for office visits, and how these variations impact premiums. Other factors to consider include the availability of the preferred plan, the costs of premiums, and the likelihood of premium increases over time, as well as any extra benefits that may be included.

Though Medigap plans are standardized and offer the same core Medicare benefits, additional benefits and discounts provided may vary between different insurance companies. Medicare Supplement plans are typically more advantageous for individuals who anticipate needing high-cost medical care or live with chronic health issues due to their more predictable and consistent costs compared to other plans.

Having considered Medigap plans, how do they stack up against Medicare Advantage plans? We’ll explore this comparison next.


Comparing Medicare Supplement Plans vs. Medicare Advantage Plans in San Jose


Comparing Medicare Supplement Plans vs. Medicare Advantage Plans in San Jose


Medicare Supplement plans complement Original Medicare by covering gaps, whereas Medicare Advantage plans act as an all-in-one substitute for Original Medicare. The only difference is that Medicare Supplement plans provide beneficiaries access to any healthcare provider that accepts Medicare nationally, while Medicare Advantage plans may include extra benefits like vision and dental coverage. Also, keep in mind that managed-care wellness features like wellness programs and international travel coverage can be included in Medicare Advantage plans.

Approximately 90% of doctors accept Medicare, which allows Medicare Supplement plan members to see almost any health provider without pre-approval. However, Medicare Supplement plans generally come with higher monthly premiums but less out-of-pocket costs when services are used, in contrast to Medicare Advantage plans. Comparing these two options, it’s essential to understand the differences between Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage when choosing the right Medicare plans for your needs. Medicare Advantage plans like HMOs often have low or no monthly premiums but may involve additional costs such as copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles, and the Part B premium is still required.


Pros and Cons of Each Plan Type

Medicare Supplement plans offer extensive coverage for out-of-pocket expenses, though they often come with higher premiums when compared to Medicare Advantage plans. On the flip side, Medicare Advantage plans often have lower or no premiums and typically include prescription drug coverage, making them a cost-effective choice for some individuals. However, Medicare Advantage plans may have limited provider networks and could require prior authorization for certain services, adding potential limitations for beneficiaries.

Furthermore, Medicare Advantage plans are subject to annual changes in benefits and networks, and in some cases, may be discontinued, necessitating beneficiaries to switch plans or experience a change in coverage. So, what factors should be considered when choosing a plan?


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Plan

When choosing a Medicare plan, you should consider the following factors:

  • Whether you require the flexibility to visit any doctor nationwide, offered by Medicare Supplement plans
  • If you favor the lower premiums associated with Medicare Advantage plans and their network limitations
  • Referral requirements for specialized care, as Medicare Supplement plans usually do not require referrals, while Medicare Advantage plans often do

These factors will help you make an informed decision about which plan is best for you.

The costs associated with premiums, copays, and coinsurance, as well as coverage limits, need thorough examination when comparing Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans. For those with chronic health issues, a Medicare Advantage plan may provide financial safeguards against large medical bills due to their out-of-pocket maximums, while Medicare Supplement plans generally offer a broader choice of healthcare providers. Considering potential alterations to the plan, such as benefit reductions or plan discontinuation, is essential for individuals who prioritize long-term consistency in their healthcare coverage.

Medicare Advantage plans may represent a better value proposition for individuals who require primary medical care and are comfortable with the established out-of-pocket maximum, which is $7,550 in 2024.


Top Medicare Supplement Plan Providers in San Jose


Top Medicare Supplement Plan Providers in San Jose


Once you’ve decided on the type of plan that suits your needs, the next step is to choose a provider. In San Jose, some of the top providers of Medicare Supplement plans are:

  • Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company, which offers plans with benefits like SilverSneakers
  • Blue Shield of California, which provides vision and hearing care and a ‘Welcome to Medicare’ discount for newcomers
  • Health Net of California

Health Net of California includes competitive rates and value-add services such as gym memberships and allowances for over-the-counter products. Mutual of Omaha stands out in San Jose for its competitive pricing and high levels of customer satisfaction for Medicare Supplement plans. But what do these providers offer in more detail?


Company Profiles

The five most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance companies in California, which include key players for San Jose residents, are:

  • AARP/UnitedHealthcare
  • Health Net
  • Humana
  • USAA
  • United American Insurance Company

AARP/United Healthcare Insurance Company offers a variety of plans, while Accendo Insurance Company, affiliated with Aetna, provides Plans A, F, G, and N to those above and below 65 years old, and offers a 14% household discount.

Anthem Blue Cross covers individuals over and under 65, offering Plans A, F, G, and N, and operates under the DMHC jurisdiction. Blue Shield of California provides a spectrum of plans including A, C, D, F, High F, G, K, and N for all eligible ages, within DMHC governance. Cigna Health & Life Insurance Company has Plan options A, F, High F, G, and N for participants over and under 65, with preferred rates for non-smokers.

Health Net Life Insurance Company’s Plans A, D, F, High F, G, High G, and N are available to all qualifying ages, with a special rate structure for non-tobacco users.


Comparing Costs and Coverage

Premiums for the same Medigap plan can vary between companies. Here are some examples of average monthly costs for a Plan G premium:

  • Accendo Insurance Company (Aetna-affiliated): $145.42 (with a 14% household discount)
  • AARP/United Healthcare: tiered rates and EFT discounts
  • Cigna: preferred non-smoker rates

Health Net and Blue Shield of California offer diverse Medicare Supplement plans with varying levels of cost-sharing and coverage, enabling consumers to tailor plans to their healthcare needs and budget. Health Net Life Insurance Company indicates stability in premium costs with annualized rates, ensuring predictable expenses for enrollees.



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Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Plan in San Jose

Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Plan in San Jose


Now that you have a good understanding of Medicare Supplement Plans and have selected a provider, the next step is to enroll. Beneficiaries in San Jose can sign up for Medigap coverage by calling for rates or filling out a form to receive assistance from experts.

The California Department of Insurance regulates Medicare Supplement policies in San Jose, helping consumers with issues related to premium rates and claim handling.


Eligibility Criteria

In San Jose, to be eligible for Medicare, individuals must either be 65 years or older, under 65 with specific disabilities or diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). To enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in San Jose, one must be registered in both Medicare Part A and Part B. The Social Security Administration oversees the process of Medicare eligibility and enrollment, which is a prerequisite for obtaining a Medicare Supplement plan.

San Jose residents approaching 65 will receive guidance from the Office of Retirement Services about maintaining health coverage, along with Medicare eligibility or ineligibility information. Medigap Plan F offers the most extensive coverage but is no longer available to new Medicare enrollees who became eligible on or after January 1, 2020.

Medicare Supplement plans guarantee renewable coverage for life as long as premiums are paid regularly, providing a layer of security for policyholders.


Enrollment Process

Beneficiaries possess guaranteed issue rights during their Initial Enrollment Period, which initiates from the first day they turn 65, or older and are enrolled in Medicare Part B, and extends for 6 months without requiring medical underwriting. If already covered by employer insurance upon enrolling in Medicare Part B, beneficiaries still have a 6-month grace period to purchase a Medigap policy without facing a Late Enrollment Penalty.

Switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare allows an individual a 63-day period to apply for a Medigap policy after their Advantage Plan coverage ends. It’s illegal to purchase a Medigap policy while enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan; however, an application for a Medigap policy can be submitted for the time when switching back to Original Medicare.

New Medicare beneficiaries can take advantage of Blue Shield of California’s Welcome to Medicare discount, helping reduce the initial cost of Medigap coverage.


Managing Prescription Drug Costs with Medicare Part D


Managing Prescription Drug Costs with Medicare Part D


Even when you have a Medicare Supplement Plan, prescription drugs can still pose a substantial expense. Keep in mind that Medicare Supplement plans do not cover prescription drugs, thus beneficiaries must acquire Medicare Part D coverage separately to handle these costs. Medicare Part D is a voluntary prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare, accessible through private plans approved by the federal government.

The Part D standard benefit in 2024 includes a deductible of $545, then an initial coverage phase, followed by a coverage gap phase, and catastrophic coverage where the 5% coinsurance has been eliminated. Beneficiaries can choose from stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage drug plans (MA-PDs) to ensure coverage for their medication needs under Medicare Part D.


Understanding Medicare Part D

Medicare includes Part D, which is dedicated to providing coverage for prescription drugs. Beneficiaries have the option to choose from multiple stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans (MA-PDs) at the local level for their medication needs.

In 2024, the parameters of the Part D standard benefit are rising, with increases in out-of-pocket costs for both the deductible and initial coverage phase. This necessitates a closer look at how to choose a suitable Medicare Part D plan.


Choosing a Medicare Part D Plan

The Part D base beneficiary premium in 2024 is 34.70 dollars, and those with higher incomes will pay an income-related premium surcharge. You must compare the total costs of Medicare Part D plans, including premiums of 7.50, 19.70, and 22.70 dollars, and deductibles, consistently set at 480 dollars across different offerings, to identify the most cost-effective solution.

When choosing a Medicare Part D plan, individuals should consider the following factors:

  • Their specific medication needs
  • The plan’s formulary (list of covered drugs)
  • Pharmacy network options
  • The plan’s star rating for quality

Medicare Part D enrollees are advised to reassess their coverage annually during the Open Enrollment Period due to the potential changes in plan costs and coverage, including which drugs are covered.


Financial Assistance for Medicare Supplement Plans in San Jose

While navigating healthcare costs can be daunting, assistance is available. Several financial assistance programs are available to help beneficiaries with the costs associated with Medicare Supplement plans in San Jose. Medicaid and Medicare Savings Programs provide financial aid to low-income residents to cover the costs of premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments of Medicare Supplement plans.

Eligibility for these financial assistance programs often depends on the individual’s income and resources, with specific limits that must be met. But what types of financial assistance programs are available, and how can you apply for them?


Types of Financial Assistance Programs

Financial assistance programs aim to aid Medicare beneficiaries with low incomes and limited assets in managing their healthcare costs. For instance, the Low-Income Subsidy program offers additional help with Part D plan premiums and cost-sharing to eligible Medicare beneficiaries. This assistance can make a significant difference, enabling beneficiaries to maintain their health without financially overstretching.


Eligibility and Application Process

From 2023 to 2024, the number of benchmark plans available for LIS beneficiaries to enroll without premium has decreased by 34%. However, at the time of writing, there is currently no available information on the eligibility requirements or the application process for financial assistance programs in San Jose for Medicare Supplement plans.

It’s always a good idea to contact local health agencies or a trusted health advisor for the most accurate and current information.



In conclusion, understanding Medicare Supplement Plans in San Jose is crucial to making an informed decision about your healthcare coverage. From understanding the types of plans available, comparing them with Medicare Advantage Plans, considering top providers in San Jose, understanding the enrollment process, and managing prescription drug costs with Medicare Part D, to seeking financial assistance, every step matters. With this information, you’re now equipped to navigate your healthcare journey with confidence and peace of mind.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average monthly cost of a Medicare Supplement plan?

The average monthly cost of a Medicare Supplement plan can vary based on factors such as age and the specific plan chosen. For example, Plan G costs an average $128.44 per month for beneficiaries at age 66 and $215.37 per month for those at age 85.


Does Kaiser have a Medicare Supplement plan?

No, Kaiser Permanente offers a Medicare Advantage Plan, which combines Medicare Parts A & B, Part D, and additional benefits, rather than a Medicare Supplement plan.


What are the disadvantages of a Medicare Supplement plan?

There are several disadvantages to a Medicare Supplement plan, including high monthly premiums, limited ability to switch plans, and lack of coverage for certain medical expenses like drug costs and elective surgeries. Keep these factors in mind when considering a Medicare Supplement plan.


What are the main types of Medicare Supplement Plans in San Jose?

The main types of Medicare Supplement Plans in San Jose are Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. These plans provide coverage for medical costs not covered by Original Medicare.


How do Medicare Supplement Plans compare to Medicare Advantage Plans?

Medicare Supplement Plans fill gaps in Original Medicare, while Medicare Advantage Plans serve as a comprehensive alternative to Original Medicare. Choose the plan that best fits your needs.

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 San Jose, 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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