How Do I Choose Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

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Russell Noga
by Russell Noga | Updated November 6th, 2023

While Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) covers a lot, it doesn’t cover everything. In fact, it only covers 80 percent of your expenses, and it doesn’t pay for certain things, like copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.

You’re responsible for the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, and those out-of-pocket expenses can get pretty pricey. Who can help me choose a medicare plan

That’s where a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan can come in handy, as these policies help to cover the expenses that aren’t covered by Part A or Part B.

There are 10 Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans, and each plan offers different benefits.

If you’re thinking about purchasing this insurance, it’s important to choose a plan that will provide you with the coverage you require.

The best way to do that is by considering your health and the benefits that each plan provides, as well as the cost of coverage.


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What is Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

Medicare Supplemental Insurance, also known as Medigap, is additional insurance that is designed to cover the out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

These plans are sold by private health insurance companies and they’re regulated by the federal government.

There are 10 different Medigap plans, which are named for letters, and the benefits that each lettered plan provides vary.

However, the same lettered plans – Plan F or Plan G, for example – must provide the same coverage, no matter where they are purchased or which insurer they are purchased from.


What are the top 5 medicare supplement plans?


It is important to note that Medicare Supplemental Insurance is not a replacement for Medicare Part A and Part B, but rather it supplements both parts of Original Medicare.

In other words, it works alongside Original Medicare. The benefits your plan offers will kick in after Original Medicare has paid its share.

What Does Medicare Supplemental Insurance Cover?

As stated above, there are 10 Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Individuals who became eligible for Original Medicare after January 1, 2020 can no longer purchase Plans C, F, E, H, I, and J.

However, if you had one of these plans before this date you can retain it and the benefits will be accepted, and if you were eligible for Medicare before this date but haven’t yet enrolled, you may still be able to purchase Plans C and F.

Most of the Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans will cover all or at least a part of the following expenses:


  • Part A coinsurance and hospital expense for up to 365 days after your Part A benefits have been used up
  • Part A hospice coinsurance and copayments
  • Part B coinsurance or copayments
  • The first three pints of blood required for medical procedures


On top of these benefits, some Medicare Supplemental Insurance policies will also cover the following expenses:


  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Skilled nursing facility expenses
  • The cost of emergency care you require when you’re traveling outside of the United States, as long as the care is received within the first 60 days of your trip



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What Medicare Supplemental Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Medicare Supplemental Insurance doesn’t cover the following expenses:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Vision care, including prescription eyeglasses
  • Dental care
  • Hearing care, including hearing aids

While Medigap plans cannot provide this coverage, some health insurance companies provide their policyholders with additional perks. These perks may include coverage for the above-mentioned expenses that Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans won’t cover.

How to Choose a Medicare Supplemental Plan

All Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans are standardized. This means that all lettered plans must offer the same benefits, no matter which company they’re purchased from or which state they’re purchased from.

For example, whether you purchase Plan N in California or Texas, and whether you purchase coverage from Mutual of Omaha or AARP/United Healthcare, that plan must provide the same standard benefits.Best medicare supplement plans

It is important to remember, however, that some Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans cover more of the out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered by Original Medicare; Plan G, for example, provides more coverage than Plan A.

Also, the cost varies from policy to policy. Medigap policies that offer more coverage tend to cost more than those that provide less coverage.

There are other factors that can affect pricing, as well; for example:


  • which insurer you purchase coverage from (private health insurance companies set their own rates),
  • where you purchase coverage (in states where the cost of living is higher, Medigap prices tend to be higher),
  • your gender (females live longer than males, on average, so their rates are usually lower),
  • and inflation are just some of the factors that can impact pricing.


With that said, in order to decide which Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan to choose, you’ll want to consider your health, as well as your budget.

If you’re generally healthy and you don’t need to go to see doctors regularly, Plan N may be the right option for you, as the premiums are lower; however, this plan doesn’t cover copays, so you will need to pay those.

If you have a history of health issues and you believe you’ll need medical care more regularly, Plan G may be a better option for you.

Since this plan provides the most benefits, if you see doctors on a regular basis, Plan G will be more cost-effective for you because it covers more of the out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered by Part A and Part B.

Once you’ve determined which Medigap plan will best suit your healthcare needs, you should then compare prices from different insurance companies.

Keep in mind, however, that you should also pay attention to customer reviews; insurers that charge lower rates may provide a lower degree of customer care, while a company that charges higher rates may offer stellar service.



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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

Medicare Supplemental Insurance, also known as Medigap, is private health insurance that helps cover the “gaps” in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.


Who is eligible for Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

To be eligible for Medicare Supplemental Insurance, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. You typically need to be at least 65 years old, and in some states, Medigap plans are also available for individuals under 65 with certain disabilities.


When can I enroll in Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

The best time to enroll in Medicare Supplemental Insurance is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins on the first day of the month that you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, insurers must offer you a policy without considering your health condition, and you generally get better rates.


What are the differences between Medicare Plan G and Plan N?

Medicare Plan G and Plan N are two popular Medigap plans. Plan G offers comprehensive coverage and pays for all Medicare Part A and B coinsurance and deductibles, except for the Part B deductible. Plan N covers the same benefits as Plan G, but it requires you to pay a copayment for some doctor and emergency room visits and the Part B deductible.


What are the benefits of Medicare Plan G?

Medicare Plan G provides robust coverage, which means fewer out-of-pocket expenses for you. It covers Medicare Part A and B deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, leaving you with minimal or no expenses for covered services.


What are the benefits of Medicare Plan N?

Medicare Plan N still offers excellent coverage but has slightly higher out-of-pocket costs compared to Plan G. With Plan N, you may have copayments for certain services, such as doctor visits and emergency room visits. However, it generally has lower premiums than Plan G.


How do I decide between Plan G and Plan N?

The decision between Plan G and Plan N depends on your healthcare needs and budget. If you prefer comprehensive coverage with minimal out-of-pocket costs, Plan G might be the better option. If you are willing to pay some copayments for lower premiums, Plan N could be more suitable.


What are the factors to consider when choosing a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan?

When choosing a Medigap plan, consider your current health status, healthcare needs, budget, and how much you can afford in out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, review the financial stability and reputation of the insurance company offering the plan.


Can I switch Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans later?

Generally, you can switch Medigap plans at any time. However, it’s essential to be aware of certain state-specific rules and potential underwriting requirements if you switch plans outside your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.


Where can I get help choosing the right Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan?

You can seek assistance from licensed insurance agents specializing in Medicare. They can help you compare different plans, explain the coverage options, and find the best plan that suits your individual needs.

Find the Best Rates for Medicare Supplemental Insurance Now!

If you’re ready to start comparing rates for Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans, simply fill out the form to the right.

We’ll provide you with accurate quotes from the best insurers in your area.

You can also call 1-888-891-0229 to speak with an agent.

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