by Russell Noga | Updated August 24th, 2023
There are ten options for Medigap plans offering you supplemental coverage for the out-of-pocket healthcare costs not covered by Original Medicare Parts A & B.
What are the best Medicare supplement insurance plans for 2024? What’s the difference in the benefits they offer policyholders, and which one is the right choice for you?
This article gives you the answers you need to decide on the right policy for your situation. We’ll discuss the four leading plans and show you why they’re popular options.
By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know which Medigap plan is right for your unique healthcare needs.
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We offer you a free consultation with our fully licensed Medigap experts.
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What Are the Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans? – At a Glance
- Plan F: The most comprehensive Medigap plan*
- Plan G: The most comprehensive plan for new Medicare enrollees.
- Plan N: The best plan for healthy seniors and retirees.
- Plan K: The cheapest plan with decent coverage.
*Plan F is only available to people eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
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What Are the Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans? – Comparing Benefits
Each of the four Medigap plans (F, G, K, & N) offers different levels of coverage. Here are the benefits you can expect with these policies.
Plan F Plan G Plan K Plan N
Average Monthly cost $179 $145 $77 $111
Part A coinsurance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Part B coinsurance Yes Yes 50% Yes
Blood (3 pints) Yes Yes 50% Yes
Part A hospice care Yes Yes 50% Yes
Skilled nursing facility Yes Yes 50% Yes
Part A deductible Yes Yes 50% Yes
Part B deductible Yes No No No
Part B excess charges Yes Yes No No
Foreign travel emergency 80% 80% No 80%
What Are the Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans?
Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan for Comprehensive Cover – Plan F
Medigap Plan F offers the most comprehensive level of coverage to complement your Original Medicare policies.
However, it’s no longer available to people eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020. If you were eligible for Medicare before this date, you could apply to change your current plan to Plan F or join the plan outright.
However, you may have to undergo a medical underwriting. This means that the insurer takes into account your pre-existing health conditions.
If you have health issues, you might end up paying a higher-than-normal rate for your policy, you might have to face a waiting period, or they might deny you a plan outright.
If you’re healthy, you can expect the Plan F premium to be around $179 monthly (nationwide average, premiums vary by insurer and state).
Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan for New Members – Plan G
Plan G is the next most comprehensive option for your Medigap policy. It suits people who don’t qualify for Plan F.
Plan G has a more affordable monthly premium, and it’s usually around $10 to $40 cheaper than Plan F.
The only thing that Plan G doesn’t cover than Plan F does is the Part B deductible of $226.
However, considering you’re making savings on your monthly premiums, the annual savings might be more than the cost of the Part B deductible.
Best Alternative Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan to Plan G – Plan N
Plan N is a good option for healthy seniors.
You get excellent coverage in the event of a medical emergency.
Still, you have lower premiums than Plans F & G.
However, Plan N requires a copayment of $20 for visits to the doctor’s office and a $50 copayment for trips to the emergency room where you aren’t admitted to inpatient care in the hospital.
Plan N also doesn’t cover the Part B deductible or Part B excess charges. The national average for a Plan B policy is around $120.
So, you’ll save about $300 per year in premiums but pay more in copayments. As with the other plans, the premium costs can vary by state and insurer.
Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan for Affordability – Plan K
If you’re looking for the lowest-cost Medigap plan, go with Plan K.
Plan K only covers half of the following out-of-pocket medical expenses left unpaid by Original Medicare; Blood, Medicare Part B coinsurance, Part A hospice and skilled nursing coinsurance, and your Part A deductible.
The other plans mentioned above all cover 100% of these costs. Plan K is a good choice for healthy seniors or those retirees and seniors living on a low income.
The nationwide average for your monthly premium with Plan K works out to approximately $80.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Medicare Supplement Insurance, and how does it work?
Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, is a private health insurance policy that helps fill the gaps left by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). It covers certain out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance, depending on the plan you choose.
What are the key benefits of enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan?
The primary benefits of Medicare Supplement plans include reduced out-of-pocket costs, freedom to choose any doctor or specialist who accepts Medicare, coverage for healthcare expenses while traveling abroad, and guaranteed renewable coverage regardless of health status.
How do I choose the best Medicare Supplement plan for my needs?
To select the best plan, consider factors such as your healthcare needs, budget, and preferred coverage options. Compare the different plans (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N) offered in your state, and assess their coverage, cost, and customer satisfaction ratings.
Is Plan F still available, and is it the best option?
As of my last update in September 2021, Plan F is no longer available to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries. However, if you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you might still have the option to enroll in Plan F. While Plan F offered extensive coverage, Plan G is now considered the most comprehensive option.
Are Medicare Supplement plans standardized across different insurance companies?
Yes, Medicare Supplement plans are standardized by the government, meaning each plan’s coverage remains the same regardless of the insurance company offering it. However, the premium costs may vary, so it’s essential to compare prices from different providers.
How can I enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?
To enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, you must first be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Once you meet this criterion, you can apply for a Medigap policy directly through an insurance company. The best time to enroll is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which starts on the first day of the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Can I switch Medicare Supplement plans after enrollment?
Yes, you can switch Medicare Supplement plans at any time of the year. However, depending on your location and health status, you might be subject to medical underwriting, which could affect your acceptance into the new plan or the premium cost.
Will my Medicare Supplement Insurance plan cover prescription drugs?
No, Medicare Supplement plans do not cover prescription drugs. For prescription drug coverage, you will need to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan separately.
How does Medicare Supplement Insurance differ from Medicare Advantage plans?
Medicare Supplement Insurance works alongside Original Medicare, and you can use it to pay for out-of-pocket costs. In contrast, Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are an alternative to Original Medicare and provide all Part A and Part B benefits through private insurance companies. They may offer additional benefits like prescription drug coverage, dental, and vision.
Are there any specific benefits for low-income individuals seeking Medicare Supplement coverage?
While Medicare Supplement plans are not income-based, some states offer assistance programs for low-income beneficiaries to help with their Medigap premiums. These programs, known as Medicare Savings Programs, vary by state and may also assist with other Medicare-related costs.
Find the Right Medicare Plan for You
Finding the right Medicare plan with the best benefits for you doesn’t have to be stressful. Whether it’s a Medigap plan, or you have questions about Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D, we can help.
Call today at 1-888-891-0229 and one of our knowledgeable, licensed insurance agents will be happy to assist you!
Russell Noga is the CEO and Medicare editor of Medisupps.com. His 15 years of experience in the Medicare insurance market includes being a licensed Medicare insurance broker in all 50 states. He is frequently featured as a featured as a keynote Medicare event speaker, has authored hundreds of Medicare content pages, and hosts the very popular Medisupps.com Medicare Youtube channel. His expertise includes Medicare, Medigap insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Part D.