by Russell Noga | Updated May 24, 2023
Medicare Supplement Plans offer significant financial protection for those who require more health coverage than what Original Medicare covers.
These plans are not to be confused with other types of health care coverage, such as Medicare Advantage or employer-provided health insurance, since they only cover one person at a time and do not adhere to a network.
Medicare Supplement Plan and Medigap – Same Plans, Different Names
A Medicare Supplement plan and a Medigap plan are the same things, with just two different names. Because these policies help pay for the “gaps” in Medicare Part A and B, which are expenses you’re required to pay, they are called Medigap plans.
When selecting a Medicare Supplement Plan, it’s important to understand how it works in conjunction with Original Medicare and make sure that it covers all necessary out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, policies should be reviewed carefully to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. These plans have a monthly premium you must pay that is separate from any Medicare premiums.
Medicare Supplement Plan Benefits
Benefits vary depending on the specific plan you choose, but in general, they can help with paying for co-payments and coinsurance associated with doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency room visits; deductibles for outpatient tests and x-rays; and preventive care like flu shots or cancer screenings.
You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to apply for Medigap coverage.
What are the top 10 Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare Supplement Plans provide additional coverage to those on Medicare and can be highly beneficial to individuals in meeting their healthcare needs. There are 10 main plans, along with high-deductible versions of Plans G and F, all of which have their own set of premiums, benefits, and deductibles.
The 10 Medicare Supplement Plans are:
Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N.
The Medicare Supplement plans comparison chart below can be used as a helpful comparison tool to see the different options side-by-side, making it easier for people to select a plan that meets both their budget and healthcare needs.
By taking time to review the chart, individuals are able to make informed decisions about which plan is best for them.
What is the Best Medicare Supplement plan?
Medicare supplement plans are designed to cover the gaps in Medicare coverage. They can help you pay for services, such as prescription drugs, hospital stays, and other medical services that Medicare doesn’t cover. These plans vary widely in terms of cost and coverage levels, so it’s important to compare your options carefully before choosing the best plan for you.
The most popular Medicare supplement plans are Plan G, Plan F, and Plan N. These are all extremely comprehensive plans that provide a good level of protection from costly out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
Medicare Supplement Plan G
Medicare Plan G offers extensive coverage. It pays all of the same benefits as Original Medicare, except for the Part B deductible. This is a great choice if you want full coverage and don’t mind paying a higher premium each month. In addition, most Plan G policies do not have an enrollment fee or pre-existing condition limitations.
What is Medicare Plan G?
Medicare Plan G, widely referred to as Medigap Plan G, is a supplemental health insurance plan provided by private insurers. This plan bridges the ‘gap’ between the coverage provided by Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and the out-of-pocket costs that these plans do not cover. Renowned for its comprehensive coverage, Plan G has become a go-to option for many Medicare recipients seeking peace of mind and financial stability in their healthcare journey.
What does Medigap Plan G Cover?
Medicare Plan G offers broad coverage that spans several key healthcare costs. Among the most important are Medicare Part A deductible and coinsurance, ensuring you’re covered for hospitalization expenses. The plan also includes Medicare Part B excess charges, a fee that doctors outside of Medicare’s network may charge.
Additionally, Plan G covers skilled nursing facility care coinsurance and the first three pints of blood used in a medical procedure. Notably, Plan G also offers 80% coverage of emergency healthcare costs when traveling outside the U.S., making it an excellent choice for seniors with an adventurous streak.
One thing to note, however, is that Plan G does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible, so you’ll need to cover this cost out-of-pocket.
The Cost of Medicare Plan G
When considering Medicare Plan G, it’s crucial to understand its cost. Premiums for Plan G are determined by various factors including age, gender, geographical location, tobacco use, and the insurance provider itself. In 2024, annual premiums for a 65-year-old could range from approximately $1,200 to $1,400, although this could increase with age and other factors.
Navigating the landscape of Medicare can be a complex task. Nevertheless, with comprehensive options like Medicare Plan G, seniors can find a valuable ally to support their healthcare needs. Always consult with a licensed insurance professional to choose the best plan for your unique situation.
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Medicare Supplement Plan F
For years, Medicare Plan F was the most popular Medigap plan. Now, Plan G has taken its place as it saves people more money, with nearly identical coverage.
What is Medicare Plan F?
Medicare Plan F, commonly known as Medigap Plan F, is a supplemental insurance plan that works in tandem with Original Medicare (Parts A and B). This coverage is provided by private insurance companies such as Mutual of Omaha, Allstate, and Blue Cross. They fill the ‘gaps’ left by out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare.
Although no longer available to new Medicare recipients since 2020, it remains a valuable choice for those who had already enrolled due to its robust coverage.
Anyone who was enrolled in Medicare Part A before January 1st of 2020 may still apply for Medicare Plan F, though most people are better off enrolling in a Plan G if they’re considering Plan F.
What does Medigap Plan F Cover?
Medicare Plan F covers 100% of the gaps in Medicare Part A and B. This means no medical bills for all Medicare-approved expenses.
It includes the Medicare Part A deductible and coinsurance, effectively protecting you from significant hospitalization costs. Unlike many other Medigap plans, Plan F also covers the Medicare Part B deductible, reducing your out-of-pocket costs for medical services.
In addition, Plan F takes care of skilled nursing facility care coinsurance and the first three pints of blood used in a medical procedure. Another unique feature is that it covers Medicare Part B excess charges, which are additional costs that some doctors may charge beyond what Medicare approves. Like Plan G, it also provides 80% foreign travel emergency healthcare coverage up to plan limits.
The Cost of Medicare Plan F
When evaluating Medicare Plan F, understanding the costs involved is crucial. Similar to other Medigap plans, Plan F premiums are determined by factors such as age, gender, geographical location, tobacco use, and the insurance provider. The costs can range widely, but they tend to be higher than other plans due to the broad coverage. While it might seem pricey upfront, the extensive coverage could potentially save enrollees considerable money in the long run.
In the labyrinth of Medicare options, Plan F stands out for its comprehensive coverage. If you’re eligible and can manage the cost, it might provide the peace of mind you’re seeking in managing your healthcare costs. As always, consult with a licensed insurance professional to make an informed decision.
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Medicare Supplement Plan N
Medicare Plan N is another excellent option for those looking for comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. Released in 2010, Plan N is quickly becoming a top Medigap plan, especially for those who don’t want a Medicare Advantage plan and a network, but would like lower premiums.
This plan is a good option for people who are healthy, yet still want a plan that isn’t a high-deductible option.
What is Medicare Plan N?
Medicare Plan N is one of the top three Medicare Supplement plans available due to its high coverage and lower monthly premiums. It is also known as Medigap Plan N. Private insurance companies sell this plan to help pay for healthcare costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
It’s a good option for many people because it covers a lot of costs but usually doesn’t cost as much as some other plans.
What does Medigap Plan N Cover?
Medicare Plan N covers many important things. It helps pay for hospital costs (Part A) that you usually have to pay yourself. It also helps pay for medical costs (Part B), but not all of them. For some doctor’s office visits and trips to the emergency room that don’t end up in a hospital stay, you might need to pay up to $20 or $50.
Like other plans, Plan N also helps pay for care in a skilled nursing facility and the first three pints of blood you might need in a medical procedure. Plus, if you need emergency healthcare when you’re traveling outside the U.S., Plan N will cover 80% of these costs.
The Cost of Medicare Plan N
Knowing how much Medicare Plan N costs is important. The price changes for everyone because it depends on things like how old you are, whether you’re a boy or girl, where you live, whether you smoke, and the insurance company. But usually, Plan N costs less than some other plans because it doesn’t cover all costs.
Medicare can be confusing, but Plan N is a good choice for many because it covers a lot and doesn’t cost as much as some other plans. If you can afford Plan N, it might make you feel less worried about your healthcare costs. Call us now if you have questions about any of the Medigap plans.
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Medicare Supplement High-Deductible Plans
There are two additional Medigap plans that are offered with a high-deductible option.
- High-deductible Plan G
- High-deductible Plan F*
*Just as with standard Plan F, you may only enroll in the high-deductible version if you were enrolled in Medicare prior to January 1st of 2020.
Medigap Plans are Standardized
That being said, it’s extremely important to note that each company has the exact same plans and benefits, but they all charge entirely different rates for the exact same thing.
This is where we can help. Our service is free, and we shop all the top companies each year for you to make sure you’re always paying the least amount possible for your coverage.
When deciding on the best Medicare supplement plan for yourself or someone else make sure to compare costs and benefits between different policies to make sure you get the one that fits your lifestyle best while also offering quality healthcare protection at an affordable price point. Consider not only monthly premiums but also out-of-pocket costs like copayments or coinsurance amounts when making your decision too!
Medicare Supplement Plans Cost
When considering a Medicare Supplement Plan, it is important to not only evaluate the type of coverage offered but also the associated cost and premiums.
Medigap rates are determined by age, zip code, gender, tobacco use, and any discounts applied.
Different insurance companies offer many different rates for the same coverage, so it is beneficial to compare prices from multiple providers to ensure you are getting the best value.
In addition, there may be additional benefits or discounts associated with some plans that are worth considering.
These could include discounts for enrolling in multiple policies or incentives for those who opt to pay their premiums annually, as well as household discounts.
Ultimately, taking time to review all of these options can ultimately help individuals make an informed decision about which plan is right for them.
Frequently Asked Questions – Medigap
What is the difference between Medicare Supplements and Medigap?
Medicare Supplements and Medigap are two terms used interchangeably. Both refer to the insurance policies that cover the ‘gap’ in expenses not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, coinsurances, and copayments.
What benefits do Medicare Supplements or Medigap plans offer?
These plans offer coverage for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Some plans also cover services like foreign travel and emergency healthcare. Each plan type (A-N) provides a different level of coverage.
Who is eligible for Medicare Supplements or Medigap?
Anyone enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B is eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement or Medigap policy. However, these plans are generally designed for individuals aged 65 and older.
When is the best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan?
The optimal time to enroll is during the six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which starts the month you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, you have a guaranteed issue right, which means insurance companies can’t use medical underwriting to determine your premium or deny coverage.
How much does a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan cost?
The cost of a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan varies based on factors such as the type of plan, age, gender, tobacco use, location, and the insurance company. On average, premiums can range from around $100 to over $300 per month.
Are prescription drugs covered under Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans?
No, these plans do not cover prescription drugs. For prescription drug coverage, you would need to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.
Are routine vision, dental, or hearing services covered under Medicare Supplements or Medigap?
No, these plans do not cover routine vision, dental, or hearing services. However, we do have many options for these plans so call us today for help.
Can I have both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan?
No, it’s illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, unless you’re switching back to Original Medicare.
Which is the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan?
Medicare Plan F and Plan G are the most comprehensive plans. Plan F is no longer available to people new to Medicare as of 2020, but Plan G is available and offers all the same coverage except for the Part B deductible.
Can I switch my Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan?
Yes, you can apply to switch your plan at any time. However, if you apply outside your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, the insurance company can use medical underwriting to determine your acceptance and premium.
How to Enroll in a Medicare Supplement
Deciding on the right Medicare Supplement Plan is an important decision, and it’s dependent on a person’s individual circumstances as well as their financial situation.
We can help make the process easier by providing guidance in evaluating coverage availability and the cost involved. Simply enter your zip code above, or give us a call to get started.
We strive to make this process as easy as possible for you!
Russell Noga is the CEO of Medisupps.com, an online Medicare Agency and resource center helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medigap and Part D drug plans, and Medicare Advantage plans since 2009. Russell is licensed in all 50 states and has been featured as a keynote speaker, and author of several publications, along with hosting the very popular Medisupps.com Youtube channel.