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Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

Nationally, about 41% of seniors have a Medicare Supplement insurance plan that supplements their Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. Through Dec. 31, beneficiaries have 10 Medigap plans to choose from for supplemental health insurance. Due to changes in federal law, seniors eligible for Medicare benefits after Jan. 1, 2020, will choose from eight Medicare Supplement insurance plans.

Here’s what you need to understand about Medicare Supplement insurance plans:

  • A letter designates each Medigap policy: Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N.
  • They are standardized in 47 states. This means each plan letter offers the same benefits regardless of which insurance company sells the policy. The exceptions are Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.
  • Not all states offer all 10 Medicare Supplement insurance plans.
  • No Medigap plan includes drug coverage. To get help with prescription medical expenses, you have to buy a separate Medicare Part D drug plan.
  • You must keep paying your Medicare Part B premium to keep your Medigap plan in force.

How Do Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Work?

Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B make up Original Medicare. Original Medicare is often called fee-for-service Medicare or traditional Medicare. About 68% of beneficiaries have Medicare Part A and Part B.

When you are first eligible for Medicare benefits, you need to compare carefully the plan options under Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage because you must choose which way you want to receive your Medicare benefits. If you join Original Medicare Part A and Part B, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Supplement insurance does not work with Medicare Advantage.

1. Plan A

All Medicare insurance companies that provide Medigap plans are required to sell Medicare Supplement Plan A. Medigap Plan A offers the most basic benefits among the Medicare Supplement plans. Even though it is the most basic supplement policy available, Plan A does cover the 20% Medicare Part A coinsurance, which could potentially add up to a considerable amount. What Medigap Plan A does not cover:

  • Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergencies

Jump to the full page on Plan A.

2. Plan B

Medicare Plan B is a step above Plan A, adding coverage for your Part A deductible. What Medigap Plan B does not cover:

  • Coinsurance for nursing facility care
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergencies

3. Plan C

Medicare Supplement Plan C provides broad coverage, which is why seniors consider it one of the more attractive Medicare Supplement plans. What Plan C does not cover:

  • Part B excess charges

Jump to the full page on Plan C.

4. Plan D

Nationally, 43% of insurance companies selling Medicare Supplement plans offer Medicare Plan D. What Plan B does not cover:

  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges

Jump to the full page on Plan D.

5. Plan F

With around 55% of Medigap policyholders choosing it for their supplemental health insurance, Medicare Supplement insurance Plan F is the most popular among the plans available. It is also the most comprehensive, paying 100% of covered services.

Jump to the full page on Plan F.

6. Plan G

Medigap Plan G is one of the fastest-growing options among Medigap policies. Historically, it has provided one of the best Medicare Supplement plan rates in return for fairly comprehensive coverage. After Jan. 1, 2020, it will provide the most comprehensive benefits package. What Medicare Plan G does not cover:

  • Medicare Part B deductible

Jump to the full page on Plan G.

7. Plan K

Medigap Plan K has the highest cost-sharing among the Medicare Supplement plans. In 2020, Plan K has a $5,880 out-of-pocket limit you must meet before it pays any benefits. After you meet your out-of-pocket limit, Plan K pays 50% on the following services:

  • Part B coinsurance and doctor’s office visits copays
  • First 3 pints of blood
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance and copays
  • Skilled nursing care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible

What Medicare Supplement Plan K does not cover at all:

  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergencies

Jump to the full page on Plan K.

8. Plan L

Medicare Plan L is another Medicare Supplement plan that features a significant amount of cost-sharing by the policyholder. Plan L has a $2,480 out-of-pocket limit you must meet before it pays any benefits. After you meet your out-of-pocket limit, Plan L pays 75% on the following services:

  • Part B coinsurance and copays
  • First 3 pints of blood
  • Coinsurance and copays for hospice care
  • Coinsurance for care in a skilled nursing facility
  • Part A deductible

What Plan L does not cover at all:

  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergencies

9. Plan M

Medicare Plan M is considered “middle-of-the-road” coverage. It includes more benefits in comparison to Plans A and B but is not as extensive as Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medigap Plan G, or Medicare Supplement Plan C. What Plan M does not cover:

  • 50% of the Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges

10. Plan N

Medicare Plan N continues to see growth as a supplemental health insurance policy. It typically offers lower premiums in return for a modest amount of cost-sharing. What it does not cover:

  • Medicare Part B deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Copayments for some doctor’s office visits and emergency room services

Jump to the full page on Plan N.

Medicare Supplement Insurance High Deductible Plan F

Like regular Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F, high-deductible Medicare Supplement Plan F pays for all Medicare Part A and Part B covered services. Beginning in 2020, newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries will not have access to high-deductible Plan F.

Jump to the full page on High Deductible Plan F.

Medicare Supplement Insurance High Deductible Plan G

After Jan. 1, 2020, seniors can also choose a high-deductible version of Medigap Plan G. This high-deductible Medigap plan covers everything except for your Medicare Part B deductible. However, you have to meet a high deductible before your Medicare Plan G policy pays for covered services. The federal government has not yet determined the amount of the deductible.

Medicare Supplement health insurance coverage offers freedom and flexibility for beneficiaries. Medicare Supplement plans pay for health care anywhere in the country as long as the provider who delivers the medical services is signed up with Medicare. Once you have found the best plan for you, you have guaranteed coverage for life as long as you pay your Medigap monthly premium and your Medicare Part B premium.

If you would like us to help you compare plans, please feel free to call and talk with one of our insurance agents. We can streamline the process of identifying which Medicare Supplement plan is best for you.

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