Medicare coverage is an essential life tool for many older adults and some lower-income Americans, regardless of health. But what happens when you need expensive medical treatment that exceeds the limits of your Medicare benefits? Health problems are stressful enough without the added complications and constant pressure that comes from mounting medical bills.
Medicare Supplement plans, or “Medigap” plans, can help ease that burden, but choosing among the many different plans can be confusing, at best. Below, we will analyze a Medicare Supplement plan comparison chart and break down your choices in an informative, user-friendly way.
What is a Medicare Supplement Plan Comparison Chart for 2021?
If you receive healthcare benefits through Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you know that these plans typically require you to pay a regular premium for regular medical expenses, and then a deductible or coinsurance for any large-ticket healthcare costs such as hospital stays and outpatient therapy.
Medicare Supplement Plans are commonly referred to as “Medigap” plans because they bridge that gap between what Medicare Part A or Part B cover and the actual amount you owe for your treatment and/or procedures. You purchase a Medigap plan to limit the out-of-pocket expenses that either you or your family must come up with in times of health trouble.
There are 10 Medigap plans commonly offered in the United States, and it’s essential to check out a Medigap plan comparison chart to assess the various benefits and drawbacks of each plan.
What Medicare Supplement Plan is Right for You?
Although all 10 Medicare Supplement plans on the chart share common features, each plan is a little bit different. In choosing which Medicare Supplement plan is right for you, it might be helpful to know what others in a similar position have chosen.
In recent years, Medicare Supplement plans F, G, and N has become the most popular among Medicare beneficiaries, with Plan F leading the way. More than half of the people who choose to purchase Medigap plans go with Plan F because it’s the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plan on the comparison chart with the fewest out-of-pocket expenses. In short, Plan F is the best at “closing the gap” between what Medicare Parts A and B cover and what they do not.
Of course, that means Plan F has the highest premium. Plans G and N are popular because they are also quite comprehensive but demand lower annual premiums. Both Plan G and Plan N still leave a little of the gap we talked about earlier, so there will be some out-of-pocket expenses involved if Medicare Part A or Part B do not cover all your medical costs.
You may require more details to help you decide on the right Medicare Supplement plan, and that’s where a Medigap plan comparison chart comes in. In the next section, we’ll take a look at some specific ways in which the 10 Medigap plans compare to one another.
Medicare Supplement Plans Comparison Chart Overview for 2021
Every year, Medicare releases a very helpful Medicare Supplement plan comparison chart that allows people shopping for Medigap insurance to quickly view the 10 plans side by side and compare their features, or lack thereof.
*Except for copayment for some office visits and emergency room visits that do no result in an inpatient admission.
**After you meet your out-of-pocket limit and annual Part B deductible which is $203 in 2021, your Medigap plan will pay for covered service at 100% for the remainder of the calendar year.
Remember: Not all Medigap plans on the comparison chart are offered by every state and will also vary depending on the insurance company.
Medicare Supplement Plan A:
Medigap plan A is one of the lowest-cost plans with the least amount of coverage.
- Medicare Part A coinsurance payments for inpatient hospital care up to an additional 365 days
- Medicare Part B copayment and coinsurance expenses
- The first 3 pints of blood
- Part A hospice care coinsurance
Learn more about Medigap Plan A.
Medicare Supplement Plan B:
Medigap plan B is the same as Plan A except it covers the Medicare Part A deductible.
Medicare Supplement plan B DOES NOT cover the following:
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- Skilled Nursing Facility care coinsurance
- Foreign travel emergency care
Go to Medigap Plan B page to learn more.
Medicare Supplement Plan C:
Medigap plan G is a very comprehensive plan that covers almost all the same bases as Plan F, except any excess costs that arise after the Medicare Part B deductible. In other words, your deductible is covered, but anything above that you must pay out of pocket.
Learn more about Medigap Plan C.
Medicare Supplement Plan D:
Medigap plan D is almost identical to Plan C, but you must pay both the Medicare Part B deductible and any excess costs beyond that.
Learn more about Medigap Plan D.
Medicare Supplement Plan G:
Medicare Supplement plan G is a popular plan because it covers almost all the expenses leftover from Medicare Part A or Part B, but it does not cover the Part B deductible. This is the sole difference between Medigap Plans G and F when looking over the Medicare Supplement plans comparison chart. Learn more about Medicare Plan G.
Medicare Supplement Plan F:
As discussed above, Medigap Plan F is popular because it leaves no gap – or, covers 100 percent of the costs – after the benefits from Medicare Parts A and B have reached their limit. For example, Medicare Plan F helps with Part B excess charges, hospital costs, Part B coinsurance, skilled nursing facility costs, nursing facility care, hospice care coinsurance and more. It also covers the Medicare Part B deductible, which sets it apart from the other most popular plans. Like Plans C, D, G, M, and N, Plan F covers some of the expenses incurred if you have a foreign travel emergency. Learn more about Medicare Plan F and the high-deductible version, high deductible Plan F; you may like that this plan covers more than any of the other plan on the comparison Medigap plan comparison chart.
A quick view of Medicare Supplement Plan F Benefits:
- Part A hospital coinsurance
- Hospital costs up to 365 days after benefits through Original Medicare are exhausted
- Part A hospice care copays or coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Part B deductible
- Part B preventive office visit coinsurance
- Part B coinsurance or copays
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- First three pints of blood needed for a medical procedure
- Coinsurance for care in a skilled nursing facility
- Limited foreign travel emergency care
Please note: Plan F will no longer be available to NEW Medicare beneficiaries that turn age 65 after 01/01/2020. Plan F will still available to Beneficiaries who are already on Medicare Part A and Part B prior to 01/01/2020.
Medicare Supplement Plans K, L, M:
Typically, these Medigap plan K, Medigap plan L, and Medigap plan M are lumped together for two reasons. One, they’re similar, and two, they’re not very popular. None of these plans covers either the Medicare Part A or Part B deductible, and only cover a percentage of the other costs. Jump to Medigap Plan K, Plan L or Plan M page.
Medicare Supplement Plan N:
Although Medicare Supplement Plan N offers lower premium rates than Plans G and F, it does require you to cover the Part B deductible, as well as your co-pays for your doctor and emergency room visits. Learn more about Medicare Plan N.
While viewing the Medicare Supplement plan comparison chart, it’s important to note some changes that are on the horizon. In 2020, federal regulations will stop allowing Medigap plans to cover the Medicare Part B deductible, thereby precluding any new Medicare beneficiaries from enrolling in Plan F or Plan C. It’s predicted that, as a result, Plan G will be a much more popular choice among the 10 plans in 2021.
How to Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan
Now that you’ve reviewed the Medigap plan comparison chart and decided on which plan offers you the most cost-effective and comprehensive coverage, we can help you begin the process of enrollment.
Naturally, that starts with how much it’s going to cost you. Rates vary depending on a number of factors, including where you live and your specific health insurance company, but we can help you find out what’s offered in your state. We can also help you compare rates from company to company with our online quote estimate tool, or apply for coverage using our toll-free phone line.
To address your questions and concerns about the Medicare Supplement plan comparison chart or Medicare Supplement insurance in general, call our licensed insurance professionals today.
You can always count on us and our licensed insurance agents to talk to you about your plan options and the different plan limits that you should know about. Whether you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wisconsin or any other state across the United States, we can help.
In addition to talking to you about Medigap policy options and what each plan pays for, we can even tell you more about Medicare Advantage and can help you determine if a Medicare Advantage plan might be right for you. We can also share information about Medicare Part D prescription drug plans that provide drug coverage and can be added to a Medicare Supplement.
Before you talk to us and get help with choosing an insurance agency and a Medicare Supplement plan, though, you’ll need to sign up for original Medicare and its basic benefits. These helpful resources can help you with that process. Then, you can call us or use our website to shop for Supplemental insurance plans like Medigap Plan A.