- There are 10 different Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans.
- The plans are the same no matter which company offers them.
- Different Medicare supplement companies might offer better prices, deeper discounts, faster customer service, or other extras that make them stand out for you.
Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, can save you money.
When you have a supplement plan, you don’t have to worry about some of the out-of-pocket costs of seeing your doctor, getting a lab test, or other Medicare-covered services. Not having to think about copayments and other costs can make it much easier to get the care you need.
What can be harder is trying to figure out which Medigap plan is right for you. There are so many Medicare supplement plans available from so many companies that it can be challenging to determine which plan you need.
Read on for insight into the companies offering Medicare supplement plans in 2021.
Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, can help you pay less out of pocket when you see a doctor or receive another covered healthcare service.
These plans can cover the cost of expenses, like your:
- coinsurance amounts
There are 10 different Medigap plans available. Each plan is assigned a letter and covers slightly different costs. The 10 Medigap plans are:
- Plan A
- Plan B
- Plan C
- Plan D
- Plan F
- Plan G
- Plan K
- Plan L
- Plan M
- Plan N
These plans are standardized. That means that no matter which company you buy your plan from, the plan will cover the same costs.
Plans are also the same in every state, except:
Those three states have their own Medigap plans.
Medicare supplement plans C and F are available only to those who were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
If you don’t live in one of those three states, you can buy a standard Medigap plan and know exactly what it’ll cover.
For example, Plan C will cover the same costs whether you buy it in Texas or Maine. It will also cover the same costs whether you buy it from Cigna or United Healthcare.
However, other factors may depend on the company you select. These include:
- the cost to you
- ease of use
- customer service
Dozens of companies sell Medigap plans. To learn which companies offer plans in your area, use Medicare’s plan finder tool and enter your ZIP code.
Companies that sell Medigap plans include:
- American National
- Americo Financial Life and Annuity (AFL)
- Assured Life Association
- Atlantic Coast Life
- Bankers Fidelity Assurance
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Capital Life
- Catholic Life
- Central States Health and Life Company of Omaha
- Cigna Health & Life
- Colonial Penn Life
- Combined Insurance Company of America
- Erie Family Life
- Everest Reinsurance
- Federal Life
- Globe Life and Accident
- GPM Health and Life
- Guarantee Trust Life
- Individual Assurance Company (IAC)
- Independence American
- Kemper Health
- Liberty Bankers
- Lumico Life
- Manhattan Life
- Medco Corp
- Moda Health Plan Inc.
- Mutual of Omaha
- Nassau Life
- National General Accident & Health
- National Guardian Life
- New Era Life
- Oxford Life
- Pan-American Life
- Pekin Life
- Physicians Life
- Prosperity Life Group
- Puritan Life
- Reserve National
- Sentinel Security Life
- State Farm Mutual Automobile
- Transamerica Life
- Union Security
- United American
- United Commercial Travelers of America
- USAA Life
- WMI Mutual
- Wisconsin Physicians Service
This is not a comprehensive list. Many companies sell Medigap, and these companies vary based on where you live. Not every company sells Medigap plans in every state.
A few Medicare supplement companies are larger and serve many states. Here’s a sample of services and costs associated with these companies.
Aetna Medigap plans are sold in 43 states in 2021. However, Aetna doesn’t sell Medigap plans in Washington, D.C., or in the following states:
If you qualify, you may purchase Medigap plans A, B, C, D, F, high-deductible F, G, high-deductible G, or N.
All Aetna plans cover copays and deductibles for Medicare parts A and B. Depending on the plan you choose, it may offer additional benefits, such as coverage of coinsurance for:
- skilled nursing facilities
- hospice care
- emergency medical care when traveling abroad
- hearing aids
- vision exams
- gym memberships
Premiums for Aetna Medigap plans vary based on where you live. Premiums range from as low as $30 to $518 or more per month.
You can read more about Aetna Medigap plans here.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
In 2021, Blue Cross Blue Shield sells Medigap plans in all 50 states.
All Medigap plans cover Part A and Part B copays and deductibles. They also include access to Blue Cross Blue Shield extra coverage programs and discounts on things like:
- hearing aids
- vision exams
- laser eye correction
- gym memberships
Premiums for Cigna Medigap plans vary based on where you live. Monthly premiums range from as low as $28 to $530 or more.
You can read more about Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap plans here.
Cigna Medigap plans are sold in 48 states in 2021. Cigna doesn’t sell plans in New York or Massachusetts. It offers Medigap plans A, F, high-deductible F, G, and N.
All these plans cover Part A and Part B copays and deductibles. They also include access to Cigna extra coverage programs and discounts on services like:
- hearing screens and hearing aids
- routine vision exams
- laser eye correction
- gym memberships
Premiums for Cigna Medigap plans vary based on where you live. Monthly premiums range from as low as $28 to $3,682 or more.
You can read more about Cigna Medigap plans here.
Medigap plans are available to people eligible for Medicare. Beyond Medicare eligibility, there are a few requirements to purchase Medigap:
- You need to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. Part A and Part B together are known as original Medicare. Medigap plans are designed to work alongside original Medicare, so you’ll need to be enrolled in both parts before you can apply for a Medigap plan
- You can’t be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans take the place of your original Medicare coverage. They don’t work with Medigap plans. If you’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage and you want to try Medigap, you’ll need to drop your Advantage plan.
You can buy a Medigap plan at any time if you meet these requirements. However, it’s best to purchase a Medigap plan when you’re first eligible for Medicare.
You can’t be turned down for a Medigap plan during your initial 6-month enrollment window. You’re also guaranteed to get the best rates if you buy it during this time.
If you wait and buy a Medigap plan later, you might have to take a medical exam before you can get coverage. Depending on the results of your exam, you could be denied coverage or charged a high monthly premium.
You can purchase a Medigap plan directly from the company or by using the Medicare website.
When you use the Medicare website, you can enter your ZIP code see price ranges for all available plans in your area.
To get even more detailed information, you can enter information about your age, gender, and smoking history. You can then browse available plans.
Start by deciding which of the 10 Medigap plans is the best fit for you. You can get more information about what each plan covers in this guide. Once you’ve narrowed it down, you can then look for those plans from companies in your area.
Budget is another serious concern for many people. Medigap plans can save you money in the long run by cutting down on your out-of-pocket expenses, but you’ll still need to find one with a monthly premium you can afford.
The Medicare website is a good place to start figuring out what plans fit your budget, since you can see prices for all plans in your area.
Once you’ve selected one of the 10 plans and have figured out what you can afford, you can see which companies offer that plan in your area and price range.
There are a couple of ways you can evaluate a Medigap company.
One way is to look up the company’s rating. Medigap plans don’t have a Medicare star rating, but that doesn’t mean no one has rated them.
All types of insurance companies are rated by a company called AM Best. This includes companies that sell Medigap plans.
AM Best assigns letter grades to insurance companies. Reliable companies are graded highly. You can trust that a plan from a company with a high grade has met quality standards.
You can look up a company’s AM Best rating online. Many companies will also display their AM Best rating on their website.
You can also look up reviews from customers and industry publications. This is a good way to get a general idea of how people feel about the company and plan.
It might help you make your final choice between one company and another.
Another thing to look at is the extras that companies might offer.
As mentioned earlier, plans are standardized: You’ll get the same coverage no matter which company you choose. That often means the best plan is one that fits your budget.
However, some plans do offer some additional benefits. Some things to look out for include:
- easy-to-use websites
- fast claim payment
- personalized and friendly customer service
- discounts on premiums
- discounts for members on other health services
- ability to purchase a Part D plan from the same company
Since plans are the same no matter the company, these little extras can be the deciding factor.
That’s why it’s a good idea to read through each plan carefully and compare all the features. Knowing exactly what you’re getting with each plan can help you make a choice.
- The right Medigap plan for you will depend on your budget and health needs.
- You can use the Medicare website to see plans in your area and get an idea of what the price will be.
- Look for AM Best grades and online reviews to help make your choice between companies.
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