What is the best Medicare Supplement Insurance?
When determining the best Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) plan for you, you’ll want to consider several factors like costs and coverage. Rather than looking solely at monthly costs, you should also look to protect yourself from unexpected, out-of-pocket costs that can eat into your monthly income.
We cannot tell you at the outset what is the best Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. It is a personalized recommendation based on your present and future financial resources and health needs. However, we've taken the time to outline which plan types are more comprehensive and which may fit in a smaller budget in this article.
How to choose the best Medigap plan (for you)
There are two main steps when choosing a Medigap plan. First, you need find the right type of plan for your coverage needs (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, or N). Then, you should compare plans to find your preferred insurance carrier for that plan type.
For example, if you decide that Medigap Plan G is the right one for you, you should know that not all Plan G policies cost the same. Premiums vary depending on a few factors — that’s why comparison shopping is so critical.
Understand Basic vs. Comprehensive Medigap Plans
While you may think that the list of Medigap plans is an alphabet soup, each lettered plan has meaning behind it – namely, each letter denotes a particular level of coverage. From a “basic” plan to a comprehensive option, you are weighing total costs and coverage for each. You will have the broadest range of options available to you if you sign up for Medicare during your Medigap Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Beyond that, you should understand the distinction between the plan types.
There are 10 different Medigap plans: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Although it is certainly intimidating at first to consider the scope of what is available to you, understanding what is behind the letters helps to take the mystery out of choosing the best option. Check out our comparison chart to see these different plan types side-by-side.
The cheapest and most basic plan is Plan K. This is a lower-cost plan that offers less coverage for things like hospital stays. Here, you would have a 50% coinsurance for your share of hospital stays. However, you might decide that Plan K is the best for you because it allows you to afford some level of supplemental coverage when you are living on a fixed income.
At the other end of the spectrum are two very comprehensive options: Plan F and Plan G. These plans will cover practically all of your out-of-pocket expenses, including the Part B excess charges. However, you will also need to pay a higher monthly premium for these plans than you would for Plan K. Nonetheless, some people may find the higher premium is worth the peace of mind of knowing that all of their future out-of-pocket expenses are covered.
Some plan types have different options within their group. For instance, there are high-deductible offerings for Plans F and G. While high-deductible plans mean more money out-of-pocket in the future, you will pay less in premiums each month. These lower premiums can rival those of Plan K, but offer more comprehensive coverage after the deductible is met.
Compare Medigap carriers and premiums
Outside of choosing the plan type that is best for your unique needs, you’ll also want to consider the insurance carrier. Some insurance companies are more competitive on costs, while others “pull out all the stops” to give you service with all the bells and whistles. Knowing the differences between carriers can greatly impact your experience.
That’s why it is so important to use an advisor who allows you to compare multiple plans from a variety of carriers at once. A Licensed Insurance Advisor can walk you through the differences in coverage, carriers, and costs and help you determine the best Medicare Supplement Insurance plan for you.
Considerations for finding the best Medicare Supplement plan
Different insurance companies have varying features to their plans that you’ll want to take into consideration, including:
- Discount programs and other incentives to save money (such as household discounts and new-to-Medicare discounts).
- An easy-to-use website.
- 24/7 customer service phone numbers where you can ask questions anytime (because emergencies can happen outside of normal business hours).
- Information on whether your rates increase with age.
- Accompanying dental and vision plans.
- Availability in a wide geographic area.
Each lettered plan type has numerous providers, and each provider may be different in what they offer. Comparison shopping is key — make sure that you look beyond the monthly price when searching for the right Medigap plan.
We cannot tell you at the outset what is the best Medicare Supplement Insurance for you. It is a personalized recommendation based on your present and future financial resources and health needs. That’s why we complete one-on-one Medicare consultations with our clients. Our Licensed Insurance Agents are always available to help you determine which Medigap plans are worth exploring.
United Medicare Advisors works with over 20 different insurance carriers, making comparison shopping simple. Not only that, we also make Medicare simple with easy-to-understand resources and free education. Give us a call at 1-855-665-9200 to get your free Medicare consultation.
Published: February 22, 2021