The Top Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans of 2020
The top Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) plan for you may depend on your unique coverage needs.
The Medicare Supplement plans that offer the most standardized benefits in 2020 (for beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020) will be Medigap Plan G, Plan D and Plan N.
Here’s a look at the Medicare Supplement plans you can consider in 2020. You can also call to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare Medigap plans that are available in your area and help you find the best plan for your needs.
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Which Medigap Plans Offer the Most Coverage?
There are nine benefit areas covered by Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, and each plan offers its own combination of benefits.
In 2020, the only plan offering all of these benefits is Plan F.
The nine possible Medigap benefits include:
Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
Medicare Part B coinsurance
First three pints of blood used for a transfusion
Part A hospice care coinsurance and copayments
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
Medicare Part A deductible
Medicare Part B deductible
Medicare Part B excess charges
Foreign emergency medical care
You can use the chart below to compare the benefits offered by each of the 10 standardized Medigap plans available in most states.
As you can see in the chart above, Plan F offers full coverage for each of the first eight benefit areas and covers 80% of the costs for emergency medical care received outside of the U.S. (which Original Medicare doesn’t typically cover).
Plan F and Plan C Aren’t Available to New Medicare Beneficiaries in 2020
It’s important to note that anyone who becomes eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, will not be allowed to enroll in either Plan F or Plan C.
Recent laws declared that newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries may not have a Medicare Supplement plan that covers the Medicare Part B deductible. These plans offer what is called “first-dollar” coverage.
If you already have Plan F or Plan C, you can keep your plan in 2020 and beyond.
If you are eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you can still apply for Plan F or Plan C in 2020 and beyond, but only if they are available where you live.
What Are the Top Medicare Supplement Plans in 2020?
Medicare beneficiaries who are newly eligible for Medicare in 2020 have a range of choices when it comes to Medicare Supplement plans, including Plan G, High-deductible Plan G, Plan D and Plan N.
Medigap Plan G offers more benefits than any other Medigap plan available to beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare after Jan. 1, 2020.
Of the available 9 Medicare Supplement benefits, Plan G offers coverage for each benefit except for the Part B deductible (which is $185 per year in 2019).
High-deductible Plan G will be a new Medigap plan option in 2020.
This plan will offer the same benefits as standard Plan G, but coverage will only kick in after you meet a set deductible amount. Once you meet your deductible, your Plan G benefits will begin to pay their full amounts as they would with standard Plan G.
The 2020 deductible amount for Plan G has not yet been announced, but should be available sometime before December 2019.
High-deductible Plan G will likely offer lower monthly premiums than traditional Plan G, which could make it the best 2020 Medigap plan some beneficiaries may consider.
Medigap Plan D offers more benefits than several other 2020 Medigap plans.
Like Plan G, Plan D does not cover the Part B deductible. It also doesn’t provide coverage for Medicare Part B excess charges.
These are charges you might face if you visit a provider who doesn’t accept Medicare assignment. These providers reserve the right to charge you up to 15% more than the Medicare-approved amount for their services. These are called Medicare excess charges.
You can avoid Part B excess charges, however, by making sure to only visit doctors and other providers who accept Medicare assignment. Be sure to ask your doctor if they accept Medicare assignment before you receive any services or treatment.
Medigap Plan N is another plan that offers a number of Medicare Supplement benefits.
Like Plan D, Plan N provides coverage for each Medigap benefit except for the Part B deductible or Part B excess charges.
Plan N is different from Plan D in one particular way, however. Plan N pays 100% of your Part B coinsurance charges, except for a copay of up to $20 for some doctor’s office visits. Plan N also charges you a copayment of up to $50 for emergency room (ER) visits that don’t result in admission for inpatient hospital care.
Picking the right Medicare Supplement plan for you may depend on your coverage needs and may also depend on your budget.
How Much Do the Top Medicare Supplement Plans Cost?
Medicare Supplement plans are sold by private insurance companies, and the cost of 2020 Medigap plan premiums can vary from one carrier to the next.
Other factors such as your health, age, gender, smoking status and where you live can potentially affect the cost of a 2020 Medigap plan.
Plan F and Plan G will both feature a high-deductible option. Because they require you to meet a deductible before coverage kicks in, the premiums tend to be lower than other plan premiums.
In 2018, high-deductible Plan F featured the lowest weighted average premium, at just over $57 per month.1 That trend will likely continue into 2020. High-deductible Plan G will also likely feature a lower monthly premium than other types of standard Medigap plans.
Medigap Plan N also offers monthly premiums that are relatively low, compared to other plans. In 2018, the weighted average premium for Plan N was $111 per month.
A licensed insurance agent can help you compare Medigap plan costs in your area.
Which Medigap Plans Are the Top in Popularity?
In 2017, 55% of all Medigap beneficiaries were enrolled in Plan F, which was by far the top enrollment for any plan.2
Plan G had the second top enrollment rate in 2017, with 13% of all Medigap beneficiaries.
Early signs indicate that Plan G may overtake Plan F in terms of popularity in 2020.
Because newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries won’t be able to join Plan F after January 1, 2020, the Plan F enrollment rate may not increase after 2020.
Plan G experienced the largest increase in enrollment of any Medigap plan from 2016 to 2017, with a 31% growth rate. By comparison, Plan F enrollment grew only 2% during that time.
Another popular plan is Plan N, which had the third-highest enrollment rate in 2017. 10% of all Medigap beneficiaries in 2017 were enrolled in Plan N.
Which Medicare Supplement Plans Have the Top Availability?
Not all Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are available in every county or sold by every insurance company.
In 2017, 85% of all insurance companies that sold Medicare Supplement Insurance had Plan F policies in force.2
82% of Medigap insurance companies had Plan A policies in force.
75% of Medigap insurance companies had Plan C policies in force.
56% of Medigap insurance companies had Plan B and Plan N policies in force.
Find the Top Medicare Supplement Plan for Your Needs
The selection and cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance plans can differ from one county or carrier to the next.
Call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you review the costs and benefits of the Medigap plans that are available in your area.
Find Medigap plans in your area.
Or call --ms-tfn-- to speak with a licensed insurance agent.
1 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2019. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.
2 AHIP. State of Medigap 2019. (May, 2019). Retrieved from www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/IB_StateofMedigap2019.pdf.
Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for MedicareSupplement.com. He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.