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Medicare 101

Medicare Supplement Insurance Company Ratings

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published February 18, 2021 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

The federal government issues star ratings for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans but not for Medicare Supplement Insurance companies.

If you want to compare Medicare Supplement Insurance companies, you can review the company's overall financial ratings with the independent rating boards.

A woman wearing glasses reviews insurance company ratings

Before enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan (Medigap), it's important to compare both your plan options and the insurance company.

How To Compare Medigap Insurance Companies

You can compare Medigap insurance companies – such as Aetna – by reviewing the reports provided by independent rating agencies.

There are several rating agencies including:

  • A.M. Best Company

  • Fitch Ratings

  • Kroll Bond Rating Agency

  • Moody's Investor Services

  • Standard & Poor's Insurance Rating Services

These agencies compile information and rate the financial strength of each insurance company. The ratings are usually available online, free of charge.

Since each agency has different metrics, you should try to review at least two ratings for each Medigap insurance carrier.

How to Compare Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also known as Medigap) are sold by private insurance companies to cover some of Original Medicare's out-of-pocket costs.

These costs can include Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, copayments and more.

The 10 Medigap plans available in most states are standardized, so their benefits will be the same no matter where you purchase them — the primary difference is the price you pay for them.

All 10 standardized Medigap plans provide at least partial coverage for:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance for hospital care (and an additional 365 days for hospital stays)

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance or copayment for hospice care

  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment

  • The first three pints of blood

What Is the Most Popular Medigap Plan in 2019?

The chart below compares each type of 2019 standardized Medigap plan side by side.

Click here to view enlarged chart

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Medicare Supplement Benefits

Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage

Part B coinsurance or copayment

Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

First 3 pints of blood

Skilled nursing facility coinsurance

Part A deductible

Part B deductible

Part B excess charges

Foreign travel emergency

A B C* D F1* G1 K2 L3 M N4
50% 75%
50% 75%
50% 75%
50% 75%
50% 75% 50%
80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80%

* Plan F and Plan C are not available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before 2020, you may still be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C as long as they are available in your area.

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1 Plans F and G offer high-deductible plans that each have an annual deductible of $2,370 in 2021. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high-deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

2 Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,220 in 2021. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

3 Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,110 in 2021. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

4 Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.

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The top Medigap plan in terms of popularity is Medigap Plan F. It offers the above four benefits plus five more basic benefits, making it the most comprehensive Medigap plan option.

  • 55% of all Medigap beneficiaries belong to Plan F.1
  • Medigap Plan G is the second most popular plan, with 13% of all Medigap beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries have flocked to Plan F because of the comprehensive coverage and protection it provides.

With Plan F, your out-of-pocket Medicare costs are extremely limited. That allows for a high degree of cost predictability, making it easier to budget and plan for health care spending.

You can combine Original Medicare, a Medigap plan and a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. This combination of coverage would help cover your costs for hospitalization, outpatient medical treatments, out-of-pocket Medicare costs and prescription drugs.

You can compare Part D plans available where you live and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online when you visit MyRxPlans.com.

Friends meet up in park for exercise

Is Plan F the Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?

Because of its robust benefits, Plan F can sometimes be expensive, depending on the average Medigap plan premiums in your local area.  

Plan F and Plan C will no longer be available for new Medicare beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

Recent legislation has forced Medigap plans to stop covering the Part B deductible for anyone who becomes eligible for Medicare after Jan. 1, 2020.

Medicare beneficiaries who were already eligible for Medicare before that date will be allowed to have Plan F or Plan C, if one of those plans is available where they live.

If you already have Plan F or Plan C before 2020, you will be able to keep your plan. 

Is it Better to Have Medigap or Medicare Advantage?

How do you know which type of Medicare coverage is right for you?

  • If you are satisfied with your Original Medicare benefits but wish to reduce your out-of-pocket spending and create a little more cost certainty around your health care, a Medigap plan is designed to do just that.

  • If you are not fully satisfied with Original Medicare and want to get coverage for things like prescription drugs and routine dental or vision care, you may be able to find a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) that fits your needs.

    Part C plans provide coverage for everything that Original Medicare covers. Many Medicare Advantage plans may also cover things like like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing aids, gym memberships and more.  

Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans are not the same thing. You cannot have a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.

Compare Medicare Supplement Plans Now

Once you find a reputable insurance carrier, you should compare several plans at the same time. Plan comparisons help you find the right plan for your coverage needs and budget.

A licensed insurance agent can help you compare the details of Medigap plans that are available where you live, including their benefits, costs, terms and conditions.

Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to get started enrolling in a Medigap plan today.

 

Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in your area.

Find a plan Or call to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

1 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.

Resource Center

Compare Medigap Plans 2021

See how the 10 Medigap plans differ. Review our chart for a detailed comparison of Medicare Supplement insurance benefits and compare Medigap options where you live. Read more
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