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Medicare 101

Medicare Supplement Insurance Helps Pay for Health Care Costs

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published March 31, 2021 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare can come with large and unpredictable out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries. That’s why many seniors enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance (or Medigap). These plans can help pay for health care costs, such as deductibles and coinsurance, and are sold by private insurance companies. Compare the 10 standardized Medigap plans below to see what benefits each plan offers.

Medigap Plans and Medicare Health Insurance Costs

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers a range of health care costs, but leaves a number of out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries, including:

  • Part A deductible
    Beneficiaries have to pay a certain amount of money out of pocket before Medicare Part A benefits kick in. This deductible for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is $1,484 for each benefit period in 2021. A benefit period begins each time you are admitted for inpatient hospital care and ends when you haven’t received care for 60 consecutive days.

  • Part B deductible
    Medicare Part B (medical insurance) comes with its own deductible. In 2021, that cost is $203 per year.

  • Part A coinsurance
    From day 61-90 of an inpatient hospital stay, beneficiaries have to pay $371 in coinsurance per day in 2021. That number rises to $742 for each “lifetime reserve day” from day 90 onward. After all 60 lifetime reserve days are used up, you are responsible for all costs after day 90.

  • Part B coinsurance
    Under Medicare Part B, beneficiaries must typically pay 20% of all Medicare-approved costs for services, including doctor visits and surgeries. You pay this coinsurance cost after your Part B deductible is met.

You can use the 2020 Medigap plan chart below to compare the benefits that are offered by each type of plan. Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the chart to view all plans and information.

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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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Medicare Supplement Insurance Enrollment and Protections

Compare the different Medigap plans available to see which one feels like the right fit for your health care needs. If you decide you're ready to purchase a plan, keep in mind some of the following requirements:

  • You have to have Medicare Part A and Part B in order to sign up for a Medigap policy.
  • You need to leave your Medicare Advantage plan (if you have one) before enrolling in a Medigap policy. You cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medigap plan at the same time.
  • Medigap plans have their own premiums.
  • Medigap policies only cover single individuals. Your spouse will need a separate plan if he or she wants Medigap coverage.

If you’d like to learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance, you can speak with a licensed agent and compare plans for free by calling 1-800-995-4219. 

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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