Compare plans today.

Medicare 101

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Explained

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published April 26, 2021 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare Supplement Insurance is private insurance that can help cover some of the out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. Comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance plans can help you find the right policy for your health care needs.

Friends meet up in park for exercise

Medigap Plans Help Cover Some Out-of-Pocket Costs

There are 10 Medigap plan types available in most states. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are sold by private insurance companies, but their basic benefits are standardized by Medicare. These plans are labeled Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N, and each plan covers a different set of basic benefits.

Important: Plan F and Plan C are not available to beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

In order to purchase one of these Medigap plans, you must already be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, and you can only purchase a plan from an insurer in your state that is licensed to sell them. A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan will cost you a monthly premium in addition to your Medicare Part B monthly premium. Premium costs vary depending on the insurer.

Note: Medigap policies are standardized differently in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Not every insurer offers each type of Medigap plan. However, if an insurance company sells any Medigap policy, they must offer at least Medigap Plan A and either Medigap Plan C or Plan F. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans only cover one person, so if you and your spouse are both eligible, you’ll each need to purchase a separate policy.

Note: You cannot purchase a Medigap plan if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. If you want to disenroll in your Medicare Advantage, you must make sure you can leave your plan before enrolling in Original Medicare and purchasing a Medigap plan.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Comparison 

Comparing Medicare Supplement plans side by side is a great way to determine which plans cover the services you use the most.

Each type of Medigap plan covers four standard benefits:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • Your first three pints of blood
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

Each type of plan may also cover one or more of these five additional benefits:

  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charge
  • Foreign travel exchange

The chart below illustrates all possible benefits covered by Medicare Supplement Insurance and which plans cover them.

Click here to view enlarged chart

Scroll to the right to continue reading the chart

Scroll for more

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

Medicare Supplement Benefits A B C* D F1* G1 K2 L3 M N4
Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage
Part B coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
First 3 pints of blood 50% 75%
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance 50% 75%
Part A deductible 50% 75% 50%
Part B deductible
Part B excess charges
Foreign travel emergency 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.

+ Read more

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.

- Read less

Find the Right Medigap Plan 

Medigap Plan F is the most comprehensive type of plan, which explains why it's also the most popular type of Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. You may be better served with a less comprehensive plan, however, so it's important to compare each type of basic benefit.

Now that you’ve compared Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, you’re ready to purchase the right plan for your needs. Speak with a licensed agent who can help you find an affordable plan from a top private insurance company in your area. 

Learn more or compare quotes by speaking with a licensed agent at 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
Email newsletter

Sign up for more information!

Enter your email address and get a free guide to Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance.

By clicking "Sign up now" you are agreeing to receive emails from MedicareSupplement.com.

We've been helping people find their perfect Medicare plan for over 10 years.

Ready to find your plan?

Or chat about my options with an agent

1-800-995-4219