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Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published December 15, 2023 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare provides coverage for a wide range of medical services, but it leaves numerous out-of-pocket costs to its recipients. Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) helps cover some of these expenses to help seniors better plan for their health care costs and pay less out of pocket.

Understanding Medigap

Unlike Original Medicare, which is administered by the federal government, Medicare Supplement Insurance is sold by private insurance companies.

In most states, you’ll have 10 standardized Medigap policies to choose from (labelled with plan letters, such as Plan F or Plan G). Because the policies are standardized, the basic benefits of one insurer's Medigap Plan F will be the same as that of another's. The only difference may be in price.

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

It is also worth noting that Medigap policies only cover the policyholder. If your spouse would like Medigap coverage, you’ll need to purchase a separate policy.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Comparison Chart

The following chart shows the basic benefits of all 10 standardized Medigap plans.

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

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.

What Are the Benefits of Having Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Here’s why you should consider Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap):

  • Coinsurance
    A Medigap policy can help you cover the costs of co-insurance for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. With Medicare Part B, Medicare recipients must pay 20 percent of all Medicare-approved costs of services. Those costs can add up. But with a Medigap policy, you can gain coverage for those costs and save a significant amount of money.

  • Deductibles
    Several of the 10 Medigap policies will cover the Medicare Part A and/or Part B deductibles. The Medicare Part A deductible is $1,632 per benefit period in 2024, while the Medicare Part B deductible is $240 per year in 2024. Depending which Medigap plan you enroll in, these costs may be covered in full. 

  • Excess charges
    Two Medigap policies—Plan F and Plan G—will cover Medicare Part B excess charges. If you see a doctor who doesn't accept Medicare's reimbursement as payment in full for a certain service (called a "non-participating" provider, they can charge up to 15% over what Medicare pays. The patient is responsible for paying that 15% difference, unless you have Medigap Plan F or G.

How Do I Choose a Medigap Policy?

Unsure whether Medicare Supplement Insurance is right for you? To help make your decision, you may want to ask:

  • How much can you afford?
    Medigap policies require you to pay a monthly premium in addition to your Medicare Part B premium. These premiums may be higher for more comprehensive policies (such as Medigap Plan F).

  • What benefits do you need?
    Medicare Supplement Insurance addresses nine benefit areas. But each Medigap policy offers a different mixture of those nine benefits. It's important to choose a Medigap plan that provides coverage in the benefit areas you need most.

  • Do you have Medicare Advantage?
    You’ll have to leave your Medicare Advantage plan if you want to buy a Medigap policy. You cannot use a Medigap plan with Medicare Advantage.

Have questions about Medicare Supplement Insurance? Speak with a licensed insurance agent today at 1-800-995-4219.

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