What’s the Most Popular Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?
Medigap Plans F and G are the most popular Medicare Supplement plans in 2021. Learn more about other popular plans like Plan N and compare your Medigap plan options.
Medicare Supplement Insurance is popular. Nearly 2 out of every 5 beneficiaries enrolled in Original Medicare have a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, otherwise known as “Medigap.”
But which Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is the most popular?
The most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is Medigap Plan F, according to the most recent statistics from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Due to recent legislation affecting Medigap plans, however, Plan G is quickly becoming the most popular Medicare Supplement plan for new Medicare beneficiaries.1
Popular Medigap Plans: Plan F vs. Plan G vs. Plan N vs. Plan C
The most popular Medigap plans include:
- 49% of all Medigap beneficiaries are enrolled in Plan F.
- 22% of Medigap beneficiaries are enrolled in Plan G
- 10% of Medigap beneficiaries are enrolled in Plan N
- 5% of Medigap beneficiaries were enrolled in Plan C
The table below ranks the popularity of the 10 Medigap plan options currently available for purchase in most states.
These plans are standardized everywhere except Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, which have different options.
|Popularity Ranking*||Plan Name||Share of Total Medigap Enrollment**|
|*Information is based on AHIP statistics. **The percentages in this column do not add up to 100% because discontinued plans (Plans E, H, I, and J) and waiver states (Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin) are not included.|
Is Medigap Plan F the Best?
There are several reasons why consumers choose certain Medigap plan options over others.
One reason for Plan F’s popularity may be that it offers coverage for more out-of-pocket Medicare costs than any other type of standardized Medigap plan. Beneficiaries with Plan F may face little to no out-of-pocket Medicare expenses, because Plan F pays for Medicare deductibles, copays and other costs for most Medicare-covered services.
Plans F and C are often called “first-dollar coverage” Medigap plans because each covers all of the Medicare deductibles and coinsurance.
However, Plan F (along with Medigap Plan C) is not available to Medicare beneficiaries who first became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020, you may still be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C if they are offered where you live.
If you already had Plan F or Plan C, you will be able to keep it after 2020.
Below, Medicare expert John Barkett weighs in on these changes:
Another reason for Plan F’s popularity may be because there is also a high-deductible version of the plan. The high-deductible version typically offers a lower monthly premium in exchange for having to meet a deductible ($2,370 in 2021) before coverage kicks in. There is also a high-deductible Plan G available in many areas of the country.
Plan G and Plan N Likely to be the Most Popular Plan Going Forward
Because Plan F and Plan C are no longer available to new Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare after January 2020, Plan G is now the Medigap plan option that covers more Medicare costs than any other Medigap plan available to new Medicare beneficiaries.
Plan N has the third-highest share of enrollment and was the only plan other than Plan G to experience a net enrollment gain from 2018 to 2019 (the most recent data available).
Plan N may be popular partly because it covers a number of Medicare costs but is structured in a way to keep plan costs low relative to other plans with similar coverage.
What Do the Most Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?
The chart below shows which benefits are covered by each of the 10 standardized Medicare Supplement Insurance plans available in most states. Take note of how Plan F and Plan G coverage compares to other plans, particularly plans like Plan A and Plan B.
Scroll to the right to continue reading the chart
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
What Do the Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans Cost?
Although first-dollar coverage Medigap plans are the most popular, some beneficiaries may choose other plans based on their premiums and costs that they cover.
The chart below illustrates the average cost of each type of Medicare Supplement plan in 2019.2
* Medigap Plan J was discontinued for new enrollees in 2010. Only beneficiaries who enrolled in the plan prior to that time may be currently enrolled in Plan J.
How Do Medicare Supplement Companies Determine Plan Costs?
Medicare Supplement Insurance companies can charge different premiums for policies depending on a number of factors, including age and location.
Monthly premiums can change over time, especially if you purchase a plan that factors your age into its pricing strategy.
Ask a licensed insurance agent about how the company determines its rates before you purchase a plan. Medigap policies can be priced in one of three ways:
Also called no-age-rated, these policies cost the same amount for everybody on that particular type of Medigap plan, regardless of how old you were when you bought it. Older people are not charged more per month with these plans.
Premiums are lower for younger buyers of these types of Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, as they are priced according to when you purchase the policy (or when the policy was issued to you). Your monthly premium is determined at the start of your policy and does not continue to go up over time due to age.
With these plans, premiums always correspond to your current age (or the age you have “attained”). Premiums increase over time to reflect the increased risk to the insurer as you get older. These may start out relatively inexpensive, but they often become the most expensive Medigap plans over time.
Note: Premiums can always go up over time due to inflation or other factors, regardless of the company’s pricing structure.
Why Should I Compare Medicare Supplement Plans?
Comparison shopping is important because two different insurance companies could charge you a different price for a plan with the same benefits.
For example, every Plan G policy provides the same benefits, but two insurers may charge you very different prices for a Plan G policy.
Comparing plan prices from multiple insurance carriers helps ensure that you get a competitive rate for the plan you want.
Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in any available Medigap plan, regardless of its popularity. Despite this, is it helpful to review the options and reasons why hundreds of thousands or even millions of people choose one plan over another.
Enrolling in a Medigap Plan
If you enroll in Medigap during your Medigap open enrollment period (the six months after you are at least age 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B), insurance companies cannot refuse to sell you a Medigap policy or charge you more for a plan based on your health history.
Some people who are under 65 are also eligible for Medicare and Medigap, such as people with End-Stage Renal Disease or other qualifying disabilities. However, you don’t have the same blanket guaranteed-issue rights that pertain to people over 65.
The easiest way to compare Medigap plans and rates in your area is with the help of a licensed insurance agent. Agents can answer questions and help you find the right plan for your needs.
Compare Medigap plans in your area.Find a plan
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1 State of Medigap 2021. (May, 2021). AHIP. Retrieved from https://www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/AHIP_IB-Medicare-Supp-Cvg-Report.pdf.
2 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.