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best medicare supplement plans

The 3 Best Medicare Supplement Plans in 2021

If you’re a senior on Medicare or nearing your Medicare enrollment age, it’s important to know what your options are when it comes to healthcare coverage. One option is a Medigap plan from a private insurance company that can fill in some of the gaps left over by Original Medicare. In this blog post, we’ll be highlighting the best Medicare Supplement plans in 2021.

How To Choose the Best Medicare Supplement Plan

Choosing the right Medicare Supplement plan first requires that you understand your individual coverage needs. How much coverage you need from your Medigap plan depends on your health history and what benefits you want to get out of your plan. It is also important to keep in mind how much you feel comfortable paying for your monthly premiums.

Medigap plans offer coverage for things like coinsurance/copayments, deductibles, Part B excess charges, foreign travel emergency expenses, and more. You should be aware that Medigap policies do not offer any prescription drug coverage, so if you want help paying for your prescription medications, you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan as well as your Medigap plan.

So if you are wondering what the best Medicare Supplement policy for you might be, read on. Our top 3 picks in 2021 are Plan G, Plan N, and Plan F. In fact, these plans are the most popular Medigap plans on the market. Take a look at this breakdown of Medigap plan enrollment distribution in 2019

    • Plan A: 1% of enrollees
    • Plan B : 2% of enrollees
    • Plan C: 5% of enrollees
    • Plan D: 1% of enrollees
    • Plan F: 49% of enrollees
    • Plan G: 22% of enrollees
    • Plan K: 1% of enrollees
    • Plan L: <.05% of enrollees
    • Plan M: <.05% of enrollees
    • Plan N: 10% of enrollees

As you can see, our top picks are also historically the most popular Medigap plan choices on the market, and for good reason. Let’s find out why.

1. Medicare Supplement Plan G
(The Most Comprehensive Coverage for New Enrollees)

Plan G offers the greatest number of benefits for new Medicare Supplement enrollees.  This Medigap plan offers some of the most comprehensive coverage around, and it is available for all Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of when you became eligible for Medicare.

Plan G is a good option for people who foresee having a lot of doctor’s visits, or would like the simplicity of not having to worry about copayments and coinsurance. Medigap Plan G covers the following expenses:

  • Part A coinsurance payments for inpatient hospital care up to an additional year after your Medicare benefits have been expended
  • Part B coinsurance and copays
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Part A Hospice Care coinsurance and copays
  • Part A deductible ($1,484 in 2021)
  • First three pints of blood for a medical procedure 
  • Foreign travel emergency expenses (up to your plan’s limit)
  • Part B preventive care coinsurance 
  • Part B excess charges

Medigap Plan G offers all but one benefit that Medigap plans can offer: your Medicare Part B deductible. However, this amount is only $203 in 2021. As you can see, Medigap Plan G offers some pretty extensive benefits.

You should also be aware that there is a High Deductible Plan G option available. With this plan, you have the option of paying a lower monthly premium while still receiving the same benefits offered by Plan G. However, you will have to reach your deductible (set at $2,370 in 2021) before your plan begins to cover your health care expenses.

Something else to be aware of with Plan G is that this plan’s premiums tend to rise quicker than Plan N’s premiums. Insurance companies are permitted to increase beneficiaries’ premiums annually (sometimes even twice annually), and some Medigap plans face higher premium increases than others. 

Because Plan G is one of the plans that have to accept individuals in guaranteed issue rights situations, this could potentially result in higher premiums for beneficiaries. If you’re hoping to avoid these potentially steep increases in your monthly premiums, you should consider the next plan on our list: Plan N. 

2. Medicare Supplement Plan N
(The Best Low-Premium Plan)

Another plan that offers ample coverage is Plan N. In fact, this would be our best pick for most people turning 65 today. This plan often comes with lower monthly premiums than Plan G with very comparable coverage. 

Plan N offers the following coverage benefits:

  • Part A coinsurance payments for inpatient hospital care up to an additional year after your Medicare benefits have been expended
  • Part A deductible ($1,484 in 2021)
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Part A Hospice Care coinsurance and copays
  • Part B coinsurance and preventive care coinsurance 
  • First three pints of blood for a medical procedure 
  • Foreign travel emergency expenses (up to your plan’s limit)

As you can see, Plan N does not cover your Part B deductible or Part B excess charges. Another important consideration about Plan N is that it requires you to cover copays for doctors and hospital visits.

If you have Plan N, you will have to pay an out-of-pocket copay (up to $20) each time you visit the doctor. However, your plan covers the rest of any Part B coinsurance expenses that might be incurred.

You will also have to pay a copay of up to $50 for emergency room visits under Plan N. But be aware that you are trading out the possibility of having more out-of-pocket costs for a lower monthly premium. Just something to keep in mind.

As we mentioned with Plan G, Medigap premiums rise over time. But because Plan N has never been required to accept beneficiaries in a guaranteed issue rights situation, its premiums may be less likely to increase so quickly. Just another way that Plan N can potentially save you money in the long run. 

3. Medicare Supplement Plan F
(The Best Plan for Pre-2020 Beneficiaries)

Medicare Supplement Plan F is historically the most popular Medigap plan, with 49% of all Medigap enrollees choosing either Plan F or its high-deductible version in 2019. That’s because it is the most comprehensive plan on the market, offering every benefit that Medicare Supplement plans can offer.

These benefits are as follows:  

  • Part A coinsurance payments for inpatient hospital care up to an additional year after your Medicare benefits have been expended
  • Part B coinsurance and copays
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Part A Hospice Care coinsurance and copays
  • Part A and Part B deductibles
  • First three pints of blood for a medical procedure 
  • Foreign travel emergency expenses (up to your plan’s limit)
  • Part B preventive care coinsurance 
  • Part B excess charges

As you can see, the only difference between Plan G and Plan F is that Plan F covers the Part B deductible and Part G doesn’t. And like Plan G, Medicare Supplement Plan F comes with a high-deductible option. The annual deductible for High Deductible Plan F is also set at $2,370 in 2021.

However, Medicare Supplement Plan F is no longer available for beneficiaries who became newly eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you did become eligible for Medicare before that date but haven’t yet enrolled in Plan F, you may still be able to do so.

This plan was especially popular with beneficiaries born before January 1, 2020 due to its simplicity and lack of copays. But Plan N (or Plan G) is an excellent alternative to Plan F. 

How much do you have to pay for Medicare Supplement Insurance?

By now you’re probably wondering, how much is all of this going to cost me? Well, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when calculating how much your Medicare Supplement Insurance will cost you, one of the most important factors being your monthly premium.

All Medicare Supplement Insurance plans have monthly premiums, and how much you have to pay for your monthly premium depends on a number of factors. The plan that you choose, where you live, the insurance company that you enroll with, and when you enroll can all impact how much you end up paying for your Medicare Supplement plan premium.

While Medicare Supplement policies’ benefits are federally regulated, health insurance companies can choose how they set their monthly premiums. It is important to shop around various Medicare Supplement companies before settling on a Supplemental Insurance plan to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal.

Even though Plan G offers some of the most comprehensive coverage around, it doesn’t have outrageously high premiums. In 2021, the average lowest Plan G premium was $128, while the average highest was $198.

But if you are looking to save a little bit of money on your monthly premiums and are willing to pay a little bit more each time you receive care, Plan N might be a better Medicare coverage option for you. In 2021, the average lowest Plan F premium was $102, while the average highest premium was $156.

Just remember that with Plan N you will be responsible for covering the costs of your doctors and emergency room visit copays each time you receive care, which can potentially run up your out-of-pocket expenses.

What Medicare Supplement plan should you choose?

What Medigap policy is right for you depends on a number of factors, and it is important that you take your time to compare plans before settling on a Medicare Supplement. And remember, a Medigap policy is not your only option when it comes to Medicare plans. While you can get a Medigap policy to supplement your Original Medicare coverage, you also have the option to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan instead.

At the end of the day, deciding which Medicare plan is right for you requires lots of research and expertise. That’s where we come in. One of the licensed insurance agents at Medicare Plans Direct can help you find the right Medicare plan for you. Get in touch to set up a free consultation.

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