For Medicare beneficiaries, choosing the correct Medicare Supplement Plan is an important decision that, if made correctly, can allow you to rest easy and save money every month. If you choose not to buy a Medigap plan, you may find that it is more challenging to keep track of your deductible payments, and you could face ballooning out-of-pocket costs.
Choosing the Best Medigap Plan
Finding the best Medicare Supplement plan for you will depend on many factors, such as what parts of Original Medicare you need answering, as well as the cost of the Medigap plan. A plan that works well for one person may not work well for another person, so choose the Medigap Plan that provides the best benefits for you while ensuring it falls within your budget.
For example, in 2021, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,484. If you have Medigap Plan A, the plan’s deductible will not be covered. That means you are on the hook for the entire deductible before your Medicare coverage is applied.
Under Plan G, you will have no out-of-pocket costs and claims payout immediately. However, if you are on supplemental Plan G, your plan will cover the entirety of the $1,484 deductible. But, of course, as you might imagine, Plan G costs more than Plan A.
You have to weigh costs and benefits so that you choose the right Medigap plan for you. There are ten available plans, so there will likely be one that suits your healthcare needs.
Before we dive into a couple of individual plans, there is one important thing we’d like to point out. Plans C and F – the two most comprehensive plans – are no longer available to new enrollees, though if these plans currently cover you, you will stay grandfathered within.
Most Comprehensive Medicare supplement for new enrollees: Plan G
Because Plans C and F are now closed to new enrollees, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the most comprehensive plan for recent Medicare recipients. Plan G and Plan F are virtually identical in coverage, minus one difference: Plan G does not cover your Part B deductible. That means that you will have to pay this deductible out of pocket before the benefits kick in. For 2021, that deductible for the year was $203.
Because Plan G has such comprehensive coverage, it also has Medigap plans’ highest monthly premium rates. The monthly premium rate for 2021 is $473. Again, it would help if you weighed the benefits of a plan’s costs.
Best overall Medicare supplement pre-2020: Plan F.
Of all Medigap plans, Plan F does have the highest premiums. However, it is also the most comprehensive plan and will generally cover all out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and coinsurance.
Plan F is a good policy if you want to relax and not worry about day-to-day expenses such as doctor’s visits or hospital visits. The monthly premium for Plan F is $221
Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, Plan F is no longer available to new Medicare enrollees, who become eligible after January 1st, 2020. If you enroll in Plan F, you will keep your coverage if you would like.
Best Medicare supplement Plan to Save You Money: Plan K
If you are looking for the cheapest Medicare Supplement plan that still provides some coverage for Original Medicare costs, then Plan K may be a good option for you.
Plan K only provides 50% coverage for Medicare Part B coinsurance, blood work, Part A hospice, skilled nursing, and the Part A deductible. Other Medigap plans, such as Plan G, will provide full coverage for these costs.
The 50% cost coverage also applies to other potentially high-cost care such as skilled nursing.
Due to less coverage, though, your monthly premiums are far cheaper under Plan K than they are with other Medigap policies. Your monthly premiums for this plan will be between $62 and $135.
The best alternative to Plan G Medicare supplement: Plan N
Plan N is an excellent alternative to folks who do not want the up-front expenses of Plan G but still want comprehensive coverage.
Of course, that means Plan N lacks some things that Plan G has. Under Plan N, you pay your Medicare Part B deductible, as well as excess charges, which, depending on the care you need, can add up quickly. Remember, Part B generally only covers routine medical expenses like outpatient care and preventative services. Because you are on the hook for excess charges, you should try to forecast your future healthcare costs and reconcile them with the annual premium for Medigap Plan N, which comes in at a range of $1,752 to $3,468.