Choosing Your Medicare Supplement Plan
Updated: May 22, 2019
Navigating the Medicare maze isn't easy. Your first choice is whether to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement plan. (We did a basic comparison of Medicare Advantage and Medigap.) If you've decided you want a Medicare Supplement plan, you'll need to choose (1) a specific Medigap plan and (2) your plan carrier.
Which Medigap Plan is Best for You?
Deciding between the 10 Medicare Supplement plans can be a bit overwhelming. One of the plans even has an couple of alternate versions to make things even more confusing.
The good news is that you can eliminate many of the plans as obsolete and focus on three main Medigap options. In 2020, Medigap Plan F will be discontinued for new enrollees, making the decision easier. Currently, the vast majority of our clients choose between the following three Medigap plans:
We recommend reviewing our individual write-ups on each of these plans, as they go into detail on whether you should choose each plan. In short, (1) Plan F covers the most and leaves you with virtually no out-of-pocket costs, (2) Plan G is identical to Plan F except it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible (currently $183), and (3) Plan N includes some small co-pays and does not cover Part B excess charges.
While your individual situation will dictate which plan is your best fit, as a general rule, we find Plan G to be the most attractive option.
Which Medigap Insurance Company Should You Choose?
While there are dozens of insurance companies to choose from, choosing your Medigap insurance carrier can be pretty easy. That's because the main factor you should consider in picking an insurance company is the price. There is no one universal "best Medigap company." Each Medigap plan (ie, Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N) is federally standardized, meaning you'll be getting the identical plan benefits regardless of which insurance carrier you enroll with.
The main way to differentiate between the carriers is the monthly plan premium. You can have an independent Medicare Supplement insurance agent run Medigap quotes for all of the insurance carriers in the market and narrow down your choices to the most competitively-priced options.
Once you have a list of the lowest-priced options for your particular Medigap plan, a Medigap agent can give you some further insight into each insurance company. For example, does one company have a more favorable history when it comes to rate increases? Does a certain Medigap carrier have poor customer service? The answers to these questions can help you make your final decision, but the first question should always be determining the monthly premiums.
We're happy to shoot you an email with your personalized Medigap quotes or answer any questions with a phone call.
For more information of choosing a Medicare Supplement plan, we recommend reviewing the official guide: Choosing a Medigap Policy.