If you’ve only recently begun looking at Medicare Supplement plans, you’ve probably noticed that each one is assigned a different letter. Here’s a short rundown of what those letters signify, the distinctions between the several types of Medicare Supplement plans, and how to choose one that fits your needs.
What do the various Medicare Supplement plans entail?
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans help cover certain out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. There are up to 10 plans available in most states, and the letter of the plan (for example, “Medicare Supplement Plan G”) helps you identify which benefits go with it.
Benefits are standardized across each plan letter. So, this means that if you’re interested in Medicare Supplement Plan B, for example, the minimum coverage will be the same across every Medigap Plan B offered in your service area, no matter which insurance company you buy from. This means that once you’ve narrowed down which Medicare Supplement plan has the benefits you want, you can focus on comparing factors that may vary, such as premium cost, since minimum coverage will be the same across each letter type.
Most states offer the following 10 Medicare Supplement plan types:
- Plan A
- Plan B
- Plan C*
- Plan D
- Plan F* (also comes with a high-deductible version)
- Plan G
- Plan K
- Plan L
- Plan M
- Plan N
*If you’re not eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to buy Medicare Supplement Plans C or F. These plans are gradually being phased out, but if you already have one of these plans, you can keep it. You might be able to buy a Medicare Supplement high-deductible Plan G starting in 2020. Plan G benefits are the same as Plan F’s, except Plan G doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B annual deductible.
A few other things to note:
- Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin standardize their Medicare Supplement plans differently.
- Insurance companies don’t have to sell every Medicare Supplement plan.
- Any insurance company that sells Medicare Supplement coverage must offer Medigap Plan A.
If you’d like to compare Medicare Supplement plans side by side, this benefits chart makes it easy to do so.
How can I find a Medicare Supplement plan?
Every individual’s scenario is unique. You may find it beneficial to consult with a qualified insurance agent who can explain the distinctions between the many types of Medicare Supplement plans and assist you in selecting one that best suits your requirements, preferences, and budget.
The primary variation between plans of the same kind will be pricing, because Medicare Supplement plan features are consistent among plans with the same letter name. As a result, it’s in your best advantage to study plan alternatives and evaluate the many options in your individual zip code.