Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap or MedSupp) insurance plans help cover certain out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, doesn’t cover. There are 10 plan types available in most states, and each plan is labeled with a different letter that corresponds with a certain level of basic benefits.
In most states, Medigap insurance plans have the same standardized benefits for each letter category. This means that the basic benefits for a Plan A, for example, is the same across every insurance company that sells Plan A, regardless of location. This makes it easy to compare Medicare Supplement insurance plans because the main difference between plans of the same letter category will be the premium cost.
Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin standardize their Medicare Supplement insurance plans differently from the rest of the country. In all states, insurance companies that sell Medicare Supplement insurance aren’t required to offer all plan types. However, any insurance company that sells Medigap insurance is required by law to offer Medigap Plan A. If an insurance company wants to offer other Medigap plans, it must sell either Plan C or Plan F in addition to any other plans it would like to sell.
The chart below allows you to compare Medicare Supplement insurance plans based on what’s offered across the standardized plans that are available in most states.
|$5,880 in 2020||$2,940 in 2020|
|2019 Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans|
|Medicare Supplement Benefits|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted|
|Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance basic benefits|
|First 3 pints of blood|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment|
|Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care coinsurance|
|Medicare Part A deductible|
|Medicare Part B deductible|
|Medicare Part B ‘excess charges’|
|Foreign travel emergency basic benefits (up to plan limits)|
|Medicare Part B preventive care coinsurance|
* There is also a high-deductible version of Plan F where beneficiaries pay a deductible of $2,300 in 2019 before the Medigap plan begins to cover Medicare-covered costs.
An important note about Medicare Supplement Plans F and C: You may not be able to buy these plans if you qualify for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. That includes high-deductible Plan F. If you already have one of these plans, you won’t have to give it up.
You might be able to get a high-deductible Medicare Supplement Plan G in 2020, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans (ahip.org). It doesn’t pay for the Medicare Part B deductible.
** After the out-of-pocket limit (including the Medicare Part B deductible) is reached for Plans K or L, the Medigap plan pays 100% of Medicare-covered services for the remainder of the calendar year.
***Plan N pays 100% of the Medicare Part B coinsurance costs, with the exception of a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in the beneficiary being admitted as an inpatient.
****Medically Necessary Emergency Care in a Foreign Country: coverage to the extent not covered by Medicare for 80 percent of the billed charges for Medicare-eligible expenses for medically necessary emergency hospital, physician and medical care received in a foreign country, which care would have been covered by Medicare if provided in the United States and which care began during the first 60 consecutive days of each trip outside the United States, subject to a calendar year deductible of $250, and a lifetime maximum benefit of $50,000. For purposes of this benefit, “emergency care” shall mean care needed immediately because of an injury or an illness of sudden and unexpected onset.