Best Medicare Supplement Providers Of 2023
When you turn 65, Medicare will cover 80% of inpatient and outpatient care, but not all of it. To fill the gap, you can purchase Medicare Supplement insurance from a private insurance company. Forbes Health analyzed U.S. insurance companies that offer nationwide plans based on their coverage, plan types, financial health rankings, and more to determine the best Medicare Supplement providers.
How We Picked the Best Medicare Supplement Providers
Choosing the right Medicare Supplement provider is crucial for those seeking additional coverage beyond Original Medicare. To help individuals make informed decisions, the Health editorial team has evaluated insurance companies nationwide to determine the best Medicare Supplement providers for 2023.
We considered various factors such as the number of states in which they provide coverage, the types of Medigap plans they offer, whether they offer Part D coverage, and whether they provide additional coverage beyond federal regulations. Additionally, they looked at A.M. Best rankings to assess financial health and J.D. Power rankings for consumer feedback.
While the editorial team provides general summaries of the companies and their reputations, specific plan recommendations require consideration of an individual’s ZIP code and demographic details. For this reason, they recommend using Medicare.gov’s plan finder tool or seeking the expertise of an independent, agnostic insurance agent.
Choosing the right Medicare Supplement provider can be a daunting task, but with careful consideration of these factors and utilizing available resources, individuals can make informed decisions to meet their healthcare needs.
What Is A Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan?
As people age, healthcare costs tend to increase. While Original Medicare, which includes Part A and Part B, provides coverage for many healthcare services, it may not cover everything. That’s where Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap, come in.
Medigap is a private insurance policy purchased to help pay for what Original Medicare doesn’t cover. These plans are provided by private insurance companies and can help cover deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, among other costs.
It’s important to note that Medigap plans only apply with Original Medicare—not other private insurance policies, standalone Medicare plans, or Medicare Advantage plans. They generally don’t cover prescriptions, so you may want to consider enrolling in Medicare Part D, which specifically covers prescription drugs, or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage.
Medigap plans aren’t the same as Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage. While a Medicare Advantage plan can serve as an alternative way to get Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, Medigap plans only cover what Part A and Part B do not.
To be eligible for a Medicare Supplement plan, you must be enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and Part B, but not a Medicare Advantage plan. You must also be in one of the following categories: age 65 and older, under 65 and receiving disability benefits, under 65 and diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or under 65 and diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
It’s important to note that companies could delay coverage up to six months for a pre-existing condition if you didn’t have creditable coverage (other health insurance) before enrolling in Medicare. Your Medicare Supplement open enrollment period starts the first month you sign up for Medicare Part B insurance at age 65 or older, even if you delayed enrollment because you had group health coverage.
Medigap policies cannot be canceled by the insurance company even if your health status changes as long as you pay your premiums. If you’re already enrolled in a Medigap plan, you may apply to buy or switch plans.
In conclusion, a Medicare Supplement plan can provide extra coverage to help pay for healthcare costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. It’s important to carefully consider your healthcare needs and options before choosing a plan.
How Much Does Medicare Supplement Cost?
Medicare supplement costs vary by carrier and plan choice, with individual insurance companies setting policy prices for Medigap. Premium pricing can be community-rated (same for all ages), issue or entry age-rated (cheaper for younger age), or attained-age-rated (based on age at time of purchase). Rates may also be influenced by location, gender, marital status, and lifestyle factors like smoking. Medigap plans are purchased from private insurance companies, and monthly premiums are paid directly to the company. Policies and prices are dependent on state and married couples need separate policies as Medigap plans only cover one person.
Medicare Supplement plans F, G and N are popular plans that help cover out-of-pocket Medicare costs. Plan F is the most comprehensive plan but is no longer available to those eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020. Plan G is becoming the most popular option for new enrollees as it covers the most Medicare costs of any available Medigap plan type. Plan N is the third most popular and offers a broad range of coverage with relatively lower costs.
Medicare Supplement plans help cover costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. They can also provide coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care during travel outside the U.S. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, serve as a substitute for Original Medicare and offer additional benefits like prescription drug coverage. To find the best Medigap plan for your needs, consider your current and future health care needs and budget.