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Understanding The Benefits of Health Insurance
Understanding The Benefits of Medicare Supplement
100% of copayments & deductibles

The most popular plan covers 100% of copayments & deductibles for covered services after Original Medicare pays its share

any medical professional

You can visit any medical professional who takes Medicare; most doctors across the country will be covered by your plan

guaranteed eligibility

You’re guaranteed eligibility if you apply during your Open Enrollment Period; insurers must charge you their lowest rate regardless of your age or health status

renewable for life

Your Medicare Supplement plan is renewable for life, no matter what health issues arise after you’re covered

emergency care when traveling

Plans may include coverage for services that standard Medicare doesn’t cover, like emergency care when traveling away from the United States

No need to file separate claims

No need to file separate claims; billing is automatically coordinated with your insurance company

What’s the Difference Between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement?

What’s the Difference Between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement?

Medicare Advantage lets you get Medicare Parts A and B (“Original Medicare”) covered by a private insurer instead of the federal government. The benefit of this is that you usually get additional coverage (like vision or dental coverage). Choose Medicare Supplement if you want to keep your Original Medicare coverage through the federal government, but still want some additional coverage.

Key Differences Between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement
AdvantageSupplement
Medicare Part A & B Coverage
Serves in place of Original MedicareServes in addition to Original Medicare
Prescription Drug Coverage
Most plans include Part D/ Prescription drug coverageNot included; you must buy separately
Your Choice of Doctors
This depends on your type of plan and insurerAny health provider that participates in Medicare
Monthly Premiums
The cost varies by your plan and insurer ($0 to $100+)Cost based on your age & health history ($150-$200)
Out-of-Pocket Costs
You pay for copays and deductiblesLittle to none, outside of your premiums
Paperwork
Some paperwork because of your out-of-pocket costsLittle to none; easily coordinates with Medicare
What’s the Difference Between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement?

When Is Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment?

During Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment, insurers must offer you the lowest available rate regardless of your pre-existing health condition(s). Medicare Supplement Open enrollment begins when you’re 1) over the age of 65 and 2) enrolled in Medicare Part B. Open enrollment is available for 6 months afterwards.

Learn More About Open Enrollment

What’s the Difference Between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement?

What Are the Different Plans?

Each of the 10 different Medicare Supplement plan types (sorted by letters) provide different benefits. Plan types are standardized so that all plans within a letter-group provide the same exact coverage. When comparing plans of the same type, the only differences are carrier and price.

Comprehensive CoverageModerate CoverageLeast Coverage
BenefitsFGCNDMLKBA
Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment75%50%
Blood (first 3 pints)75%50%
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment75%50%
Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance75%50%
Part A deductible50%75%50%
Part B deductible
Part B excess charges
Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limit)80%80%80%80%80%80%
Medicare Part B preventative care coinsurance
Out of Pocket
Limit
$2,620
in 2018
$5,240
in 2018

* Plan F also offers a high-deductible plan. If you choose this option, this means you must pay for Medicare-covered costs up to the deductible amount of $2,200 in 2018 before your Medigap plan pays anything.

** After you meet your out-of-pocket yearly limit and your yearly Part B deductible, the Medigap plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

*** Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don't result in inpatient admission.

Read our guides

How to Choose a Medicare Supplement Plan

View Our Guide

Medigap or Medicare Advantage: Which Is Better for Me?

View Our Guide

Main Differences Between Medigap Plans

View Our Guide