We evaluated 12 of the best Medicare supplement insurance plans, also known as Medigap insurance. After careful review, we identified the nine best Medicare supplement insurance options for 2022. Use the tips in this guide for help with choosing supplemental Medicare coverage. We investigated the best insurance companies, then answered frequently asked questions about Medicare supplement insurance later in the guide.
We reviewed cost and benefit data, spoke with consumers and consulted insurance experts. We selected these companies as the top medicare supplement insurance providers: United Medicare Advisors, Cigna, Mutual of Omaha, Medicare.net, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, SelectQuote Senior, Aetna and AARP by UnitedHealthcare.
- Sign up for a Medicare supplement policy during open enrollment
- Shop around to compare prices and programs
- Don’t confuse Medigap insurance with Medicare Advantage
Tips For A Wise Buyer
You are eligible to buy Medicare supplement insurance during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period if you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. Medicare supplement plans are regulated, and plan benefits are the same in all but three states. Costs and the number of plans vary by insurer, however.
What is Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?
Medicare is government-funded health care insurance for Americans age 65 and up. Plans include deductibles and copays, so the insurance doesn’t cover 100% of medical costs. Private insurance companies sell Medicare supplement plans to limit costs associated with Medicare Part A and Part B.
|Medicare Part A Deductible and Coinsurance
2020 to 2022 Increases
|Cost Sharing Amount||2020||2021||2022|
|Inpatient hospital deductible||$1,408||$1,484||$1,556|
|Daily coinsurance for 61st-90th day||$352||$371||$389|
|Daily coinsurance for lifetime reserve days||$704||$742||$778|
|Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance||$176||$185.50||$194.50|
Part B coinsurance is typically 20% of the cost for doctor visits, hospital inpatient services, outpatient therapy and durable medical equipment. Medicare Part D is a prescription drug plan with varying copays and deductibles.
We recommend shopping around using a Medicare expert like United Medicare Advisors to compare plans. There are 10 standard Medigap plans, and there’s not one that’s best for all situations. Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin provide Medicare supplement policies for residents.
Compare prices for Medicare supplement insurance
What about Medicare SELECT?
Some states also offer a Medigap policy called Medicare SELECT. While these plans typically cost less compared to other Medicare supplement plans, you must use only certain hospitals and doctors. Unless you require emergency services, these plans pay no benefits if you go out of the network.
Medicare SELECT is budget-friendly, but covers less
When to Buy Medicare Supplement Insurance
What is the biggest mistake Americans make regarding Medicare supplemental insurance? Not enrolling on time.
A spokesman with the Social Security Administration told us, “Everyone thinks they have enough coverage when they’re 65 if they’re working or if they have insurance through their spouse. They don’t think they have to sign up. Then later, they find out they have missed their open enrollment period.”
If you are retired, buy Medicare supplement insurance within six months of the date you turn 65. You’re required to enroll in Medicare Part B to buy a policy. If you have insurance through your employer, you can wait to enroll in Part B when you are retired.
If you have a preexisting health condition or disability, buy Medigap coverage during your six-month enrollment window. You’ll pay the same premium as those who are in good health until the enrollment period expires. Miss the open enrollment window, and you will likely pay more for coverage — if you can buy a policy at all. You can still buy a Medigap policy under some circumstances defined by guaranteed issue rights.
Don’t miss the enrollment period if you are retired
What’s New for Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2020
Medicare supplement plans stopped selling Plan C and Plan F to new policyholders. This rule went into effect in 2020 due to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. MACRA mandates that new Medigap plans can’t cover the Part B deductible.
You can keep the coverage if you enrolled in either plan or the high deductible version of Plan F before January 1, 2020. You may still be able to buy Plan C and Plan F if you were Medicare-eligible before January 1, 2020, but did not enroll.
How to Choose Medicare Supplement Insurance
The three most significant considerations for finding the best Medicare supplement insurance are: price transparency, customer service and pricing methods.
Price transparency is when the consumer can determine premium costs with no hassles. You should quickly obtain quotes over the phone, online or in person.
Customer service is a top consideration in almost all buying choices. Look for a company with a streamlined process for buying Medicare supplement insurance. Consider your preference for meeting face-to-face in a local office, discussing policies over the phone or using online chat.
Pricing models affect future premiums. Medicare supplement insurance is priced using three rating systems. Consider how each model affects future costs. Ask insurance representatives about the method used for each policy you’re interested in buying.
- Community rated charges the same monthly premium to all policyholders. Premiums may rise due to inflation, but not age.
- Issue-age rated policies are priced based on age when the coverage begins. Premiums do not rise due to age and cost less if you purchase when younger.
- Attained-age rated premiums are based on your age when you apply for the insurance. The cost may be low at first but rises with age.
Benefits by Plan Type
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Blood (first 3 pints)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part A deductible||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part B deductible||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Foreign travel exchange||No||No||80%||80%||80%|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes**|
|Blood (first 3 pints)||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Part A deductible||Yes||50%||75%||50%||Yes|
|Part B deductible||No||No||No||No||No|
|Foreign travel exchange||80%||No||No||80%||80%|
Our Search For The Best Medicare Supplement Plans
1. We considered a large number of Medicare supplement insurance companies
2. We evaluated Medicare supplement insurance companies based on our expert-guided criteria: price transparency, helpfulness and coverage
3. We brought you the best Medigap plans for consideration
Searching for the right Medicare supplement policy can be difficult, so we narrowed the choices for you. We homed in on the top Medigap insurance companies as follows:
- We considered a large number of supplemental insurance companies
We kicked off our search with 12 Medicare supplement insurance companies that offer a broad range of plans. We included companies that appeared in popular online search queries and those with a large TV or radio advertisement budget. Most consumers shop at these companies.
- We followed our own buying tips
Next, we analyzed these companies based on our expert-guided buyer criteria in three categories: price transparency, helpfulness, and coverage. Companies that obscured their prices, made the process very difficult, or had limited coverage options were cut from the search.
- We shopped for policies
We contacted companies and asked for more information. Policies range in price from less than $100 per month for basic coverage to thousands for maximum protection.
The result of our analysis is the best Medicare supplement insurance companies for you, a friend or family member to consider.
Medicare Supplement Plan Reviews
After our evaluation, we selected nine best Medicare supplemental insurance providers: United Medicare Advisors, Cigna, Mutual of Omaha, Medicare.net, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, SelectQuote Senior, Aetna and AARP by United Healthcare. Each of these companies met our criteria and stood out uniquely.
United Medicare Advisors
Great Coverage |
United Medicare Advisors guides you through the confusing aspects of Medicare supplement plans to find the best insurance strategy for your needs. The company works with more than 20 plan providers in 45 states and produced more than 100,000 policies. United Medical Advisors represents companies like Gerber, Sterling and Humana.
Price transparency: Call a United Medicare Advisors representative or complete an online form to get a quote. Use the form, and an agent will contact you with suggested plans. United Medicare Advisors tailors quotes for each individual. Their website says consumers save an average of around $634 per year by switching to a new Medigap plan.
Read our comprehensive United Medicare Advisors review.
Great Online Marketplace |
Medicare.net is a one-stop shop for information about Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage, prescription plans and more. The company works with every major insurance carrier to provide real-time quotes by state and ZIP code. Information you’ll find on the Medicare.net website includes:
- Carrier Medicare information: Details on carriers such as BCBS, Humana, Aetna and others.
- Important Medicare information: Find current and future pricing information for Medicare, Medigap and Medicare Advantage. You’ll also find information about prescription drug cards and when to apply for Medicare.
- New Medicare customer information: Medicare.net explains what Medicare is and how to apply for the program.
Click Medicare.net’s “Help me find the best plan” button for four choices: needs assessment, build your plan, current plan comparison and prescription drug coverage. Choose one of the four options to filter Medicare, Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans.
Read our comprehensive Medicare.net review
AARP by UnitedHealthcare
Great Service |
AARP offers Medicare supplemental insurance plans via UnitedHealthcare. UnitedHealthcare is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group and is America’s biggest health insurer, boasting over 130 million members.
Price transparency: AARP earned a top spot as the most transparent company. The site generates accurate sample rates without requiring personal details. Enter your ZIP code in the “Find Plans In Your Area” toolbar to see a list of available plans with age-based prices. Call a customer service representative or fill out the online form to discuss personalized quotes.
Customer service: The company takes as much guesswork as possible out of your quest for supplemental insurance. For example, you can answer a couple of health questions online to be matched with plans that may work for you. Company representatives are also available by phone seven days a week. The AARP website search tool finds plans in your ZIP code with a link to schedule a local in-person meeting.
Coverage: Depending on your state, the site offers up to 10 different plans to choose from. The greater the number of plans, the more options you have to get health care at an affordable cost.
Read our comprehensive AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance review.
Mutual of Omaha
Great Advice |
Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 health insurance and financial services firm with a broad range of products. The company receives stellar ratings, including an A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best. Mutual of Omaha is recognized for its overall financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to policyholders.
Price transparency: You won’t find any quotes online. Complete a quick online form on the site, and a representative will contact you to go over possible plans.
Customer Service: Search the site for the closest available agent for a face-to-face meeting. You can also fill out an online form to have a customer service representative call you when it’s convenient.
See the “Planning and Advice” section for Medicare-related articles and to learn your enrollment period and eligibility rules. Browse this information to know the questions you should ask a representative and your best plan options.
Coverage: Mutual of Omaha provides a search for coverage options by state on the website. Search results provide links to nearby agents’ offices for local support.
Check out our comprehensive Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement review.
Great Perks |
Humana is a Fortune 500 company offering several health insurances and Medicare supplement plans. The company services over 13 million customers. Humana won numerous awards from the National Business Group on Health, American Heart Association, Military Times and other organizations.
Price transparency: Humana offers quotes on the website. Enter your ZIP code to see a list of Medicare supplement insurance policies available in your area. Prices are easy to compare thanks to Humana’s user-friendly site.
Perks: Humana Medicare supplement policies come with unique perks for customers. These perks include discounts for using electronic payments, the Silver Sneakers fitness program and 24-hour nurse access via telephone. The program also provides savings on eye exams, contact lenses and glasses, over-the-counter medication, massage therapy and more.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Most Widely Used Insurer |
Established in 1929, BCBS provides Medicare supplement insurance and personalized, affordable health plans to more than 106 million Americans. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the umbrella over 36 U.S. independent insurance companies, including Anthem, CareFirst and Regence.
Price Transparency: Visit the Blue Cross Blue Shield website to see if the company offers Medicare supplement insurance in your area. You will get a list of BCBS affiliates after you enter your state and ZIP code in the online search tool. The site doesn’t offer prices online, and you need to call for a quote.
Customer service: Blue Cross Blue Shield’s website provides a great deal of information about Medicare supplement insurance. You’ll find a breakdown of costs, limits and other things to consider before purchasing a policy.
Check out our comprehensive Blue Cross Blue Shield review.
Great Online Portal |
Aetna Insurance Company opened for business in 1853 selling annuities and began selling life insurance soon after. Today, the company offers five Medicare supplement plans in addition to a long list of other insurances.
Price Transparency: Aetna provides policy pricing on the website, although it is a little tricky to find. Select your state, and you’ll get a PDF with sample policy prices. You call Aetna to get a firm quote.
Customer Service: Aetna’s website doesn’t provide much general information on Medicare supplement plans. However, the site explains Aetna’s Medicare supplement coverage well.
Read our in-depth review of Aetna Medicare supplement plans for more details.
Additional Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies
Read our comprehensive review of Cigna Medicare Insurance
Related Medicare Supplement Resources
Readers of this Medicare Supplement guide content also read these related articles.
We evaluated 15 well-known Medicare Advantage plans and, after careful review, identified the six best Medicare Advantage companies in 2022.
Medicare supplement plans have separate premiums from Medicare. Read about how Medicare supplement plan premiums are calculated.
One concern that comes up when thinking about Medicare supplement plans is whether you’ll be able to use your current doctor with your plan. Read about whether all doctors accept Medicare supplement plans.
More Related Articles
Medicare Supplement Companies By State
Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare Supplement Plans
When should I buy Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Put the first day of your Medigap open enrollment period on your calendar. This six-month window kicks off the month you turn 65. You must also enroll in Medicare Part B to be eligible to buy a Medigap policy. You can sign up for any Medicare supplemental insurance during the six months, even if you have a preexisting condition.
You may be able to buy Medicare supplemental insurance after the six-month window. However, insurers may increase premiums or deny coverage.
Do I have to purchase Medicare supplement insurance?
You are not required to buy Medicare supplement insurance. The most recent data shows around 13.5 million people enrolled in a Medigap plan.
Without a Medicare supplement plan, you’re responsible for out-of-pocket costs that can cost thousands of dollars. Health care expenses can eat into your retirement savings, so buying coverage is probably a good financial move.
What if I’m 65 or older and still using my employer coverage?
If you are one of the millions of Americans working after age 65, your employer’s health insurance coverage may be sufficient. Medicare supplement open enrollment starts when you enroll in Medicare Part B. You can delay enrollment until you retire.
If you aren’t sure if you qualify for coverage, start by finding out if you are eligible for Medicare.
How much does Medicare supplemental insurance cost?
We found policies ranging in price from less than $100 per month for basic coverage to thousands for maximum protection. There’s no average cost for Medigap insurance because of many factors, such as your location, age and needs.
A ballpark figure for Medicare supplement insurance premiums is around $165 per month for standard coverage. However, the more supplemental insurance you want, the higher the cost.
Can I get a discount on a Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Yes. Some plans offer discounts if you’re married. You may be able to cut your rate if you’re a nonsmoker. Some companies give price breaks if you pay annually or via electronic funds transfer. Even if the website or brochure you’re studying doesn’t mention anything about discounts – ask.
Are all 10 Medicare supplemental insurance plans the same in every state?
While there are 10 different plans in most of the U.S., federal law mandates that each plan carries the same coverage. For example, Plan K in New York offers identical benefits to Plan K in New Mexico.
Where else can I turn for more information?
Click on the SHIP Locator button on the State Health Insurance Assistance Program website to get help with Medigap insurance. Click on your state to see the phone number and state office website.
Medicare supplement insurance coverage is one of the most critical health and financial decisions you make for retirement.
You may start looking at policies with one or more of our picks for best Medicare supplement insurance companies.
Talk to a representative and know your policy options before you buy Medigap insurance. Get the costs and benefits in writing. With transparent pricing, you won’t buy more coverage than needed or be surprised by steep increases later.
Buying a Medicare supplement policy can be complicated. There are many choices available, and the right plan can significantly reduce medical costs. It’s ideal to have a friend or family member review the Medigap policy before you sign up.
The Best Medicare Supplement Plans
|1||Great Coverage||United Medicare Advisors|
|4||Great Advice||Mutual of Omaha|
|5||Great Online Marketplace||Medicare.net|
|6||Most Widely-Used Insurer||BCBS|
|7||Great Online Portal||Aetna|
|8||Great Service||AARP by UnitedHealthcare|