When it comes to Medicare, the best Medicare Supplement plan for you may not be the best plan for your significant other, neighbor, or family member.
When comparing the best Medigap insurance, you have to take into consideration your current health and your budget.
The plan with the most benefits might not fit into your budget. Or, that same plan could be more coverage than you need.
Here, we’ll review all of the best Medicare Supplement plans for 2020 side by side so that you can make an informed decision on which Medigap plan is best for you.
Best Medicare Supplement Plans for 2020
Now, regardless of the carrier you choose to enroll with, the benefits will remain the same. The government standardizes all Medigap plan benefits.
That’s why the first step in choosing the best Medicare Supplement policy is deciding which letter plan you want to enroll. Once you decide on a letter plan, then you can choose the best carrier you wish to enroll in that letter plan with.
The first supplement plan we’re going to talk about is Plan N. Even though Plan N may not be as well known as other letter plans; it’s one of the Medigap plans we enroll our clients in the most.
The reason this plan makes this list is due to its lower premiums that make the policy more affordable than others. The only benefits Plan N doesn’t cover are the Part B deductible and any excess charges.
The reason the monthly premiums for Plan N are lower is because of the copays. In exchange for a lower monthly premium, you agree to pay a $20 copay at the doctors’ office and a $50 copay at the emergency room.
Tip: If you go to an Urgent Care facility, you may not have to pay any copay at all!
The next best Medigap plan we’re going to mention is Plan G. With Plan G; you’ll get the same benefits as Plan N plus coverage for any excess charges.
Tip: 97% of doctors accept Medicare Assignment and won’t charge excess charges. Some states don’t even allow excess charges.
Also, you won’t have to pay those small copays that Plan N requires you to pay. In exchange for not having to pay a small copay every time you visit the doctors or hospital, you agree to pay a slightly higher monthly premium.
For many years, Plan G has been the runner-up plan to Plan F. This is because Plan F checks off the final box on the benefits list.
Plan F is known as the all-inclusive Medigap plan. It leaves you with zero out of pocket costs. Unlike Plan G, it will cover the Part B deductible.
With Plan F, you won’t ever spend a dime on any medical services outside the monthly premium.
However, the legislation didn’t like this and discontinued Plan F to those considered newly-eligible after 2020.
High Deductible Plan Options
There are also two high deductible plan options. Both Plan G and Plan F have a high deductible version.
These versions have the same benefits as the standard plans, with the only difference being the deductible.
Both high deductible versions of Plan G and Plan F have a deducible of $2,340 per the calendar year. In exchange for having a high deductible, your monthly premiums will be significantly less than compared to the standard versions.
Just like the standard Plan F, the high deductible version won’t be available to anyone that was not eligible for Medicare until after 2020. However, all Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for high deductible Plan G.
Determining the Best Medigap Plan for You
To know which option is the best Medicare Supplement plan for you, you’ll have to take into account a few different factors. In no specific order, we’ve listed five factors you need to consider when choosing the best Medigap coverage.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Medigap Plan
The first factor is the date you first became eligible for Medicare.
The date you first became Medicare eligible determines which letter plans you can enroll in.
If you were eligible for Medicare before 2020, even if you delayed enrollment in Part B and never signed up for a Medigap plan, you’re considered non-newly eligible and can enroll in any Medigap plan.
If you were not eligible for Medicare until after 2020, then you’re considered newly eligible. This means you cannot sign up for Plan F or high deductible Plan F.
The second factor to consider is your health.
Many beneficiaries only take into account their current health. It’s essential to consider not only your current health but also your future health.
Just because you’re healthy now, doesn’t mean you’ll be healthy tomorrow. If genetics are not on your side, and you have a family history of health problems, then choosing a plan that will provide benefits now as well as in the future when your health changes are essential.
Don’t go with a plan that provides fewer benefits based on the fact that you’re healthy now. When you go to enroll in a plan that will give you more benefits later, you could be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions or because you’re no longer in your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
The third factor you need to consider is when your Open Enrollment Period is.
Open Enrollment Window
Since you’re open enrollment window for a Medigap plan only occurs once in your lifetime, you can’t afford to miss it.
You won’t be able to choose the best Medicare Supplement plan if you have a pre-existing condition and are outside your open enrollment window.
However, regardless of your health status or if you’re in your open enrollment window or not, you can enroll in a Medigap plan at any time. The negative side to this is you’ll have to answer health questions to complete the enrollment.
The fourth factor to take into consideration is your budget.
A rainy day fund may or may not cover all your medical expenses. When it comes to Medicare, there is no out of pocket maximum. This means your rainy day fund could quickly be depleted if you become sick.
Without a Medicare Supplement plan, you’ll have to pay the 20% coinsurance on every outpatient service.
In some cases, beneficiaries find Medicare Supplement plans to be expensive when it comes to monthly premiums. So, instead of enrolling in Medigap, they choose to go with a Medicare Advantage plan since they have lower monthly premiums.
Significantly lower monthly premiums should be a red flag. Especially when the Advantage plan has a zero dollar premium. In exchange for low, or zero, monthly premiums, you agree to pay copays for every single physician you see and every single service you receive.
These copays will quickly add up. The next thing you know, you spent over $250 for ONE VISIT vs. $100 for that month in Medigap premiums.
Advantage plans are offered through private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. Medicare pays these carriers to take on your risk.
Since Medicare pays them each month you’re enrolled to take on your risk, they can afford to offer low or zero-dollar premium plans.
I want to point out that some form of supplemental Medicare coverage is better than none. So, if a Medicare Advantage plan is the only additional coverage that fits into your budget, then it makes sense to enroll.
Just make sure you weigh out the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage plans vs. Medicare Supplements before you enroll in anything.
Also, in regards to budget, your location will impact your monthly premium amount. What you’ll pay in monthly premiums in one state for a letter plan could be more or less than what you would pay for that same letter plan in another state.
The final factor to consider is if you’re still working past 65 and delaying retirement.
If you’re part of the many choosing to delay retirement and work past 65, knowing if your employer’s group plan is considered creditable coverage is crucial.
Not all employer coverage is considered creditable coverage, which means if you don’t enroll when you’re first eligible, once you retire, you could be denied coverage.
Additionally, you could also face penalties that will increase your Part B and Part D monthly premiums for the rest of your life if you delay enrolling without creditable coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best Medicare supplement companies?
This question is hard to answer since carriers change from year to year. However, we keep our content up to date. You can read our current list of the top Medicare Supplement companies.
Is Plan F the best Medicare Supplement plan?
Plan F is known as the best plan due to it being the most comprehensive coverage option. With Medicare Supplement plans, the best plan for one individual may not be the best plan for another individual. Since all Medigap plans are standardized by the government, the benefits are the same across all carriers. The best Plan F would be the one that has the lowest premium in your area.
How do I find the best Medigap insurance plans?
Contact a licensed Medicare agent that you can trust to provide you a non-biased quote with all carriers in your area.
What’s the next best Medigap plan after Plan F is discontinued?
Plan F is ONLY being discontinued to any individual considered Medicare-eligible AFTER 2020. This means if you were eligible before 2020, you can still enroll in Plan F at any time. For individuals not considered Medicare-eligible until after 2020, the next best Medigap plan after Plan F would be Plan G. If you’re looking for the next best option compared to high-deductible Plan F, then you would want to look into high deductible Plan G.
Don’t Tackle Medicare Alone
There are way too many factors, many not included here, that you need to take into account when enrolling in the best Medicare Supplement plan.
Don’t settle for just okay coverage when you’ve been paying into Medicare your entire life.
Compare the best plans for each type of supplemental Medicare coverage today.
Our services are 100% free; we never enroll our clients in a plan that we wouldn’t enroll our family in. We genuinely care about your Medicare.
Enroll in the best Medicare Supplement plan for you today. Give us a call at the number above. Or, compare rates now using our online rate comparison form.