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July 20, 2022
The 10 Medicare Supplement Plans, Explained (2022)

The 10 Medicare Supplement Plans, Explained (2022)

When reviewing your health coverage options, Medicare Supplements can make a lot of sense. But there are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans. How do you navigate through them and determine which one is right one for you?

We’ll explain the 10 Medicare Supplements and some of the major differences between plans.  

What’s a Medicare Supplement?

Medicare Supplements are exactly what they sound like: supplemental coverage to your Original Medicare coverage. They help fill gaps that Medicare might leave behind, which is why many people also refer to them as Medigap plans.  

Medicare supplements are provided and administered by private insurance companies for purchase, but are standardized by the federal government. If you enroll in Plan N in Georgia, your coverage will be the same as those enrolled in Plan N in Arizona or Maine. It's also the same from company to company. If you enroll in a Plan N with one company, your coverage will be the same as if you enrolled with another.

Only three states — Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin — have variations on these standardized plans. Even then, all supplement plans meet the federal quality standard for coverage.

What’s the difference between Medicare PARTS and Medicare Supplement PLANS?

Medicare has a lot of jargon. When talking about Medicare parts, it’s referring to the type of coverage it offers. Part A is for hospital care on Original Medicare and Part B is for outpatient care, also a part of Original Medicare. Some people call Medicare Advantage Part C, because it’s a bundle that combines the coverage of A and B, while Part D is specifically for prescription drug coverage.  

“Plans” in Medicare refer to individual policies that can be Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage or prescription drug coverage. Plans are offered by private insurance companies and are available to purchase for additional coverage, or alternate coverage in the case of Medicare Advantage, from private insurance companies.  

Want to learn more about the differences between Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage? Check out this previous post that goes into detail about the difference between the two.  

Are there 12 Medicare Supplement plans?

There is a common misconception that there are 12 Medicare Supplement plans because people sometimes list the high deductible Plan F and high deductible Plan G as their own separate plans — but they’re not!

The coverage of a Plan F or a Plan G are the same no matter which version you choose — you are simply selecting whether you want a higher or lower deductible.

Think of it less like choosing between apples and oranges and more like choosing between red and green apples. Both are apples, but they each bring something unique to the table.

How many different Medicare Supplement plans are there?

Currently, there are 10 Medicare Supplement plans available. Plans are designated using letters: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N.

There are also high-deductible versions of Plan F and Plan G available, but those do not count as entirely different plans. Throughout the history of Medicare, some plans have been added occasionally and some have been phased out, which is why the current order might look odd if you’re expecting it in true alphabetical format. There were plans for those missing letters, but they have been phased out.  

It is worth noting that some plans are not available in all areas and some plans are in the process of being phased out for newer versions, so make sure the plan you want is available in your area before beginning the shopping process.  

What is the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plan?

Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most comprehensive coverage plan available. It offers great coverage and almost zero out-of-pocket costs for you.

However, Plan F is only available to purchase for Medicare beneficiaries who were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020. Learn more about the Plan F phaseout here.

What are some of the most popular Medicare Supplements?

Beyond being comprehensive, Plan F is also highly popular. Nearly 85% of companies that offer Medicare Supplement plans offer Plan F, and nearly half of all Medicare-eligible seniors in a Medicare Supplement have chosen to enroll in Plan F as of 2019.

Other popular plan options include Plan G and Plan N. At Medicare Allies, we carry popular plans from the major national insurance providers.  

What’s the difference between Plan F and Plan N?  

For those who are ineligible for Plan F or are looking at alternative options, Plan N can be appealing. N has lower premiums and offers similar coverage. However, F still has lower out-of-pocket costs, which means it may save you money in the long run.  

Want to know how Plan N stacks up against Plan G? We’ve written a blog post all about it!

How can I compare Medicare Supplement plans?

When comparing Medicare Supplement plans, you’ll want to look at coverage differences between the lettered plans. By law, all Medicare Supplements must offer standardized care, but copayments and deductibles may vary.

Check out this chart to learn more about plan differences for each of the 10 plans available.  

Conclusion

Medicare Supplements can seem confusing at first, but they don’t have to be! When reviewing your options, look for what’s available in your area and what you’re eligible to choose. Knowing those two things will give you a head start on finding a Medicare Supplement that works for you!

Still have questions about Medicare Supplements? Give us a call. We’ve got agents who are ready to help you navigate your options and help you throughout the entire enrollment process. We’re always happy to help you find healthcare coverage.

Luke Hockaday
By
Luke Hockaday
Luke Hockaday is a Customer Success Rep here at Senior Allies. Luke has been helping Medicare-eligible clients with their insurance and retirement-planning needs since 2011. Luke is passionate about 3 things, and 3 things only: senior insurance, football, and food!

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