Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap, exist to cover the costs of benefits and expenses above the coverage provided by Medicare Insurance Parts A and B, thereby limiting out-of-pocket expenses from regular visits to the doctor or the hospital. Beneficiaries who hold Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage), are not eligible for Medigap. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans cover the coinsurance, co-payments, and deductibles that are regular, out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare patients. In addition, many of the Medigap plans also offer coverage for medical expenses incurred while traveling abroad. Though they are sold directly through private insurers, the specific features of the various Medigap plans are strictly regulated by federal law, with the exception of three states, who have their own standard policies, (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin).

During the initial seven-month Medicare open enrollment period, consumers should also choose their Medigap policy, particularly if they have any pre-existing condition. After this window, insurers have the right to deny coverage or offer higher premiums. Though overall costs for a plan will vary depending on a number of factors, including smoking status and geographical location, by far the most important indicator of cost is the insurer's pricing system. This can be classified into three different types:

  • Community-rated - this charges the same monthly premium, regardless of age
  • Issue-age rated - the initial charge is determined by the beneficiary's age at signup, but any further premium increases are not tied to age
  • Attained-age rated - the initial premium is age-based, and can increase as the beneficiary ages 

There are many factors that play a part in choosing the most appropriate Medigap plan, though consumers should always find out which pricing system their insurer uses, before committing to any particular company. Additionally, income level, current health, and current coverage all play a part in choosing the most suitable plan. As with any insurance policy, consumers must carefully weigh the benefits of the more comprehensive Medigap policies against their higher premiums, while taking into account their various health needs. We cannot stress enough the importance of speaking to a qualified insurance broker to find the Medicare Supplement Insurance plan that is most appropriate for your budget and circumstances. Another good idea is to thoroughly research the insurers they are considering, checking whether the agent and company are licensed by the state, and if there are any complaints or legal actions against them.

Top 10 Companies

9.5 / 10
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  • Straightforward information online and over the phone
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  • 9.4 Trustpilot Rating
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  • Plans Cover What Medicare Doesn't
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How We Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance



Search for a Medicare supplement insurance provider that offers a mixture of services and reasonable rates. Services must include foreign travel emergency, skilled nursing facility, low out-of-pocket costs and everything that contributes to the convenience of policyholders.

  • Skilled Nursing Facility – this includes semi-private room, skilled nursing care, meals, medications, dietary counseling, medical supplies, physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, and ambulance transportation.
  • Renewable Policy – a policy that lets the insurer continue their insurance coverage as long as premiums are settled on the policy.
  • Low out of pocket costs – immediate disbursements of cash by the policy holder that can be refunded later. 
  • No Referrals Required –does not require a health referral from a specialist before applying for a Medicare supplement insurance policy.
  • Own Choice of Specialist and Hospital – clients are allowed to select their preferred physician and hospice.
  • Customized Medicare Plans – policyholders may choose their desired plans according to their Medicare supplement insurance needs.
  • Foreign Travel Emergency – enables clients to obtain Medicare assistance even outside the US.
  • Medicare Insurance Programs – variation of Medicare supplement insurance policies that allows a client to select the best insurance coverage that fits their needs.



Like all insurance policies, the best Medicare supplemental insurance should provide the widest coverage with its policies. The amount of coverage can be based on the client’s preferred inclusions and medical coverage. Standard Medicare coverage is very basic and offers limited benefits. Medical supplemental insurance should be able to offer better coverage and pick up where Medicare coverage ends.

  • Coinsurance and Hospital Cost
  • Coinsurance and Copayment
  • Hospice Care
  • Medicare Part A&B Deductibles   
  • Drug Prescription
  • Nationwide Coverage
  • Coverage Rate
  • Outpatient Care
  • Laboratories

Customer Experience


Medicare supplement insurance qualifications are very similar to those of Medicare insurance. This is because Medicare supplement insurance merely provides extended coverage where Medicare falls short. Applicants must be at least 65 years and a resident of a state where the policy is offered. And if under 65, a qualified policyholder must have end stage renal disease and/or disability. Some insurance companies do not allow applications from a person with a disability or with end-stage renal stage until they reach the age of 65. Plan offerings and eligibility varies per state and your preferred insurance provider.

  • 65 Years and Above   
  • End-Stage Renal Disease   
  • With Certain Disabilities  

Financial Strength


Before buying Medicare Supplement Insurance, consider understanding and combining your healthcare purchasing power. There are several terms or technical language you’ll come across and becoming familiar with them makes it easier for you to understand the benefits of your Medicare supplemental insurance policy.

Premiums – These are the payments you make for your insurance. It is based on client’s age (the older the policyholder, the higher the premiums will be), family size (single vs. individual plus a spouse and/or children), tobaccos user (companies can’t be charge 1.5 times higher versus non-tobacco user is charged) and location (insurers charge more in areas where medical cost are high). Policyholders who have history of health problems can also charge higher premium. 

Deductible – This is the payment that the policyholder is responsible to pay for medical coverage expenses. When the client files a claim, they are required to shoulder a percentage of the healthcare costs.   

Co-Pays – Some Medicare supplement insurance have co-pays. It is a set price for different services you may need. For instance, you need to pay a $100 co-pay for an emergency room visit or $20 co-pay for primary care physician visit.

Maximum Out-of-Pocket – It is a maximum amount set by the insurance company that may cover the cost of the rest of your medical expenses. This will require paying co-insurance, co-payments and deductibles in a year.  

Co-Insurance – Cost of covered medical services shared between the policyholder and the insurance company. Medicare supplement insurance plan commonly has 80/20 coinsurance, meaning 80% of the covered medical expenses will be paid by the insurance company and the 20% remaining will be shouldered by the policyholder of the same covered medical expense 

Types of Plans


Coverage and benefits differ according to the Medicare supplemental insurance plan offered by the insurance provider. Plans can have different coverage, deductible and special coverage options. These are also subject to the conditions set by the underwriter and other restrictions. A pre-existing condition for example can affect your eligibility for coverage.

There are 10 different plan options for Medicare supplement insurance. They differ on percentage they will pay of not-covered Medicare items, deductibles, out of pocket limits, foreign travel emergency coverage, etc. These plans are subject to medical underwriting or other restrictions. All plans are standardized and must follow state and federal law. But because these plans are offered through private institutions, the cost structure for the exact same plan can vary widely depending on the provider you choose. See the documents and policy for a detailed description, benefits, exclusions, condition and limitations of coverage. 

Medicare Supplemental Benefits Supplemental Medicare Plans (Medigap)
Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an
additional 365 days 
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Part B coinsurance or copayment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes Yes
Blood (first 3 pints) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes Yes
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes Yes
Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance No No Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes Yes
Part A deductible No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% 50% Yes
Part B deductible No No Yes No Yes No No No No No
Part B No No No No Yes Yes No No No No
Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits) No No 80% 80% 80% 80% No No 80% 80%
Out-of-pocket limit N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A





Customer Questions & Answers

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as "Medigap," is additional coverage for existing Medicare recipients, provided by private insurers. Available in various plans, the supplemental insurance pays for "gaps" not covered in original Medicare, such as copayments, coinsurance, and coverage when traveling in foreign countries.

What does Medicare supplement insurance cover?

Medicare Supplement Insurance provides coverage for some of the expenses that Medicare does not provide, such as the out-of-pocket copayments and coinsurance for doctor visits and hospice care, the cost of receiving medical attention while traveling abroad, and the costs of receiving blood. Medicare supplement insurance does not provide coverage for long-term care, private home caregivers, dental and vision exams, hearing aids, or eyeglasses. These must all be purchased separately.

How much does Medicare Supplement Insurance cost?

Consumers can expect to pay, on average, around $100-400 per month for Medicare supplement insurance, depending on their chosen plan. It's important to remember that Medicare supplement insurance is issued by private insurers, not Medicare itself. The premiums are paid by the individual recipient to the insurance company, who sets the price based on the amount of benefits each supplement plan offers and how they age rate the policy.

What do I need to do to apply for Medicare Supplement Insurance?

In order to apply for Medicare supplement insurance, beneficiaries must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. If they are not currently covered by a group or employer plan, the open window for Medigap enrollment is the six-month period beginning the month they turn 65. In addition, there is a 63-day window for Medigap enrollment after a group or employer policy ends. Outside of the open enrollment period, insurers may choose to not offer a supplement insurance policy to individuals or offer plans at a higher rate.

Can I be turned down for Medicare supplemental insurance?

Private insurers can turn down applicants for Medicare Supplemental Insurance outside of the open-enrollment period. Applicants for Medigap coverage outside of open-enrollment are subject to a medical questionnaire that helps determine eligibility and rate, and they may be declined coverage.

Can I get Medicare Supplemental Insurance if I have a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Beneficiaries cannot simultaneously hold a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan. Medicare Advantage plans cover many of the same "gaps" that supplemental insurance provides, therefore one plan cannot be used to cover the costs of the other.

Do Medicare Supplement plans differ for each state?

The ten Medicare supplement plans are standardized by federal law across the country, with exceptions in three states. For shoppers of supplemental plans, this means that the benefits of each of the plans are the same -- for instance, Plan C in Nevada is the same as Plan C in New Hampshire -- but the premiums will be different because they come from different companies in different regions of the country. However, residents of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have different eligibility requirements and supplemental plans.

Are pre-existing conditions covered by Medigap plans?

Insurers cannot disqualify an applicant with a pre-existing condition, if he or she signs up for medicare supplement insurance during the open-enrollment period. Insurers, though, can postpone supplemental coverage for the first six months of the policy with what is called the "pre-existing condition waiting period."
Should supplement insurance lapse or the applicant applies for coverage outside the open-enrollment period, insurers may disqualify applicants with pre-existing conditions.

When is the best time to enroll in a Medigap policy?

The best time to enroll is during Medigap's open-enrollment period, which is during the six months after one turns 65. After enrolling in Medicare Part A & Part B, an applicant can enroll during those six months to get the best rates and not be disqualified for supplemental coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Open-enrollment is also extended for a period of 63 days after an individual loses coverage from a group or employer health insurance, or if your insurance policy company goes out of the supplemental insurance business.

What factors do insurance companies use to set my Medigap plan premium?

Medigap plan premiums are set based on a variety of factors, including the insurer's age-rating method, the applicant's gender, their geographical location, and whether or not they are a smoker. If a consumer applies for Medicare supplement insurance outside of the open enrollment period, their medical history will also influence their rate.
Remember, since all Medigap plans are regulated by both federal and state laws, they do not differ in terms of the standard benefits they offer, so this does not affect the overall plan cost.

Can I use my Medigap coverage when I travel?

Some Medigap plans cover beneficiaries for health situations during travel, though not all. Should you need medical attention while traveling abroad, six of the ten Medicare supplemental plans offer coverage for those expenses (up to the plan's limits). If you are planning to regularly spend time traveling abroad after the age of 65, consider Medigap plans C, D, F, G, M, or N.