With a Medicare Supplement Plan, you can dramatically reduce your Medicare out-of-pocket costs. High-deductible plans and basic coverage plans will provide the lowest out-of-pocket costs for people in good health with few healthcare needs.
Medicare Supplement Plans Overview
The 10 Medicare Supplement plans can be sorted into three categories: basic coverage, comprehensive, and low-premium & comprehensive plans with a few out-of-pocket costs. In some states, high-deductible plans are also available for comprehensive coverage with low premiums.
Medicare Supplement plans can cover:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Medicare Part B copays or coinsurance
- First three pints of blood
- Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copay
- Care in a Skilled Nursing Facility
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergency care
Basic Coverage Plans
Every insurance company that sells Medicare Supplements will have a Plan A policy. Plan A and Plan B are the most basic options, covering fewer of the coverage categories. Plan A covers the first four items and Plan B covers the first four and the Part A deductible. These plans are good for people with few anticipated health needs.
Plans C, D, F, G, and N are the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plans available. Plans C and F are only available to people who became Medicare-eligible before 2020. That means people new to Medicare will have to pay for their own Part B deductible. The comprehensive coverage comes at a price, meaning people with these plans pay higher premiums.
Plan C covers everything except for Medicare Part B excess charges. Plan D covers everything except the Medicare Part B deductible and Medicare Part B excess charges. Plan F covers everything. Plan G covers everything except the Medicare Part B deductible, and Plan N covers everything except for the Part B deductible and excess charges. Plan N also pays 100% for Part B services, except for copays for office visits and emergency room visits. Each of these plans covers foreign travel emergency care at 80%.
Some states offer high-deductible Plan F and high-deductible Plan G. These plans have the full coverage of their regular counterparts but do not start to cover your expenses until you have paid the deductible. In 2021, the deductible for these plans is $2,370.
These plans offer the promise of full coverage for out-of-pocket costs, as long as you can afford the high annual deductible. High-deductible Plan F is only available to people who became Medicare-eligible before 2020.
Low-Premium and Comprehensive Plans
Plans K, L, and M are fairly comprehensive but leave you with more out-of-pocket costs.
Plans K and L both cover the first six out-of-pocket expenses. For Medicare Part B copays or coinsurance, your first three pints of blood, Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copay, care in a Skilled Nursing Facility, and the Medicare Part A deductible, Plan K covers 50% of costs and Plan L covers 75% of costs. Plan K has an out-of-pocket limit of $5,880 and Plan L has an out-of-pocket limit of $2,940 in 2021. Once you meet these amounts, the plan pays 100% of your covered expenses.
Plan M covers the first five expenses, the Part A deductible at 50%, and 80% of foreign emergency travel care.
Choosing a Plan
When it comes to choosing a Medicare Supplement plan, you need to consider your personal healthcare needs and your priorities for payment. We can help you find the plan that gives you the coverage you need at a price you can afford.