Best Medicare Supplement Plans for 2022
The best Medicare Supplement plan in 2022 for you depends on your finances, how frequently you access healthcare and how much help you’d like covering out-of-pocket fees.
Medicare Supplement insurance, also known as Medigap, covers expenses that Medicare enrollees incur after the federal government pays its share of health insurance benefits. The lettered plans are standardized from state to state. However, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Minnesota do not sell these standardized plans.
Medigap plans help Medicare enrollee’s pocketbooks by covering expenses like coinsurance, copays, monthly premiums and deductibles. However, the best Medicare Supplement plan for one person may not be the same for another. Also, spouses must each buy their own Medicare Supplement policy.
Medicare Supplement insurance is not the same as a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C). These are different types of Medicare coverage sold by private insurers that add additional benefits beyond Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). You cannot have a Medigap and Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
In general, Medigap plans offer enrollees more flexibility because they are not tied to a provider network. They can, instead, see the providers of their choice as long as they accept Medicare. For this reason, those who travel frequently, often choose a Medigap plan.
Medicare Supplement insurance does not offer prescription drug coverage. You will need to buy a separate prescription drug policy (Medicare Part D).
Please speak to a knowledgeable, licensed insurance agent like us at Policy Guide to help you determine the best Medicare coverage options for you.
What is the best Medicare Supplement plan in 2022?
Your financial picture and healthcare needs will dictate the best Medicare Supplement plan for you in 2022.
Traditionally, the most popular Medicare Supplement insurance plans were Plans C and F because of how broad the coverage was. But Plans C and F are no longer available for Medicare enrollees whose eligibility began on Jan. 1, 2020, or later.
1. Best comprehensive coverage: Medigap Plan G
Medicare Supplement insurance Plan G offers the most comprehensive coverage, but it is also the most expensive Medigap insurance policy for policyholders newer to Medicare.
Plan G offers almost identical health insurance benefits as Plan F, however, it does not pay for your Part B deductible. Federal guidelines now prohibit Medigap plans from covering the Part B deductible, which is $203 in 2021, and is projected to be $217 in 2022.
Here’s the overview of Plan G:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used (100 percent)
- Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayment (100 percent)
- Blood (first three pints) (100 percent)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment (100 percent)
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance (100 percent)
- Part A deductible (100 percent)
- Part B excess charges, what you owe over Medicare allowable amount (100 percent)
- Foreign travel emergency (80 percent)
Because of its broad coverage, Plan G has one of the most expensive monthly premiums.
Here is a snapshot:
- $121.81 in the 28205 zip code in Charlotte, NC, with a range of $86.46 to $121.81 per month
- $163.81 in the 80231 zip code in Denver with a range of $126.48 -$219.67 per month
2. Best value: Medigap Plan N
Plan N offers similar health insurance coverage to Plan G. Plan N does not include Part B excess charge coverage. This means that the Medicare beneficiary would be responsible for covering fees healthcare providers charge above the Medicare allowable amount.
Also, Plan N pays 100 percent of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in inpatient admission.
Here is what you would expect for a 65-year-old female, nonsmoker Plan N monthly premium average:
- $104.83 in the 28205 zip code in Charlotte, NC, with a range of $76.22 to $154.33 per month
- $128.60 in the 80231 zip code in Denver with a range of $104.21 -$167.97 per month
3. Best for cheapest premiums: High Deductible Plan G
High deductible Medigap plan G requires Medicare beneficiaries to pay hefty upfront costs before Medicare kicks in to pay for services. The perk is a lower monthly premium.
However, once enrollees meet the deductible ($2,370, 2022 amount to be released shortly), they would not have to pay any more Medicare allowable expenses except for the monthly premium.
High deductible Plan G has the same benefits as a traditional Plan G. With a high-deductible Plan G, an enrollee will pay all deductibles, copays and coinsurance until costs reach the amount of the high deductible.
Here are the average high deductible Plan G premiums for a nonsmoking, 65-year-old woman.
- $42.99 in the 28205 zip code in Charlotte, NC, with a range of $34.76 to $60.61 per month
- $83.59 in the 80231 zip code in Denver with a range of $49.03 to 69.13 per month
4. Best overall Medicare Supplement pre-2020: Medigap Plan F
For Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for the program before Jan. 1, 2020, Plan F offers the broadest coverage. Plans F and C are the only plans that cover the Part B deductible, which is $203 in 2021 and is projected to be $217 in 2022.
The monthly Plan F premium average for a 65-year-old female, nonsmoker:
- $173.09 in the 28205 zip code in Charlotte, NC, with a range of $122.03 to $240.95 per month
- $218.06 in the 80231 zip code in Denver with a range of $181.14 -$259.85 per month
Common Medicare Supplement Q & A's
What is the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plan?
Plan F is the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plan for those whose eligibility began before Jan. 1, 2020. For newer Medicare beneficiaries, Plan G offers the most robust healthcare coverage.
Who is the largest Medicare Supplement provider in 2022?
United Health Group has the largest number of Medicare Supplemental insurance policyholders in the U.S, covering 43 million people in all 50 states and most U.S. territories.
AARP does not sell Medigap plans, but it licenses its name to UnitedHealthcare. You must be an AARP member to purchase these Medicare Supplemental insurance plans.
Here are some reasons AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medigap plans are popular health insurance plans
- A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
- 24/7 nurse line
- Discounts on hearing aids and screenings
- Gym memberships
- Wellness coaching
UnitedHealthcare has an A- or “Excellent” financial strength rating from insurance credit rating agency AM Best and satisfactory quality ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
Why was Plan F discontinued?
Plan F hasn’t been discontinued, but it’s not available for all Medicare policyholders.
The federal government passed legislation preventing Medicare Supplement plans from covering the Part B deductible for those whose eligibility for Medicare began on Jan. 1, 2020, or later.
For those who cannot buy Plan F, Plan G is the closest option with similar health insurance benefits.
Can I change Medigap plans any time of the year?
Yes, but you will have to pay more if you don’t purchase a Medicare Supplement plan as soon as your Medicare eligibility begins.
The best time for you to purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance plan is during your six-month Medigap open enrollment period. This period automatically starts the first month you have Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) and you’re 65 or older.
You will get better prices and more choices among Medicare Supplement insurance plans because guaranteed issue laws apply. This means that insurance companies can’t take your health history into consideration when pricing or issuing a Medigap policy during the open enrollment period.
If you would like to change your Medigap plan in the future, you are able to do so, but insurance companies can consider your health history when determining your plan options and costs.
Can I be denied Medigap coverage?
You can’t be denied Medigap coverage if you sign up during your Medigap open enrollment period. This period automatically starts the first month you have Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and you’re 65 or older.
After that, guaranteed issues laws do not apply, and you could be denied a policy based on the state of your health.
What is the difference between Medigap and Medicare Advantage?
Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans are both ways to cover Medicare costs beyond what the federal government pays. However, the programs are different, and you can only choose one health insurance plan option at a time.
Under Medicare Advantage plans (Part C):
- A private insurer manages your Part A and Part B benefits.
- Many Medicare Advantage plans have a $0 premium and low monthly costs.
- You will need to stay within a network of providers.
- Coverage will likely include additional benefits to cover prescription drugs, hearing, vision, transportation and dental needs.
- You will have a yearly limit on what you pay out-of-pocket for services. Once you reach your plan’s limit, you’ll pay nothing for services Part A and Part B covers for the rest of the year. For 2021, the maximum out-of-pocket limit for Medicare Advantage policyholders is $7,550. (2022 amount to be released shortly)
With a Medigap plan:
- You still enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B separately from your Medigap plan.
- You pay a private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy.
- Medigap covers out-of-pocket costs (copays, coinsurance and deductibles) after the federal government has paid its share for Original Medicare.
- You will need to buy a prescription drug plan and other benefits, such as hearing and vision, from an insurance company.
- You have great flexibility in choosing a provider, so Medigap is especially helpful for those who travel frequently. Medigap policyholders don’t have to worry about a network of providers.
- Medigap plans are more expensive than Medicare Advantage plans when you compare monthly premiums.
A licensed insurance agent, like those of us at Policy Guide, can give you more information about the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement insurance plans. We will ask you questions about your healthcare goals, expenses and budget to help you determine what Medicare coverage is best for you and your spouse.
Do Medigap plans cover foreign emergency travel?
Yes. Several Medigap plans cover foreign travel emergencies.
If you have Medigap Plans C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M, or N, your plan covers:
- Foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip and if Medicare doesn’t otherwise cover the care.
- 80 percent of billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year.
Medicare usually doesn’t cover healthcare while you’re traveling outside the U.S. However, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands are considered part of the U.S.
Foreign travel emergency coverage with Medigap policies has a lifetime limit of $50,000.
Ready to learn more?
We help educate Medicare beneficiaries on their Medigap options and help them go through the process of reviewing and comparing plans. We work with most of the nation’s top-rated Medigap carriers such as Aetna, Cigna, Mutual of Omaha, and Florida Blue Medicare plans. Give us a call today, or request a quote online to learn more about Aetna Medicare Supplement plan G and Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement plan G in your state. We educate you on the best Medicare Plans for your situation, then let you decide.
- Medigap Plan G continues to dominate the market as the best overall plan
- Plan N is gaining in popularity, due in part to the slightly lower premiums compared to Plan G
- Remember, Medigap Plans do NOT cover medications, you will need a separate drug plan