Our experts have researched 16 medicare supplement insurance plans and recommend 11 of the best options for seniors.
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Did you know that roughly 20 percent of Medicare beneficiaries also have a Medigap plan?1 Medigap plans, also known as Medicare supplemental insurance, are optional plans provided by private insurance companies to help lower health care costs, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copays. As its name suggests, Medigap helps fill the gaps in Original Medicare coverage. If you’re looking for a Medigap plan, you know it can feel overwhelming. We’ve compared the top Medigap providers to help simplify and narrow down your search so you can save on medical bills and services.
Top Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans in 2023
If you are looking to learn more about Medicare and Medigap coverage, check out the video below for an Introduction to Medicare from the Senior Living YouTube channel. Here, you will find information about different plan types and Medigap, as well as alternative sources for Medicare information.
How We Chose Our Top List
Coverage matters. A lot. Unfortunately, finding the right coverage for your needs that doesn’t break the bank can frustrate even the most patient older adults. So we looked at important factors like plans and pricing, signup process, customer service, flexibility, and more to make the search easier. Our list is the result of our in-depth research.
Humana uses attained-age pricing, which means prices will increase as you get older. The company offers competitive rates and makes it easy to compare all of your options in one place, which we appreciate. You can receive a no-obligation quote on their website. Humana even offers a 6 percent discount in most areas (not available in CA, CT, or OH) just by enrolling online, which is unique.
Humana makes enrolling online very easy, and getting additional help is stress-free if you need it. Contact a licensed Humana sales agent Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., or request to schedule a call when it’s convenient for you. With medical, prescription, dental, and vision plans, Humana earned high marks for its range of health-care offerings. If Humana offers the plan you want in your ZIP code, it’s worth serious consideration.
For more information, read our latest Humana Medigap review.
FYI: A vision plan is an excellent add-on to your Medigap coverage. Check out vision plans for seniors (including Humana) before making your final choice.
Anthem recalculates your age each year and adjusts your premium accordingly. Like typical insurers, it also considers factors such as ZIP code, gender, tobacco use, and whether it is your open-enrollment period. The company also offers several discounts, including a household and annual payment discount, so there are ways to save.
Anthem gives a wealth of information on their Medigap plans to help you make a decision. The company also offers Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, vision, and dental plans, so you can receive all of your coverage in one place. We appreciate that the company offers many different discounts to help older adults save on their Medigap plans.
*For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan F and High-Deductible Plan F are also available.
Cigna’s rates are competitive, but its pricing approach depends on state law. For example, Washington state law mandates community-rated pricing for all Medigap policies. In other words, everyone on Cigna Medigap Plan A in a certain area or ZIP code generally pays the same monthly premium regardless of their age (differences do occur due to factors such as tobacco use).
Prices may be determined differently in other areas. For example, in parts of Virginia, Cigna uses attained age-related pricing for Plan A. That means the younger you are, the less you pay for your plan.
Did You Know: You must be enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to qualify for a Medigap plan. If you’re eligible for Medicare this year, be sure to explore our annual Medicare enrollment guide.
Cigna has a good reputation and an extensive reach. It offers a decent choice of Medigap plans in a wide range of locations, and seniors can pair plans with a prescription drug plan if they want. Older adults can’t really go wrong with this company, although the process of getting specific information online isn’t the best.
Visit our Cigna Medigap review to learn more about this provider’s plans.
*For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan C, Plan F, and High Deductible Plan F are also available.
Aetna typically uses attained-age pricing. Using Aetna’s simple online quote tool, we compared rates for women living in Virginia (ZIP code 24016) at different ages to give you an idea of how prices change. If a 65-year-old female enrolled during open enrollment or guaranteed issue times to get the preferred rate, she would pay about $111 per month for Plan G, while a 75-year-old female would pay around $139 per month. Just remember: Prices will vary by age, location, gender, and other factors such as tobacco use and household discount.
Aetna gives consumers a lot of information online, reducing the time they must spend on the phone. The company’s attained-age pricing may mean that seniors end up paying significantly more as they age, but this practice is comparable with many insurers. The main takeaway is to get an idea of what you’ll pay not just for the next year but for 10 or even 20 years from now.
Read our review of Aetna’s Medigap plans for more information.
Mutual of Omaha generally uses attained-age rated pricing. This means that prices will increase as you age. Mutual of Omaha’s online quote tool makes it simple to compare prices, so you can get an idea of how much your premiums will increase as you get older. Overall, the company offers low premiums and transparent pricing, which we appreciate.
Mutual of Omaha offers affordable rates, especially if you qualify for the 12 percent household discount. This insurer has been in the Medicare supplemental business since 1966 and has made a name for itself as a company that looks out for its customers rather than Wall Street. It is owned by its policyholders.
Want to learn more? Check out our latest Mutual of Omaha Medigap review.
Pro Tip: Knowledge is power! Our comprehensive insurance guide shares the important facts on everything from medical and dental insurance to life and long-term care coverage.
*For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan F and High-Deductible Plan F are also available.
Americo offers affordable Medigap plan pricing. Keep in mind that factors such as age, gender, where you reside, and tobacco use may affect plan premiums. If your spouse or partner is also looking for a Medigap plan, Americo offers up to a 10 percent household discount. In comparison, UnitedHealthcare’s and Blue Cross Blue Shield’s household discount is only 5 percent.
With budget-friendly premiums, instant plan pricing, and an impressive household discount, Americo delivers value for your money. Americo is a solid provider for comprehensive health and financial needs if you’re looking to bundle other insurance options.
Ready to learn more about Americo’s Medigap plans? Head to our Americo Medigap review for additional details on this provider.
*For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan F and Plan C may also be available.
AARP plans can be a bit pricier than other plans. The company uses a community-rated pricing model, meaning that a 65-year-old would theoretically pay the same as a 75-year-old for the same plan in the same area. However, many AARP customers get discounts when they enroll, although the amount of the discount decreases as they age. In this respect, the pricing model is similar to age attainment.
FYI: Not an AARP member? Check out our guide to AARP memberships to learn more.
To access AARP plans, you must be an AARP member, and the yearly fee is $16. Your spouse or partner can receive free membership with yours, and AARP membership gets you a wide variety of discounts on movie tickets, car rentals, eyewear, and much more.
Many seniors trust AARP, and its UnitedHealthcare plans are very popular. The community pricing model means that premiums for some younger seniors may be a bit more than what they’d pay with another company, but age-related discounts could help offset that. Furthermore, many insurers do not offer less-popular plans such as K or L, so if you’re looking for one of these plans, AARP Medigap plans are a great option.
FYI: There have been several changes to Medicare that you should know about in 2023. Read our guide that discusses everything you need about Medicare this year.
*For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan C, Plan F, and High-Deductible Plan F are also available.
Colonial Penn’s prices are typically higher than competitors, and the company uses attained-age pricing. The younger you are, the less you pay. Because this insurer’s rates are already somewhat high, seniors may find themselves priced out at some point as they age.
Colonial Penn is not a bad Medigap insurance company by any means. It is financially sound, and it offers all of the available Medigap plans. Depending on where you live and your preferences, you may also be able to meet in person with an agent to discuss plans. That in-person support can be invaluable for some older adults. On the other hand, Colonial Penn does charge higher premiums.
Find out how Colonial Penn Medigap plans stack up against other providers by checking out our in-depth review of Colonial Penn’s Medicare supplement plans.
Ask your local Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers how they approach pricing, as pricing models and costs will vary by local provider. To receive an accurate quote, it’s best to fill out an online form or call the company. In general, Blue Cross Blue Shield pricing is fairly competitive.
If you’ve had good experiences with your local Blue Cross Blue Shield company and use it for other types of insurance, then enrolling with the company again for Medigap insurance may make sense.
If you’re new to Blue Cross Blue Shield, finding a local company for Medigap may be confusing. If you do find a company, the process of exploring your options online should be straightforward.
Visit our Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap review for an inside look at this provider.
UnitedHealthcare uses a community-rated pricing model. Its prices can be competitive, depending on where you live. Compare quotes from other insurers to see just how comparable they are.
UnitedHealthcare Medigap insurance is the same as AARP Medigap insurance. These plans are popular, and enrollment is easy. The insurer gets high marks for a hassle-free process, but if the price is your main consideration, compare quotes from other insurers to see how competitive UnitedHealthcare’s premiums are in your area.
Check out our UnitedHealthcare Medigap review to learn more about this provider’s plans.
Ask your agent which pricing method the local office uses. In many areas, attained-age pricing is used, so rates will increase as you age. State Farm may be more expensive than other options, but it’s best to receive a quote before making a decision.
If you already have a State Farm agent you enjoy working with, then it could be a good idea to get your Medigap policy from this insurer. We recommend that you still get quotes from at least two other insurers to ensure you’re satisfied with the premium prices you’ll pay. State Farm Medigap rates tend to be a bit pricier than those from many other insurers, so you must decide whether having a history and in-person support is worth it.
From the Pros: State Farm — and many other carriers — also offers life insurance plans. Find out why State Farm made it onto our best life insurance policies list.
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers most — but not all — the costs of approved health-care services and supplies. After you meet your deductible, you pay your share of the expenses as you get them. There’s no limit to what you’ll pay out of pocket in a year unless you have other coverage, such as Medigap.2 Medigap fills in the potentially costly gaps of Original Medicare — and provides some much-needed peace of mind.
To sign up for a Medigap plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Then you’re set to start Medigap shopping! Ten Medigap insurance plans are each assigned a letter of the alphabet (although Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts do things slightly differently). Each Medigap plan is standardized, which means, for example, the basic benefits you receive under Medigap Plan G are the same in Kentucky as in California.
Quick Tip: Want to learn more about different Medigap plans and what benefits they offer? Visit our 2023 guide to Medigap.
As you explore Medigap plans, it’s crucial to consider which benefits are most important to your health and wellness. The 10 Medigap plans (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N) all offer varying levels of coverage. Key factors include:
Use the Medicare.gov Medigap policy search to find the companies selling the plan of your choice in your ZIP code. From there, compare the premium prices and other factors important to you. For example, you may want to consider customer support, in-person agents, whether you already have policies with the company, or whether you can purchase additional policies such as a Part D plan or dental insurance. It can be tricky to change your Medigap plan once you enroll, so choose carefully and think about potential rising premium costs down the road.
Although the names sound similar, Medicare Supplemental plans are not Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans (also known as Medicare Part C) are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medigap policy only supplements Original Medicare. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, it’s illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy unless you’re switching back to Original Medicare.3
From the Pros: Some Medicare Advantage plans cover “extras,” such as dental, vision, and prescriptions. If you’re deciding between Medigap and Medicare Advantage, visit our Medigap and Medicare Advantage comparison guide.
The reality is that original Medicare pays only about 80 percent of your hospitalization and medical office costs. Medigap plans help keep your costs predictable.
Seniors should consider Medigap plans for these reasons:
Medigap plan costs depend on several factors, such as:
If you’re unsure how these factors will affect your finances, we have you covered! Let’s take a closer look at a few of the key components mentioned above that impact Medicare Supplemental Insurance pricing. As you shop for a Medigap plan, consider how these will positively (or negatively) affect your monthly premium.
Pay close attention to the calendar as you near your Medicare eligibility window. Your six-month Medigap open-enrollment period begins the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare. If you choose to sign up for Medigap outside the open-enrollment period, you may incur a late penalty or higher rates, or be denied coverage altogether. There are certain exceptions to that rule, however, which we’ll cover below in greater detail.
To protect consumers, every Medigap policy is standardized. That means no matter which state you live in, the basic Medigap plan benefits will be the same across the board.4 Unfortunately, Medigap pricing is not standardized, which makes it critical to compare costs to ensure you select a policy that meets your medical and budgetary needs.
Your ZIP code plays a major role in Medigap rates because of cost-of-living variations and clusters of senior citizen communities. If you live in Miami, for example, you’ll pay significantly more than if you live in Fort Worth, Texas. You may save money by going with a Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plan instead of getting Medigap insurance.
As you research Medigap plans, it’s crucial to ask how the provider rates its policies. Insurers in many states use attained-age policies: The younger you are, the less you pay. Some insurers, however, such as AARP from UnitedHealthcare, use a community-based approach. Whether you’re 65 or 85, the premium will be the same. Keep in mind, even community-based premiums can still increase from year to year due to factors such as inflation.
In eight states — Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington — insurers must use community ratings. These insurers can still charge different rates depending on tobacco use, ZIP code, and other factors, but they cannot charge more for someone who is older or has more health issues.
Budget-Friendly Tip: Are you and your partner shopping for Medigap plans? Don’t forget to ask if the carrier offers a household discount.
Open enrollment is typically the best time to get a plan. This six-month period automatically starts the first month you have Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and are 65 or older. During this period, you get what insurers call the “preferred” rate regardless of any pre-existing conditions you may have. Enroll outside this period and you may have to pay “standard” rates. It’s also possible for your application to be rejected if you seek Medigap outside the open-enrollment period.
There are, however, special enrollment exceptions, and you may still qualify for Medigap without incurring hefty penalties. In these situations, an insurance company can’t deny you a Medigap policy, place conditions or exclusions for pre-existing conditions, or charge you more for a Medigap policy because of a past or present health problem.5
Did You Know? If you live in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, or New York, your Medigap options come with an extra level of security. These states must offer all Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older either continuous or annual guaranteed open enrollment. That means you can’t be denied coverage due to your medical history.6
Suppose you’re waiting to enroll in Medicare Part B and Medigap because you (or your spouse) are currently working and have group health insurance coverage. In that case, you still have a penalty-free Medigap open-enrollment period past your 65th birthday since open enrollment begins when the employer’s coverage ends — when you retire, for example.
Guaranteed issue rights (also called Medigap protections) are rights you have in certain situations even if your open-enrollment period ends. You have a guaranteed issue right if you’re currently in a Medicare Advantage plan that is leaving Medicare or stops giving care in your area, for example. You’re guaranteed the right to buy a Medigap plan sold by any insurance company in your state.
We know that insurance plans aren’t one-size-fits-all. That’s why we’ve put together our top picks for different needs and lifestyles:
Maureen joined SeniorLiving.org with more than 10 years of experience writing in health, lifestyle, and nutrition for premium brands like General Mills, Westinghouse, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Her passion for empowering older adults is evident in coverage of topics like retirement, health… Learn More About Maureen Stanley
KFF. (2020). A Snapshot of Sources of Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries in 2018.
Medicare.gov. (2022). How does Medicare work?
Medicare.gov. (2022). Medigap & Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare.gov. (2022). How to compare Medigap policies
Medicare.gov. (2022). Guaranteed issue rights
KFF. (2018). In All But Four States, Seniors on Medicare Can Be Denied a Medigap Policy Due to Pre-existing Conditions, Except During Specified Windows of Opportunity