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The Best Medigap Providers of 2023 for Seniors With Diabetes

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The right Medigap provider and plan are key to day-to-day and long-term diabetes management. A chronic health condition such as diabetes can result in costly out-of-pocket expenses. According to GoodRx, those with diabetes who have insurance spend over $4,800 per year on diabetes-related medical costs. Those numbers jump to over $6,000 annually for those without insurance.1

Medigap helps fill the gaps in Medicare’s coverage by lowering out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for services and supplies.

How We Chose the Best Medigap Providers for Diabetes

We evaluated 12 of the top Medigap providers using the following criteria: Medigap plans offered, diabetes-related coverage, extra plan perks, and the insurance company’s reputation. From our research, we narrowed down the list to five insurers. We also examined if the provider website offered easy access to plan availability, comparison, and costs. See which companies stood out!

Popular Medigap Plans for Individuals With Diabetes

Before we get into the details of our top providers, below is a highlight of some of the most popular Medigap plans for older adults with diabetes. All of the providers that made our list offer these plans. Let’s take a look at why these Medigap plans are a solid choice for seniors with diabetes.

  • Medigap Plan G: Plan G offers comprehensive coverage and less out-of-pocket expenses at a higher premium. Plans C and F are also favored; however, they aren’t available to people who were newly eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. Except for your Medicare Part B deductible, Medigap Plan G covers 100 percent of the costs for outpatient services, including doctor visits, lab work, and medical supplies, such as durable medical equipment (DME). Inpatient hospital charges, blood transfusions, ambulance transportation, hospice, and skilled nursing facility care are also covered under Medigap Plan G.
  • Medigap Plan N: Plan N is almost identical to Plan G. With Plan N, you’ll pay your Medicare Part B deductible. You’ll also be responsible for copayments up to $20 for office visits and $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in inpatient admission. Having these copayments with Plan N means lower premiums. You are also responsible for any Medicare Part B excess charges.
  • Medicare Part D: In addition to a Medigap plan, it’s common for people with diabetes to enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). Part D covers generic and brand-name prescription drugs. PDP premiums, deductibles, and copayments vary based on the prescription plan coverage and type. As of January 1, 2021, a 30-day supply of insulin will cost no more than $35 with some Medicare Part D PDPs.2 For more information, visit our list of the best Medicare Part D plans.
  • 1. Humana

    Overview

    Since 1961, Humana has played an integral role in maintaining and enriching the health of its customers. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Humana established itself in the nursing home industry and evolved into a healthcare leader with over 20 million members. Humana offers nine of the 10 Medigap plans, giving seniors across the U.S. access to valuable supplemental Medicare benefits. Humana’s commitment to lowering out-of-pocket costs for insulin is impressive.

    Humana Medigap plans*

    • Plan A
    • Plan B
    • Plan D
    • Plan G
    • High-Deductible Plan G
    • Plan K
    • Plan L
    • Plan N

    *For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan C, Plan F, and High-Deductible Plan F are also available.

    Humana Prescription Drug Plans

    • Humana Walmart Value Rx: Affordable monthly premium ($25 on average). Copays are as low as $0 depending on the region, and there is a $0 deductible on Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs. Ideal for customers who fill their prescriptions at Walmart pharmacies.
    • Humana Basic Rx: Best for limited-income individuals who qualify for Medicare’s Extra Help program. Also suitable for those seeking basic PDP coverage ($35 on average) with access to a preferred cost-sharing network.
    • Humana Premier Rx: Most comprehensive coverage and highest monthly premium ($75 to $85 on average). Humana’s Insulin Savings Program has a $35 or less copay at all in-network pharmacies for a 30-day supply of select insulins.
    Pros
    • Free SilverSneakers fitness program membership
    • Premier Rx plan offers insulin copays for $35 or less
    • Electronic payment discount
    • Hearing aids and medical alert system discounts
    • Prescription and vision care discounts
    • 24/7 registered nurse hotline
    • Six percent online application discount and up to a five percent household discount
    Cons
    • Only one PDP includes the Insulin Savings Program.
    • Part B insulin pumps are not included in the Part D Insulin Savings Program.
    • Plans are not offered in all ZIP codes.

    The Bottom Line

    Choosing the right Medigap plan can be challenging, especially for older adults with diabetes. We appreciate Humana’s broad range of Medicare supplement options. Humana earns bonus points for its Insulin Savings Program that delivers predictable, affordable insulin copayments. Their Select Insulin list makes it easy for customers to confirm if their insulin is covered. As noted in our Humana Medicare Supplement review, Humana’s website is user-friendly, with ample plan information and straightforward steps to review pricing and plans. For shoppers comparing Medigap vs. Medicare Advantage, Humana also offers Part C plans. To learn more, head over to our in-depth Humana Part C review.

  • 2. Anthem

    Overview

    Anthem falls under the umbrella of the Blue Cross Blue Shield network, the second-largest health insurance company in the United States. Founded over 75 years ago, Anthem is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company has deep roots in the healthcare industry and offers a wide range of Medicare solutions to older adults. Anthem’s Medigap plans provide comprehensive coverage for individuals with diabetes. Anthem understands the critical need for insulin and offers a Medicare Part D plan with an insulin savings benefit. This wallet-friendly feature is a win in our book.

    Anthem Medigap plans*

    • Plan A
    • Plan B
    • Plan G
    • Plan N

    *For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan F is also available.

    Anthem Prescription Drug Plans

    • MediBlue Rx Standard: Basic prescription coverage ($55 to $85 on average) with $1 to $5 copays for most generic drugs at preferred pharmacies.
    • MediBlue Rx Plus: Extensive coverage at a higher price point ($70 to $90 on average). $0 pharmacy deductible with $1 to $3 copays for most generic drugs at preferred pharmacies. The plan offers insulin savings through the Part D Senior Savings Model.
    Pros
    • Insulin savings benefit
    • Optional vision and dental coverage
    • Medication Therapy Management Program for members with multiple health conditions
    • Instant plan pricing is available
    • SilverSneakers fitness membership
    • ScriptSave/WellRx prescription savings program
    • Five percent household discount
    Cons
    • Limited coverage area (14 states)
    • Plan options vary depending on your ZIP code
    • Dental and vision add-ons not available in all states

    The Bottom Line

    With Anthem, the choice is yours! Anthem has Medicare recipients covered with Medigap, Anthem Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, vision, and dental plans. The provider makes exploring plan rates, reviewing benefit details, and verifying medication coverage easy. Online enrollment is also a breeze, but if you need help, it’s just a phone call away. Remember, Anthem’s footprint is limited compared to other providers. If you live in an area where Anthem is offered, this provider is a solid contender for your healthcare needs.

  • 3. AARP Medigap Plans From UnitedHealthcare

    Overview

    Founded in 1958, AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people to choose how they live as they age. Two decades ago, AARP partnered with UnitedHealthcare. AARP offers comprehensive options for individuals with diabetes, including Medigap Plans G and N, along with Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Enrollees enjoy preventative benefits such as a Renew Active fitness membership.

    AARP Medigap Plans from UnitedHealthcare*

    • Plan A
    • Plan B
    • Plan G
    • Plan K
    • Plan L
    • Plan N

    *For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan C and Plan F are also available.

    AARP Part D Prescription Drug Plans Offered Through UnitedHealthcare*

    • AARP MedicareRx Walgreens: Low monthly plan premium ($30 on average). Excellent for customers who fill their prescriptions at Walgreens
    • AARP MedicareRx Preferred: Highest level of coverage and cost ($95 on average). Provides a broad range of pharmacy network options, generic and brand-name drugs, and insulin copays for $35 or less
    • AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus: Low monthly premiums ($40 on average) and a wide range of pharmacy network options. Geared toward older adults who don’t currently take many prescriptions

    * Monthly premiums may vary significantly based on location

    Pros
    • Instant plan pricing is available.
    • You can receive an enrollment discount up to 39 percent (based on age).
    • UnitedHealthcare has the only Medicare Supplement plans endorsed by AARP.
    • It offers discounts for dental, vision, and hearing.
    • There is a generous range of rewards and programs designed to help support physical and mental well-being.
    • PDP plan offers insulin copays for $35 or less.
    Cons
    • You must be a member of AARP and pay the annual membership fee of $16.

    The Bottom Line

    We love the fact that AARP, which has nearly 38 million members,3 offers a prescription drug plan with insulin copays for $35 or less through their partnership with UnitedHealthcare. Further, AARP’s website is packed with Medigap tools and resources to eliminate the confusion that comes when shopping for a plan, and you can obtain instant pricing. For a closer look at AARP’s Medigap plans insured by UnitedHealthcare, head to our latest UnitedHealthcare review.

  • 4. Aetna

    Overview

    From its humble beginnings in 1850 as a life insurance company, Aetna has certainly grown into a health care powerhouse. Around 39 million people turn to Aetna,4 a CVS Health company, for their health insurance needs. Since 1966, Aetna has provided Medicare coverage to older adults. As with AARP from UnitedHealthcare, Aetna offers comprehensive options for individuals with diabetes, including Medigap Plans G and N, along with Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

    Aetna Medigap Plans*

    • Plan A
    • Plan B
    • Plan D
    • Plan G
    • High Deductible G
    • Plan N

    *For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan C, Plan F, and High-Deductible Plan F are also available.

    Aetna Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

    • SilverScript SmartRx: Generic script plan with the lowest monthly premium ($7 on average)
    • SilverScript Choice: Generic and brand-name drugs with a mid-range premium ($30 on average)
    • SilverScript Plus: Highest level coverage and cost ($75 on average). Generic and brand name drugs, extras like some vitamins and minerals, and greater coverage for gap phase costs
    Pros
    • No network restrictions. You can see any doctor who accepts Medicare patients.
    • In addition to Medigap plans, Aetna offers dental, vision, and hearing plans.
    • Enrollment is easy; you can sign up online, by phone, or in person.
    • Plans are portable. If you move out of state, your insurance can’t be changed or canceled when you move anywhere within the United States.
    • Some plans include foreign travel emergency care.
    • A five percent Medigap household discount is available in most states if you and your spouse/partner both have Aetna Medicare Supplement plans.
    Cons
    • Medigap medical plans are not offered in Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, and Washington D.C.

    The Bottom Line

    Offering Medigap, prescription, vision, dental, and hearing plans, Aetna is a one-stop shop for your health care needs. We found Aetna’s website easy to navigate; simply enter your state to get started! From there, Aetna provided a detailed list of Medigap plans offered and age-attained premiums. This allowed us to see what our estimated premium would be now and in the future. With Aetna’s prescription cost estimator, we were able to price common diabetes medications, including insulin. Ready to learn more? Check out our in-depth review of Aetna’s Medigap plans.

  • 5. Cigna

    Overview

    Cigna began as the first marine insurance company in the United States 225 years ago. Fast-forward to the present day, and Cigna is a global health services company serving 180 million customers across the globe. Cigna offers Plan G and Plan N, popular with individuals with diabetes. With a $0 copay option for select insulins, Cigna’s PDP coverage is valuable for those with insulin-dependent diabetes.

    Cigna Medigap Plans Offered*

    • Plan A
    • Plan G
    • Plan N

    *For individuals first eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan F and High Deductible Plan F are also available.

    Cigna Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

    • Cigna Secure Rx: Offers basic coverage and is a good fit if you receive financial assistance (Medicare Part D Extra Help). This plan has a midrange monthly premium ($30 -$40 on average), low copays, and low costs for many generics and insulins
    • Cigna Essential Rx: Modest coverage, low monthly premium ($22 on average), and savings on generic drugs
    • Cigna Extra Rx: Most comprehensive coverage and robust drug list. $0 copay option for select insulins. Higher monthly premium ($60-$70 on average)
    Pros
    • There is a seven percent household premium discount in most states when more than one person in your household enrolls in Medigap insurance.
    • Cigna offers a $0 copay option for select insulins.
    • Health and wellness savings, including gym membership, hearing, and vision discounts are available through Cigna’s Healthy Rewards program.
    • Customer service support is available 24/7.
    • Cigna also offers dental insurance.
    Cons
    • Medigap plans are not available nationwide.

    The Bottom Line

    Cigna is a health care industry leader. We were impressed by Cigna’s commitment to ensuring its diabetic members have access to insulin at affordable, predictable costs. Their customer service options are notable. Insurance questions are promptly answered through their 24/7, 365 customer support. Cigna’s seven percent household discount is competitive among other Medigap providers and helps to keep insurance premiums in check. Read our latest Cigna review for more details on this provider.

How to Choose a Medigap Plan for Seniors With Diabetes

Choosing a Medigap policy that properly covers your diabetic needs is no small feat. It’s important to shop around and compare (at least) three insurance carriers. The great news is the federal government standardizes Medigap plans, so the benefits included in Medigap Plan A or Plan G are the same no matter which insurance company you select. The only difference between Medigap plans will be the insurance company’s premium and any extra perks or programs they offer.

From the Pros: Our experts have researched 16 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans and recommend the best Medigap options for seniors.

As you compare costs, be sure to ask if the insurance company offers discounts, such as:

  1. Household discounts for enrolled couples
  2. A nonsmoker discount
  3. Paying for your policy in full annually instead of monthly
  4. Enrolling in automatic withdrawal
  5. Insurance bundling

Each Medigap plan offers a different level of coverage. For example, Medigap Plan A does not cover skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, while Plan F does. Medicare.gov provides a helpful chart to compare Medigap plans side by side.

Why Seniors With Diabetes May Need a Medigap Plan

As we grow older, our risk for diabetes increases. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) estimates that 1 in 3 Medicare beneficiaries has diabetes.5

While Medicare Parts A and B cover some of your health care costs and diabetes supplies, you’re still left with deductibles, copays, and all prescription drug expenses. Enrolling in a Medigap plan and prescription drug plan helps fill in the gaps to cover remaining health care costs.

Don’t Wait to Sign Up for Your Medigap Plan

A six-month open enrollment period for Medigap begins the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare. During this window, it’s federally mandated that you cannot be denied coverage or charged a higher premium due to pre-existing health conditions, including Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Did You Know: If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, Medigap plans are standardized differently. Make sure to check with your local providers to understand your plan before enrolling.

Unfortunately, if you enroll after your six-month open enrollment period has passed, there is a possibility your diabetes diagnosis may negatively affect your Medigap application. The result? Best-case scenario: a late enrollment penalty and higher monthly premium. Worst-case scenario: being denied coverage altogether.

What Diabetes Supplies and Medications Are Covered by Medicare?

An essential part of managing your diabetes is always having the proper supplies and medications on hand. Your Medicare Part B plan and Medicare Part D prescription plan cover a significant portion of your diabetic needs.6

Keep in mind, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part B to enroll in the Medicare Part D drug plan. You’re responsible for any related coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles.

Medicare Part B: Diabetes Supplies and Aid

The Medicare Part B plan covers diabetes supplies and aid, including the following:7

  • Blood sugar self-testing equipment
  • Insulin pumps
  • Therapeutic shoes or inserts
  • DME supplies, including blood sugar test strips, monitors, and lancet devices
  • Eye exams for glaucoma

Medicare Part D: Diabetes Drug Coverage

Older adults who have (or are at risk) for diabetes utilize their Medicare Part D drug plan for diabetes prescriptions and supplies, including these necessities:

  • Insulin (injectable and inhaled)
  • Anti-diabetic drugs to manage blood glucose
  • Specific diabetes supplies such as syringes, insulin pens, needles, alcohol swabs, and inhaled insulin devices.

From the Pros: As you compare Medigap plans, including prescription drug plans, request the formulary drug list to find out what is covered (and what isn’t).

Save on Insulin With the Part D Senior Savings Model

In early 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed exciting news for older adults with diabetes. The Part D Senior Savings Model, a supplemental benefits program available to everyone enrolled in Medicare, was launched.8 Through this model, individuals taking insulin may be able to pay a maximum copayment of $35 for a 30-day supply while saving up to $446 a year in out-of-pocket costs.

Unfortunately, the Part D Senior Savings Model isn’t mandatory for insurance companies at this time, so it’s not offered in all states. Visit Medicare.gov to see if there is a participating plan in your location.

Written By

Maureen Stanley

Writer & Editor

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

Citations
  1. GoodRX Health. (2020). The True Cost of Diabetes.

  2. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020). Part D Senior Savings Model.

  3. AARP. (2022). About Us.

  4. Aetna. Aetna Facts.

  5. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020). Part D Senior Savings Model.

  6. Medicare.gov. (2022). Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Supplies, Services, & Prevention Programs.

  7. Medicare.gov. (2022). Is your test, item, or service covered?

  8. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022). Part D Senior Savings Model.