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The Best Medicare Supplement Insurance for Healthy Seniors

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You might be wondering if a Medigap plan is even necessary for healthy older adults. While you may be in excellent health now (keep up the great work!), your future health care needs must also be considered. This is where Medigap plays an important role, as Medigap plans are meant to fill in the gaps that Medicare Part A and Part B (also known as Original Medicare) doesn’t cover. Essentially, Medigap provides additional coverage for costly medical bills if you become injured or ill. Below, we’ll take a look at our top picks for Medigap plans for healthy seniors.

It’s time for Medicare Annual Enrollment: Make sure you’re getting the most coverage for your buck in 2023.

  • 1. Humana

    Overview

    Finding the best Medigap plan to support your health and well-being can be tedious. Humana comes to the rescue by making online research and enrollment oh so easy! Offering nine of the 10 Medigap plans, healthy older adults have plenty of Medicare supplement options. Gone are the days of waiting for an insurance adjuster to call. With Humana, shoppers can see an outline of coverage, compare plans, and receive an instant quote. And Humana’s no-cost extras like fitness club service, 24/7 nurse advice hotline, and discounts for hearing, prescription, and vision are a win in our book.

    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.

    Pros
    • User-friendly website and mobile app
    • Complimentary SilverSneakers fitness program membership
    • 24/7 registered nurse hotline
    • Three Medicare Part D drug plans
    • Six percent discount for applying online
    • Electronic payment and household discount
    • Instant online quote
    Cons
    • Medigap plans vary by ZIP code

    The Bottom Line

    Humana’s customer base (over 20 million members) has plenty of resources to support and maintain their healthy lifestyle, including a valuable free gym membership. We’re also big fans of Humana’s transparency in how they rate their plans (attained age, community-rated, or issue-age-related) and set their prices for gender-based, preferred, and standard premiums.

    Unsure which Humana Medigap plan is the right fit? Head over to our Humana Medicare Supplement review for pro tips on picking a plan and analyzing pricing. If you’re considering an alternative to Medigap, be sure to check out the latest review of Humana Medicare Advantage plans.

  • 2. Anthem

    Overview

    Founded in the 1940s, Anthem is the largest for-profit managed health care company in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Anthem’s 40-plus million members have access to a wide range of healthcare options, including valuable add-on benefits built to support healthy lifestyles. In addition to Medigap, Anthem’s whole-health approach offers supplemental prescription, dental, vision, and hearing plans. Customers also have access to a free fitness membership, online wellness tools, weight management resources, and personalized coaching. Anthem makes it easy for healthy seniors to reach their goals and thrive in their golden years!

    Anthem Medigap plans*

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

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

    Pros
    • Part D prescription drug plan coverage
    • Dental, vision, and hearing plans available
    • Free SilverSneakers fitness membership
    • All Medigap plans cover 100 percent of Part A and Part B coinsurance
    • ScriptSave/WellRx prescription savings program
    • SpecialOffers program provides discounts on health-related products
    Cons
    • Coverage region limited to 14 states
    • Vision, hearing, and dental add-ons only available in certain states

    The Bottom Line

    Anthem’s one-stop healthcare shop is an attractive option for older adults looking to maximize their wellness benefits. Staying active is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and we were impressed with Anthem’s no-cost SilverSneakers membership and enhanced personal health care. Their website is easy to navigate and is packed with resources to keep you focused on living your best life. For individuals looking to add on a Part D plan, Anthem’s wallet-friendly MediBlue Rx Standard prescription plan is a solid choice for those taking minimal prescriptions.

    If you’re weighing Medigap vs. Medicare Advantage, Anthem also offers Medicare Part C plans. For essential details on their range of offerings, explore our Anthem Medicare Advantage review.

  • 3. Blue Cross Blue Shield

    Overview

    For close to a century, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has supplied health care coverage. With Medigap plans in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and an extensive provider network, Blue Cross Blue Shield stands out as a health insurance provider. BCBS makes it easy for older adults to “live well for less” with the Blue365, Silver & Fit Exercise, and Healthy Aging programs.

    Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap Plans*

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

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

    Pros
    • Plans offered in all 50 states
    • Instant plan pricing available
    • In addition to Medigap plans, BCBS offers dental, vision, and prescription plans.
    • Five percent household discount
    • Silver & Fit Exercise and Healthy Aging programs
    • 24/7/365 nurse helpline
    • Exclusive member perks through the Blue365 program
    • Extensive provider network
    Cons
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield is not one company. Thirty-four independent health insurance companies make up BCBS.
    • While Medigap coverage is offered across the nation, the BCBS provider in your state may not offer every plan.
    • Silver & Fit Exercise and Healthy Aging programs aren’t offered in all areas.

    The Bottom Line

    Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the largest health insurance providers in the United States. BCBS has been an integral part of the Medicare program since the launch of Medicare in 1964. Today, over 4 million Medicare participants are enrolled in a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap plan.1

    With exclusive Blue Cross Blue Shield member-only savings, Medigap enrollees can take advantage of a range of fitness and wellness tools, from activity trackers and walking shoes to nutrition and weight loss programs. The option to bundle dental, vision, and prescription plans makes BCBS an excellent one-stop shop for insurance coverage.

    For a closer look at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Medicare Supplement plans, check out our latest Blue Cross Blue Shield review.

  • 4. Cigna

    Overview

    Cigna has played an important role in the insurance industry for more than 225 years and now serves 180 million customers across the globe.2 Cigna’s commitment to assisting older adults live their healthiest life is impressive. Members enjoy health and wellness savings on gym memberships, vision and hearing care, alternative medicine, and weight management through Cigna’s Healthy Rewards program. Offering competitive pricing, top-notch perks, and enrollment discounts, Cigna remains a front-runner for older adults.

    Cigna Medigap Plans Offered*

    • Plan A
    • Plan D
    • Plan G
    • Plan N

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

    Pros
    • Instant plan pricing is available
    • Wide range of health and wellness savings
    • 24/7 health information line operated by registered nurses
    • 24/7 customer service support
    • Guaranteed renewal (apart from nonpayment or misrepresentation)
    • Cigna also offers dental and prescription plans
    • Seven percent household discount and five percent online application discount
    Cons
    • Medigap plans are only available in 38 states, not nationwide
    • Obtaining an instant quote is more time-consuming than with other Medigap providers

    The Bottom Line

    As a leader in the health care industry, Cigna does not disappoint. Their website is stocked with Medigap resources to take the confusion out of shopping for a Medicare Supplement plan. We were impressed with Cigna’s stellar 24/7, 365 customer support and health information line, along with their competitive premium discount. With a robust rewards program, Cigna doesn’t skimp on healthy lifestyle perks.

    Ready to learn more about Cigna’s Medigap plans? Head to our Cigna Medigap review for more details on this provider.

  • 5. AARP Medigap Plans from UnitedHealthcare

    For over 60 years, AARP has been committed to educating and empowering adults as they age. Focusing on total body health, AARP offers an impressive range of healthy living programs, discounts, and options to bundle other insurance, such as prescription and dental. With over 4 million insured members nationwide, UnitedHealthcare (and its affiliates’ Medicare Supplement plans) covers more people than any other individual insurance carrier.3 AARP Medigap plans from UnitedHealthcare are a strong contender for healthy older adults looking to embrace their life with vigor.

    AARP Medigap Plans from UnitedHealthcare*

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

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

    Ease of use Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Instant plan pricing available
    • Enrollment discount up to 39 percent
    • Renew Active fitness membership
    • Significant healthy living discounts, including savings on hearing, vision, and in-home care
    • UnitedHealthcare has the only Medicare Supplement plans endorsed by AARP
    • Members-only access to life, and housing resources tailored for older adults
    • AARP also offers short-term and long-term care insurance, prescription, dental, vision, and life insurance
    Cons

    The Bottom Line

    AARP Medigap plans from UnitedHealthcare offer much more than Medicare Supplement Insurance. The powerhouse combination of AARP and UnitedHealthcare makes it easy for members to take full advantage of quality health care and substantial savings. From health and wellness to travel and banking, enrollees have a wide range of benefits to enhance their golden years.

    Visit our UnitedHealthcare Medigap review to learn more about this Medigap provider.

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

How We Chose the Best Medigap Providers for Healthy Seniors

We completed an in-depth analysis of 12 of the top Medigap providers using the following criteria: Medigap plans offered; value-added benefits, including health and wellness perks; and insurance company reputation. We also evaluated if the provider website offered easy access to plan availability and pricing.

Popular Medigap Coverage for Healthy Seniors

Medicare has a total of 10 Medigap plans. New enrollees can choose from eight of the 10 standardized Medigap plans: A, B, D, G, K, L, M, and N. As of January 1, 2020, Plans C and F are not available to those newly eligible.

Keep in mind, these standardized plans vary in the amount of gap coverage provided, so it’s vital to compare plan benefits. Deductibles, out-of-pocket limits, copayments, and coinsurance are not the same across the board. Below is a look at some of the most popular Medigap plans for healthy older adults and the types of seniors we’d recommend them for.

Healthy Seniors Who Want Basic Coverage With Low Premiums

Healthy older adults without chronic medical conditions or who will rarely use their Medicare benefits may not want to pay for benefits they don’t need. Plans with higher deductibles, such as Plan K and High-Deductible Plan G, offer lower premiums than most other supplement plans. It’s important to remember, should your health condition change and you require services, unexpected out-of-pocket expenses can wreak havoc on your wallet.

Active Seniors Who Love to Travel Internationally

Is traveling abroad on your post-retirement bucket list? Without the proper Medigap plan, experiencing a medical emergency while out of the country can be costly. Explore Medigap plans C, D, F, G, M, or N as these six plans include 80 percent coverage of qualifying foreign travel emergency care costs.

From the Pros: Curious about the cost of Medigap insurance? Our guide to Medicare Supplement Insurance has the crucial facts.

Seniors Who Want Comprehensive Coverage Without Paying Full Price

Many healthy seniors want the peace of mind that comes from having a comprehensive Medigap plan. Medigap Plan N offers similar coverage to higher-premium Plan G. However, Plan N comes in at a lower cost, as you’ll be responsible for some office and emergency room visits ($20 and $50 copays, respectively).

How Do I Buy Medigap Insurance?

Medigap insurance is sold through private insurance companies such as the ones we detailed above, along with numerous others, including Aetna and Colonial Penn. Buying Medigap insurance is like purchasing auto or home insurance; you want to shop around and obtain at least three quotes from providers.

Did You Know: If you’re a Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin resident, your state offers different standardized Medigap plans. Enter your ZIP code into the Medicare.gov website to explore the policies offered in your state.

While Medigap plan options vary from state to state, the plan coverage is standardized. This means each Medigap plan remains the same no matter which health insurance company you decide to enroll with. For example, Plan N from Blue Cross Blue Shield has exactly the same coverage as Plan N with UnitedHealthcare.

Once you’ve decided on the best Medigap plan for your needs and thoroughly compared quotes, purchasing a plan is fairly simple. You can enroll online with most insurance companies, as well as over the phone or via a mail-in application.

When Should I Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan?

The ideal time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during your six-month initial enrollment period. Initial enrollment automatically begins the month you turn 65 and have enrolled in Medicare. During this six-month period, health care companies are federally required to provide Medigap plans with “no questions asked.” You cannot be denied a policy or charged a higher rate due to preexisting health conditions.

Plan options and pricing premiums are best during your six-month Medigap initial enrollment. Keep in mind, while you can enroll in your state’s Medigap benefits at any time, after this six-month period, you may not be able to buy a policy. If you can buy one, it may cost more due to past or present health problems.4

Enrollment Tip: Many Medigap beneficiaries also have a Part D drug plan. Check out our tips for Medicare enrollment for details on when you can make changes to your Part D policy.

Five Ways Older Adults Can Stay Healthy

Choosing the right health insurance is just one part of staying on top of your health as you age. Taking care of our bodies and minds should be a top priority on our to-do list. As we age, maintaining a healthy lifestyle ensures we can fully enjoy our hard-earned years of retirement.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends older adults get moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, 30 minutes a day, five days a week. They also recommend muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days each week that work your major muscle groups, including your legs, hips, back, and arms.5

Boost your quality of life by including these actions into your daily routine:

  1. Move your body. Getting in a daily dose of exercise helps older adults reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, memory loss, and some cancers.6 Physical activity is a fantastic mood energizer, releasing endorphins to relieve stress, combat depression, and help you sleep soundly.
  2. Boost your brain. Along with your body, your brain needs routine exercise! Keeping your mind sharp with mentally stimulating activities helps prevent cognitive impairment. Brain games such as playing chess, video games, and memory games keep your mind engaged and activated.
  3. Eat smart. As you grow older, your metabolism (how your body gets energy from food) can slow down, and your body composition (the amount of fat and muscle) may be different from when you were younger. Fuel your body with nutrient-rich fruits, veggies, and lean proteins.
  4. Embrace a hobby. Whether you’re tending to your garden, teaming up with a tennis partner, or working on your latest quilt, hobbies are an important part of self-care. Consider what you’re passionate about or interested in exploring, and go for it!
  5. Build strength and balance. As we age, our muscles lose elasticity. Keeping balance is an important part of fall prevention. Millions of people aged 65 and older fall each year. In fact, more than one out of four older people fall annually.7 Fall prevention and educating yourself on fall safety tips can protect you in the future.
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. Blue Cross Blue Shield. (2018). Blue Facts: Healthcare Coverage Designed for Your Community, Accessible Across the Country.

  2. Cigna. (2021). Company Profile.

  3. AARP. (2021). Plan Comparison Guide.

  4. Medicare.gov. (2021). When can I buy Medigap?

  5. Health.gov. (2021). Physical activity is just what the doctor ordered.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Physical Activity Prevents Chronic Disease.

  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Important Facts about Falls.