Anthem Medicare Supplement Insurance 2023 Review
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Anthem is the second-largest health insurance company in the U.S.. It offers Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, as part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield collective.
Anthem stands out from most other Medigap companies by offering options to add dental and vision coverage to Medigap plans. It offers only a few Medigap plan types, though, and serves fewer states than most competitors.
Here’s what you need to know about Anthem Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Anthem Medicare Supplement Insurance pros and cons
Anthem’s Medigap offerings have advantages and disadvantages.
Available Medicare Supplement Insurance plans
Anthem generally offers three Medicare Supplement Insurance plans for purchase by any Medicare member:
Medigap Plan A — the basic benefits included in every Medigap plan without any extras.
Medigap Plan G — the highest-coverage option available to new Medicare members.
Medigap Plan N — a plan with lower premiums but higher copays.
Anthem also offers Medigap Plan F for qualifying beneficiaries who were eligible to enroll in Medicare prior to 2020. Newer Medicare members can’t buy these plans from any company.
In addition, Anthem offers Medicare Supplement Insurance in Wisconsin that fits the state’s standards, which differ from the standardization system used in the majority of the country.
Enter your ZIP code on Anthem’s website to see the Medigap plan types available in your location.
Medicare Select policies add network requirements
In some locations, Anthem offers both standard and Medicare Select versions of certain Medigap plans. With a Medicare Select policy, you have the same coverage as the standard version, but you’re required to get nonemergency services from in-network providers.
In exchange for the network restrictions, Medicare Select plans offer lower premiums than the non-Select version of the same plan.
If you have a Medicare Select policy and get services from an out-of-network provider, you’re not fully covered. You become responsible for some of the costs that the plan would cover if you had stayed in-network. Review the materials for a Medicare Select policy you’re considering to learn about the network limitations and in-network facility list for the policy.
Add-on coverage for dental and vision
In some locations, Anthem offers the option to add on coverage with cost sharing for services not included in standard Medigap plan types. For example, Anthem Extras packages can cover some costs for dental cleanings, dental procedures and eye exams, plus an allowance for glasses frames or contact lenses.
This add-on coverage requires its own premiums, which vary according to your location and the coverage level you select.
Medigap plans have standardized Medicare benefits, but companies can offer additional perks. Here are examples of extras included with some Anthem Medicare Supplement Insurance policies:
Fitness: The SilverSneakers fitness program gives qualifying members access to participating gyms, pools and classes, plus on-demand videos for home workouts.
Prescription drug discounts: Qualifying members can use a discount card to save on prescription drugs not covered by insurance at participating providers.
Health and wellness discounts: Anthem offers discounts on certain vision, hearing, fitness and alternative medicine products and services.
Anthem Medicare Supplement Insurance service area
Anthem offers Medigap policies in 14 states.
Anthem covers about 685,000 Medigap beneficiaries and has about a 4.9% share of the total Medicare Supplement Insurance market.
The following price quotes were obtained for three metropolitan areas representing above-average, average and below-average costs for the most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (Plan G and Plan N):
Los Angeles: More expensive than average.
Atlanta: Average cost for the U.S.
Aspen, Colorado: Less expensive than average.
The sections below show pricing information from Anthem for a 65-year-old female nonsmoker and reflect “base” pricing with discounts removed or factored out whenever the option was available. (Note: Some Medigap prices may be higher for males.)
For comparison, each table also includes the price for the least-expensive option to buy the same plan from any company, based on information from Medicare.gov. For example, Anthem’s price for Medigap Plan A in Los Angeles appears alongside the lowest price on Medicare.gov for all Plan A policies available in Los Angeles to an applicant with identical demographics.
On average, Anthem’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan A were about 35% higher than the least-expensive Plan A policy in the area.
Medicare.gov lowest price
On average, Anthem’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan G were about 25% higher than the least-expensive Plan G policy in the area.
Medicare.gov lowest price
On average, Anthem’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan N were about 77% higher than the least-expensive Plan N policy in the area.
Medicare.gov lowest price
Dental and vision add-ons
Costs for Anthem Extras packages vary depending on your location and the level of dental and vision coverage you choose, but they’re the same regardless of your choice of Medigap plan. For example, a basic Anthem Extras package could cost $25 per month whether you’re buying it with Medigap Plan G or Plan N.
Here are the price ranges for Anthem Extras packages offered in the quotes obtained for this review:
Los Angeles: $25 to $56.
Atlanta: $18 to $46.
Aspen, Colorado: Not offered.
Here are some examples of discounts Anthem offers to qualifying Medicare Supplement Insurance applicants:
Household: Some members can receive a discount for each additional household member who also has a Medigap policy from Anthem. The discount percentage varies by location.
Automatic payments: Some members can receive $2 per month off of premiums if they pay with automatic bank draft withdrawals.
Annual payment: Some members can receive $48 per year off of premiums by prepaying for a whole year of coverage.
Anthem’s spending on care
72.1% for member benefits
Medicare Supplement Insurance companies must report data on the premiums they collect and how much they spend to provide benefits for members.
Based on the most recent year of data, Anthem Medicare Supplement Insurance plans spend about 72.1% of premiums on member benefits. (The other 27.9% goes to overhead expenses like administrative costs, marketing, salaries and commissions.)
For comparison, the average for all companies is 77.3%. The minimum required by law for individual Medigap policies is 60%.
21% more complaints than average
Anthem members file complaints about their Medicare Supplement Insurance policies about 21% more often than the average for all Medigap companies. This is according to three years’ worth of data (2020-2022) from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for Anthem and its subsidiaries that sell Anthem-branded Medigap policies.
Complaint rates for all of the insurance offerings from Anthem and those subsidiaries are slightly better, on average, with a complaint rate for all policy types about 14% above the average for all insurance companies over the same three years of data.
Here’s how Anthem members can contact customer service:
Call a state-specific phone number. Log in or select your state on Anthem’s Contact Us page to find the number and hours.
Chat on Anthem.com or in Anthem’s Sydney Health app for Android or iOS.
Email [email protected]
There are a few companies that weigh in on customers’ experiences with insurance companies or the strength of the company in question, and we’ve included two here:
Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance companies
Anthem's parent company, Elevance Health, is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was formed in 2004 out of a merger between WellPoint Health Networks and Anthem. In 2022, the parent company changed its name to Elevance Health, but it continues to sell Medicare products under the Anthem brand.
Anthem offers commercial health insurance for individuals and employers; Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicaid plans; life, disability, dental and vision insurance; and services for other government health insurance programs. In 2022, Elevance Health had about $156 billion in annual revenue.
Find the right Medicare Supplement Insurance plan
Because Medigap plans are standardized, you can get precisely the same Medicare benefits from any company offering the plan. So when you shop, keep these considerations in mind to find the best policy to fit your needs:
Is your preferred plan available? Health insurance companies don’t always sell every plan, so check who sells the plan you want to buy in your area.
What are the premiums? Prices for the same plan can vary between companies, so check to find the most competitive rates.
Will your premiums change over time? Most policies cost more as you age, but some companies offer policies that let you lock in a price when you sign up.
Are there extras? Medigap plans’ core benefits are standardized, but in certain cases, some companies include such perks as discount programs or gym memberships.