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If you have Original Medicare and want to control your out-of-pocket costs, you might want to buy Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap. Medigap policies cover certain copays, coinsurance and deductibles you would otherwise be responsible for after Medicare pays its share of covered services.
The government standardizes Medigap plans, but they’re sold by private insurance companies, which set the premiums. So what you’ll pay can depend on such factors as geographic location, age, sex, tobacco use, health and medical history, insurance company, and plan.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Medicare supplemental insurance cost
All Medigap policies have premiums. The least expensive plans for a 65-year-old might cost as little as $30-$40 per month. For older beneficiaries and plans with more coverage, monthly premiums can cost hundreds of dollars.
Generally speaking, you’ll pay the lowest premiums for plans with less coverage, like Plan K or Plan L. Conversely, a plan that covers more, such as Plan G, tends to have a higher premium.
Read your quotes carefully when you’re shopping for plans. Sometimes Medigap pricing can be pretty unintuitive; for example, you might see a high-coverage plan such as Plan G priced below Plan A, which offers only basic coverage.
Other Medigap costs
Some Medigap plan types have other costs in addition to their premiums:
Medigap Plan N has copays for certain office and emergency room visits.
Medigap Plan K and Plan L require you to pay for a percentage of covered services. With Plan K, you pay 50% out of pocket. With Plan L, you pay 25%.
High-deductible plans require you to meet a deductible of $2,490 in 2022 before the Medigap policy pays for anything.
Medigap cost comparison chart
Here are the price ranges for each Medigap plan type available to a 65-year-old nonsmoker in North Carolina, which has average pricing among U.S. states.
Medigap plan type
Monthly premium price ranges
Medigap Plan A — the basic benefits included in every Medigap plan without any extras.
Medigap Plan B — basic benefits plus coverage for the Medicare Part A deductible.
Medigap Plan D — a mid-cost option that covers most Medigap benefits.
Medigap Plan G — the highest-coverage option available to new Medicare members.
Available as either a standard plan or a high-deductible option in some locations.
High-deductible Medigap Plan G.
Medigap Plan K — the lowest-cost Medigap plan, with 50% coverage for most benefits.
Medigap Plan L — a low-cost option with 75% coverage for most benefits.
Medigap Plan M — coverage for most benefits, but only half of the Part A deductible.
Medigap Plan N — a plan with lower premiums but higher copays.
A $341 Medigap Plan G policy has the same standardized Medicare coverage as one that costs $96. Companies may add on some extra perks like discounted gym memberships, but the core Medicare benefits are the same, so go ahead and compare based on price.
How Medigap companies set prices
You may see Medicare Supplement Insurance plans priced in a few ways:
Community-rated. Premiums aren’t based on age — everyone pays the same monthly premium. This kind of pricing may also be called “no age-rated.”
Issue-age-rated. Premiums are based on your age when purchased. Generally, younger people pay lower premiums than older people. This kind of pricing may also be called “entry age-rated.”
Attained-age-rated. Premiums are based on your current age, meaning costs will go up as you age.
Some states require certain pricing for Medicare Supplement Insurance, so not all pricing methods are available in every state.
You might be able to save on premiums by qualifying for a discount with some companies. Here are a few examples:
Household discounts for living in the same household as another qualifying person with a Medigap policy from the same company.
Online application discounts for signing up online rather than by phone or an agent.
Automatic or prepayment discounts for setting up automatic withdrawals from a bank account or prepaying for a full year of coverage.
Multi-policy discounts for members who combine a Medigap policy with other insurance from the same company, such as life insurance or a dental plan.
Sign up early for the lowest Medigap prices
To get the best price and easiest enrollment experience, sign up for a Medigap plan during your Medigap open enrollment period. This period happens only once. It starts once you’re 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B, and lasts for six months. (If you're still working after 65 and covered by a group employer plan that is deemed creditable coverage, your six-month period starts after you’ve ended active employment or no longer have that insurance.)
Medigap policies are cheapest and easiest to get during this open enrollment period because insurance companies aren’t allowed to factor your health or medical history into your price. After the period ends, the prices may go up or you may be denied coverage due to your health status or medical history.
In some states, insurance companies sell Medigap plans to those under 65 who are living with a disability and are eligible for Medicare. You can find more information through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP.
If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).