Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Massachusetts

See plan types, top companies and price comparisons for Medigap policies in Massachusetts.
May 12, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Massachusetts has nearly 1.4 million Medicare beneficiaries

. Just over 970,000 of those beneficiaries have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

Massachusetts residents with Medicare Part A and Part B can purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, to help cover certain out-of-pocket expenses like copays, coinsurance and deductibles left over after Medicare pays for covered services. Nearly 350,000 people in Massachusetts had Medigap coverage at the end of 2020

.

Here’s what you need to know about finding the best Medigap policy for you in Massachusetts.

How Medicare Supplement Insurance works in Massachusetts

In most states, there are 10 standard Medigap plan types, but Massachusetts uses its own different standardized system.

There are three plan types in Massachusetts. The Core Plan covers the basic benefits included in all Massachusetts Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, and the other two plans offer additional coverage on top of those basic benefits.

Core Plan

Here are the benefits of the Core Plan

:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up.

  • Part B coinsurance.

  • Blood transfusion (first three pints).

  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.

  • Inpatient days in mental health hospitals up to an additional 60 days per calendar year in addition to Medicare’s mental health coverage.

  • State-mandated benefits including yearly Pap tests and mammograms.

Supplement 1A Plan

A higher-coverage option, the Supplement 1A Plan, includes everything in the Core Plan, plus coverage for these additional benefits:

  • Part A deductible.

  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.

  • Medicare-covered services needed while traveling abroad.

  • Inpatient days in mental health hospitals up to an additional 120 days per benefit period in addition to Medicare’s coverage (replaces the Core Plan’s 60 additional days per calendar year).

Nerdy tip: A benefit period starts the day you’re admitted for an inpatient hospital stay. It ends when you haven’t received inpatient hospital care for 60 days in a row. If you’re admitted after that, you’ve started a new benefit period.

Supplement 1 Plan

Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible on or before Jan. 1, 2020, can purchase another plan, the Supplement 1 Plan, which includes coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible in addition to everything in the Supplement 1A Plan. However, Medigap plans aren’t allowed to cover the Medicare Part B deductible for beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare on or after Jan. 1, 2020, so those beneficiaries can only purchase the Core or Supplement 1A plans.

Top Medicare Supplement Insurance companies in MA

Medigap plans are regulated by the government, but they’re sold by private insurance companies. Here are the five most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance companies in Massachusetts as of the end of 2020

:

Insurance company

Share of Massachusetts Medigap members

69.7%.

2. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

12%.

11.6%.

4. Tufts Health Plan

4.6%.

0.8%.

Medicare Supplement Insurance prices in Massachusetts

It’s worth comparing companies to find the lowest price for your chosen plan. The benefits of each Medigap plan are standardized, so you get the same Medicare benefits regardless of the company you choose.

Note that Massachusetts state law requires community-rated pricing for Medicare Supplement Insurance, so the prices are the same for all enrollees regardless of age

.

Here are the top five companies’ prices for the Core Plan and Supplement 1A Plan, the two plan types available for new Medicare members in Massachusetts. The prices were filed with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance as of Jan. 1, 2022

.

Insurance company

Core Plan monthly premiums

Supplement 1A Plan monthly premiums

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts

$113.58.

$190.55.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

$136.

$195.

Tufts Health Plan

$129.

$195.50.

AARP/UnitedHealthcare

$144.25.

$201.75.

Humana

$192.44.

$308.19.

For reference, here are the lowest premiums filed with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance for the two plans:

  • Core Plan: $113.58 per month.

  • Supplement 1A Plan: $184.73 per month.

Medicare resources in Massachusetts

  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP: Massachusetts’ Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone program, or SHINE, is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program. It provides free information and counseling about Medicare options, processes and costs.

  • Executive Office of Elder Affairs: Provides information for Massachusetts seniors and caregivers to access resources and services, including help with Medicare.

  • Massachusetts Division of Insurance: Maintains records of Massachusetts Medigap companies and their rates and offers resources for consumers to learn about insurance and file complaints.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Providers

Get more information about some of the major health insurance companies that sell Medigap plans. Use Medicare’s plan finding tool or check the insurance companies’ websites to see plan options in your location.

Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance providers

Complaint rate: 67% worse than the market average.

Service area: 43 states.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 75.6%.

Complaint rate: 63% better than the market average.

Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.7%.

Complaint rate: 24% worse than the market average.

Service area: 16 states.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 68.6%.

Complaint rate: 0.4% better than the market average.

Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 72.6%.

Complaint rate: 40% worse than the market average.

Service area: 48 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 75%.

Complaint rate: 335% worse than the market average.

Service area: 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 77%.

Complaint rate: 62% better than the market average.

Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.4%.

Complaint rate: 50% better than the market average.

Service area: 45 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.7%.

The average percent of premiums spent on member benefits across all Medigap insurance companies is 72.3%

. The minimum required by law for individual Medigap policies is 60%.

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.

If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).

Looking for more insurance in Massachusetts? Check out these resources:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.