Medicare benefits are a federal program available for seniors 65+ in every single state. However, because Medicare doesn’t cover all of the medical needs for most seniors, Medicare supplement insurance is available for anyone concerned about these coverage gaps. However, unlike Traditional Medicare, Medicare supplement policies can vary significantly depending on your location.
Medicare vs. Medicare Supplement Insurance: What’s the Difference?
As you may already know, Medicare is for all American seniors 65 or older. No matter where you live in the United States, you have the option to enroll in the program and begin receiving Medicare benefits during the year in which you turn 65. You may enroll at any time, but if you don’t enroll during the designated enrollment period, you could face penalties and higher costs later on down the road.
Medicare supplement insurance, on the other hand, is a completely different form of health care coverage. Your typical Medicare supplement insurance policy comes in one of three forms:
- An employer-sponsored health plan
- A Medicare Advantage Plan
- A Medicare supplement (Medigap) policy
Additionally, these policies will vary from state-to-state. This is because, unlike the federal Medicare program, Medicare supplement policies are not handled by the US or even state governments. They are underwritten by private companies and organizations. Since not all private entities operate in every single US state, it is difficult to offer a universal Medicare supplement policy for every senior citizen.
Medicare Supplement Plans Coverage Overview
Medicare Supplement Similarities in Every State
Regardless of the differences in Medicare supplements across the country, there are certain things you can expect from your Medicare supplement insurance, regardless of where you live. And those are:
- Equal or better coverage from a Medicare Advantage If you decide to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, it will offer you medical benefits which are equal to or better than the benefits you would receive through Medicare Parts A & B.
- Equivalent benefits from a Medigap (Medicare supplement) policy. There are ten federally approved Medigap policies for seniors to choose from, labeled alphabetically. To keep things simple, federal law mandates that each policy offer the exact same benefits from state to state. For example, a senior citizen in California can expect the same exact coverage from Medigap Plan F that they would get if they lived in Alaska.
- No matter what state you live in, you can only have one Medicare supplement policy active at any given time. This means, for example, that someone with a Medigap policy cannot also purchase Medicare Advantage insurance.
How Medicare Supplements Differ from State to State
As mentioned earlier, there are a wide variety of differences between supplement policies from one state to another. The biggest and most important difference is, of course, cost. A senior citizen with a Medigap Plan F policy in rural Montana will likely pay a drastically different monthly premium than someone living in New York City.
The next significant difference between Medicare supplements in different states is the company underwriting the policy. There are a limited number of major insurance conglomerates which can operate in all 50 states. Because of this, odds are that your Medicare supplement insurance will be handled by a local company. For some, this is the preferred option. It increases the likelihood that they will receive personal attention and superior customer service when they have to file a claim.
Below is the chart that represents national average costs. Click on your state in the right sidebar for more information on Medicare supplement policies in your area. Or if you’re ready to start shopping for a policy, click on “Request Info” button next to desired and receive information on Medicare supplement insurance available near you.
This Table Represents National Average Costs of Medicare Supplement Plans
|Plan Type||Starting From||Part A Deductible||Part B Deductible||Excess||Nursing||Travel|
|Plan C||$118*||$0||$0||Not Covered||100% Covered||100% Covered||Request Info|
|$116*||$0||$0||100% Covered||100% Covered||100% Covered||Request Info|
|Plan G||$105*||$0||$147||100% Covered||100% Covered||100% Covered||Request Info|
|Plan B||$104*||$0||$147||Not Covered||Not Covered||Not Covered||Request Info|
|Plan N||$70*||$0||$147||Not Covered||100% Covered||100% Covered||Request Info|
|Plan D||$97*||$0||$147||Not Covered||100% Covered||100% Covered||Request Info|
|Plan A||$69*||$1||$147||Not Covered||Not Covered||Not Covered||Request Info|
|Plan L||$76*||$304||$147||Not Covered||75% Covered||Not Covered||Request Info|
|Plan K||$45*||$608||$147||Not Covered||50% Covered||Not Covered||Request Info|
|Plan M||$97*||$608||$147||Not Covered||100% Covered||100% Covered||Request Info|