The Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies of 2020

Guidance for choosing the best extra coverage options for Medicare

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While Medicare helps cover some of your insurance needs, it doesn’t always account for your out-of-pocket spending. In 2016, the average American with Medicare spent $5,460 out-of-pocket. This number includes those with Medicaid, who receive extra assistance in paying for their healthcare costs. 


Medicare Supplement
insurance (or Medigap) is one way to reduce your out-of-pocket and unexpected spending. With Medigap, you select a plan that helps pay for coverage that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurances. You can also receive help for expenses incurred during foreign travel, and receive up to 3 pints of blood.

Medicare requires insurance companies to standardize their Medigap plans and identifies each plan by a letter ranging from A to N. Because different insurance companies can charge varying amounts for the plans, and some companies are more financially stable with better customer service features than others, it pays to shop carefully for a Medicare Supplement Plan. We did the hard work for you and put together a list of companies that offer the best Medicare Supplement Plans.

Warning:

You cannot have both a Medicare Supplement Plan and a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Supplement Plans are available only to those with Original Medicare. 

The 6 The Best Medicare Supplement Plans

Our Top Picks

Aetna: Best Supplement Plan Choices

Aetna

Aetna

Why we chose it: Offers a wide variety of plans in some areas, the ability to get discounts, and a solid financial reputation.

Pros
  • Offers a wide selection of Supplement Plans

  • Offers high-deductible Plan F and G 

  • Request-a-call function is convenient for customer service

Cons
  • Not offered in seven states and the District of Columbia

  • Medicare Supplement education isn’t company-specific

Companies that carry Medicare Supplement Plans aren’t required to carry all plans. Some companies we reviewed offered only four choices. However, depending on your eligibility and location, Aetna offers Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, N, and high-deductible versions of Plan F and G. We liked the ability to go to one company and see a more comprehensive listing to better compare prices and coverage.

Expert Tip:

If you qualified for Medicare before January 2020, Medicare Supplement companies must offer you at least Plan A and either Plan C or Plan F. If you are new to Medicare after January 2020, Medicare Supplement companies must offer Plan A and Plan D or Plan G. Plan F is not available for new Medicare enrollees.

As a company, Aetna offers the benefits of long-term operation (more than 150 years), and an AM Best rating of A- (Excellent). It also offers a monthly premium rate discount if someone in your household also subscribes to a Medicare Supplement Plan. In our research, the Household Rate saved between roughly $6 and $9 a month. When we compared the quoted Medicare Plan Finder range to Aetna’s price ranges, Aetna was on the lower side of Medicare’s quoted average. For example, the Medicare Plan Finder reported that Plan A plans for a 70-year old, nonsmoking female in the area we searched as ranging from $65 to $232. The Aetna Plan A we were offered was $83, or $77 with a household discount.

Aetna doesn’t offer Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington.

Aetna’s website is easy to navigate, and it offers multiple ways to reach out to customer service personnel and agents. We would have liked more decision-related materials from Aetna itself to address key aspects of holding a plan with it—the main tool guide was from Medicare.gov. A feature we particularly liked was the ability to request a phone call from an agent; Aetna guarantees someone will reach out to you within 24 hours of your request.

Cigna: Best Educational Tools

Cigna

Cigna

Why we chose it: Offers a variety of educational tools, nationwide coverage, and some of the lowest premium prices.

Pros
  • Extensive Medicare Supplement education on website

  • Available in 50 states and the District of Columbia

  • Offers high-deductible Plan F to qualifying subscribers

Cons
  • Offers only three plans to new Medicare subscribers

  • Must provide email address and phone number to receive a free quote

Cigna was formed by a 1980s merger of two insurance companies in operation in the United States for more than 150 years. The company has an “A” or “Excellent” rating from AM Best for financial strength.

Cigna’s homepage features several educational topics related to choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan. These include “What are the benefits?” and “When and how do I apply?” as well as several short videos on topics such as “Why Cigna?” and “When can I enroll?”

One of the main drawbacks of Cigna is that there are few plan choices. For new Medicare subscribers, it offers Plans A, N, and G. If you subscribed before January 1, 2020, you may also qualify for its Plan F or high-deductible Plan F. If you were hoping to obtain a different plan, you’ll have to look at other companies.

To get a quote for plan costs, you must provide your e-mail address and phone number to obtain an e-mail quote. (You can also call its toll-free line to receive a quote.) If you were hoping to remain anonymous while searching, this makes it more difficult. However, there is a payoff because Cigna’s quoted prices were some of the lowest that we searched. For example, Medicare’s Plan Finder quoted a range of $93 to $317 for a Plan G premium for a 70-year old nonsmoking female. We were quoted a monthly premium of $111.17 from Cigna.

Cigna also offers a 7% household discount to those who enroll.

BlueCross BlueShield: Best for One-on-One Help

BlueCross BlueShield

BlueCross BlueShield

Why we chose it: Offers plan to find tools, it's available nationwide, and has a variety of customer service access points.

Pros
  • Many customer service options

  • Plan finders helped narrow selections 

  • Available in all 50 states

Cons
  • Navigation to obtain a quote takes time

  • Takes several pages to get to application areas

BlueCross BlueShield is an association of companies that offer health insurance, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Plans, and more. They’ve been in operation since 1929. Because they are an association of individual organizations, AM Best rates each one independently (usually by state). In our research, we saw many A-, A, and A+ ratings for financial stability across different state associations.

A visit to the BlueCross BlueShield site instantly felt like we could quickly find help and customer service. The contact information for the customer service department, including phone and e-mail, was prominently listed on each page as well as a button to immediately chat with a customer service representative. In addition to educational tools on Medicare, the company immediately offered three ways to get more information: talking to an adviser, scheduling a visit, or receiving plan details via mail.

One of the drawbacks to BlueCross BlueShield’s website are the navigation tools to get to an actual Medicare Supplement quote. From the Medicare Supplement landing page, we were directed through four pages before we were able to enter age and smoking status information to obtain a quote. Navigating to the area where we could apply for the plan also required several pages of steps.

However, once we did arrive at the quote portion, the navigation was much easier. We could click up to three plans to compare side-by-side. The prices compared to the Medicare Plan Finder averages were lower than the median price as well. For example, the Medicare Plan Finder displayed a price range of $84 to $310 for a 70-year-old nonsmoking man in the ZIP code we searched for Plan N. BlueCross quoted a plan cost of $143.45 per month for this plan.

We also liked the “Help Me Choose” tool, which acted as a guide to select a Supplement Plan based on our coverage goals. These tools, along with the knowledge that we could easily access BlueCross representatives via a variety of methods, made the experience feel more personal. When we reviewed plans, we saw the opportunity for a household discount of 5% as well as extra health discounts offered to BlueCross plan members, which vary by region but may include gym memberships, apparel, and nutrition discounts.

Mutual of Omaha: Best for Price Transparency

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Why we chose it: The company features customer reviews on its landing page, offers one of the largest household discounts, and promises fast payment on claims.

Pros
  • Offers 12% household discount

  • Serves 50 states and the District of Columbia

  • Customer ratings and comments on the opening webpage

Cons
  • Offers only three plans to new subscribers

  • Does not allow you to customize view to see plans side-by-side

Mutual of Omaha has been in operation since 1909 and has an A+ (superior) rating from AM Best for its financial strength. The company reports that it pays an estimated 98% of Medicare claims within 12 hours of receiving the claim, which helps you to know when your claims are covered.

In terms of costs, Mutual of Omaha offers a 12% household discount, one of the largest household discounts we reviewed. Its prices were also lower than the middle range for our Medicare Plan Finder-quoted area before the discount. For example, the Medicare Plan Finder quoted a price range of $127 to $389 for a nonsmoking 70-year-old male for Plan F. We were quoted a monthly premium of $154.21 or $135.71 with a household discount for Plan F from Mutual of Omaha. The company’s quote tool allows you to view costs by month or year, which helps put its costs into context.

For new subscribers, Mutual of Omaha offers Plans A, G, high-deductible G, and N. For subscribers who aren’t new to Medicare, it offers Plan F. However, it doesn’t offer as wide a variety of plans as some other companies do. Also, the plans were placed in groupings before scrolling—but we didn’t have the option to compare the plans we were interested in side-by-side.

Mutual of Omaha’s Medicare Supplements homepage also allows you to read and click through more than 140 customer reviews, good and bad so that you can learn how other customers rated the company’s coverage and service.

As a benefit, Mutual of Omaha also offers several ways to ask questions about its plans. This includes a chat tool on its website, information about local agents (including their pictures and phone numbers), and a toll-free phone number.

Bankers Fidelity: Best for Client Transparency

Bankers Fidelity

Bankers Fidelity

Why we chose it: Features customer reviews on the homepage, offers a wide variety of plans in some areas, and has a straightforward, easy-to-use website.

Pros
  • Clean, user-friendly website

  • Lower tier of rates

  • Offers a variety of plans

Cons
  • Plans sold in 37 states

  • Must provide contact information to obtain quotes

Bankers Fidelity has provided insurance products since 1955 and holds an A- (Excellent) rating with AM Best. We ranked it among the best because it offers a wider variety of plans, depending on your geographic location. It offers Plans A, B, G, K, and N (plus F and high-deductible F if you qualify).

We also liked that it put customer reviews on its homepage. Most customers noted the company’s responsive and courteous customer service. The page is clean, easy-to-read, and features links for educational materials. When you receive your quote, the amounts are easily visible and simple to understand. You can click on the plan details for an easy-to-read graph that explains each plan’s benefits.

Unfortunately, Bankers Fidelity doesn’t sell its plans in all 50 states; excluded are Alaska, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin. You also must provide contact information to obtain a quote.

In terms of rates, Bankers Fidelity is on the lower side of the average rates the Medicare Plan Finder quoted. For example, according to the Medicare Plan Finder, the costs for a 70-year-old nonsmoking woman for Medicare Plan G ranged from $93 to $317. We were quoted a rate of $136.17 before household discounts for Plan G from Bankers Fidelity. This was true across all available plans. It also offers a household discount that ranges from 5% to 10%, depending on your location.

Humana: Best for Perks

Humana

Humana

Why we chose it: Offers a variety of plan types, including its innovative Healthy Living plan, and discounts, including one for enrolling online.

Pros
  • Offers Healthy Living plan with extra perks

  • Offers household and online discounts

  • Available in all states and the District of Columbia

Cons
  • No high-deductible Plan G

  • Healthy Living plan can make premiums higher

Humana has been in operation since 1971 and has an AM Best rating of A- (Excellent). It earned high marks from us thanks to its plan offerings. Specifically, Humana offers Plans A, B, C, F, high-deductible F, G, K, L, and N in many states. The only option we did not see offered was a high-deductible Plan G.

In addition to these Medigap plans, Humana offers a Healthy Living supplement to some plans. This offers extra services, much in the way Medicare Advantage does, including vision and dental services, such as 100% coverage for two dental exams and cleanings annually. The Healthy Living plan also offers fitness, hearing, and prescription discounts as well as a 24-hour nurse advice line.

The Healthy Living addition does increase the plan’s price. For the ZIP codes we reviewed, the Healthy Living plan made the monthly premium on the higher side of the Medicare Plan Finder average. For example, the Medicare Plan Finder quoted a range of $43 to $114 a month for a 70-year-old nonsmoking woman with Plan K. Humana quoted a price of $101 monthly for its Healthy Living Plan K. You must weigh the potential value of the Healthy Living benefits versus its costs. Humana does have non-Healthy Living options that are usually lower than the median price per ZIP code.

Humana also offers a discount for enrolling online (which varies by location) and a 5% household discount as well if another person in your household signs up for Humana. You can compare pricing and the plans themselves with the “Add to Compare” option, which allows you to view three plans side-by-side.

How We Chose the Best Medicare Supplement Plans

We reviewed more than 20 Medicare Supplement companies that offered Medicare Supplement Plans in greater than 30 states, so our recommendations would be most accessible to customers. We chose our top plans based on plan diversity, website ease of use, customer service accessibility, premium costs, discounts, and perks. We also considered years in operation as well as AM Best financial rankings. All of our selected plans had a ranking of Excellent or higher, providing you with financially stable plans with reasonable premiums.

How to Shop and Compare Medicare Supplement Plans

There is no designated enrollment period for Medigap. If you’re considering signing up, here are some steps you can follow to shop for the best Medicare supplement plans.

Expert Tip:

It’s a good idea to visit a company’s website itself for pricing. Some companies may offer discounts on their site, including for signing up online. This may allow you to better estimate your costs. 

Step 1: Decide If You Want to Purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan

The best time to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan is usually when you sign up for Medicare. At this time, companies cannot deny you coverage, and you’ll usually get the best rate. You can purchase a Medigap policy at a later time, but your premium costs may be higher and are usually based on your age and overall health.

Step 2: Determine Which Medicare Supplement Plans Are Available to You

Medicare offers a Plan Finder tool that allows you to input your ZIP code and search for plans. The results will first give you an expected range of costs for each supplement plan type. You can then click on your potential plan or plans of choice and find companies and their price estimates.

Step 3: Consider Talking to a Broker or Consultant

From guidance on the best plan type to potential costs and cost-savings, it’s understandable you’ll have questions when searching for a Medigap policy. One free (and unbiased) resource is your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). They offer counseling and assistance to those shopping for Medicare Supplement Plans.

Most Medicare Supplement Plan insurance companies will also offer the opportunity to meet or speak with a broker or consultant. These professionals may help you determine costs, coverage, and help you in the application process.

Step 4: Sign Up

You can sign up for most plans online. A broker can also help you fill out an e-application or paper application. You can also request and submit a paper application from the company you are enrolling in.

Before you get to the application process, you have a lot of considerations about selecting the best plan—and company—for you. To aid your research we took an up-close look at more than 20 Medicare Supplement companies. We used considerations such as price transparency, nationwide coverage, extra perks, website ease-of-use, and educational content to select the standout companies for Medigap coverage.

How Do Medigap Policies Work?

When you have a Medigap policy, Original Medicare will first cover its portion of the costs. Medigap will cover the remaining costs, as your plan outlines.

For example, You go to your doctor’s office who accepts Medicare. Your doctor bills Medicare Part B for $1,000 for your visit, and your co-insurance payment is is 20% of the costs, $200. If you have a Medigap plan that pays for Part B coinsurance. Medicare will pay $800, and your Medigap plan will pay the remaining $200.

What Is the Difference Between a Medicare Supplement Plan and a Medicare Advantage Plan?

A Medicare Supplement Plan is designed to cover out-of-pocket costs or expenses that Medicare doesn’t traditionally cover, such as if you need a blood transfusion, and international travel.

A Medicare Advantage plan is a plan you buy from a private insurance company. It fulfills your Part A, Part B, and sometimes Part D benefits, and also often offers additional medical coverage, such as vision, dental, or hearing services.

Expert Tip:

Most Medicare Advantage plans have an out-of-pocket limit, which is their way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Original Medicare does not have an out-of-pocket limit. This is why some people choose Medicare Supplement Plans. 

How Much Does a Medicare Supplement Plan Usually Cost?


The average costs for a Medicare Supplement Plan vary by state and plan type. For example, some companies offer high-deductible Supplement Plans. These are usually much less expensive monthly because you must first meet a spending deductible. Plans that cover more will usually have a higher monthly premium.

Plan pricing also varies based on a person’s geographic location, health, and age. Medicare’s Plan Finder will provide a range of costs for each plan. These may be as low as $50 a month for high-deductible plans to as high as $400 or more a month for an older person who smokes and wants comprehensive Medigap coverage.

Is a Medicare Supplement Plan Worth the Money?

The average American without supplemental Medicare coverage spends about $7,473 in out-of-pocket costs while a person with Medigap spends about $6,621. The advantages of Medicare Supplement Plans is their ability to save you money and provide peace of mind about your finances if you experience an illness or accident. The disadvantage is that you may pay for coverage you do not use or need.

Are Medicare Supplement Plans Worth It?

The decision is an individual one. You must weigh several factors, including how much you can pay a month, your overall health, and your stress level over potential health bills when deciding if you would like to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Kaiser Family Foundation. “How Much Do Medicare Beneficiaries Spend Out-of-Pocket on Health Care?” Accessed September 8, 2020. 

  2. Business Wire. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Humana Inc. and Majority of Its Health Subsidiaries; Maintains Positive Outlooks.” Accessed September 8, 2020.