The ‘Best’ Medicare Supplement Plan in 2018

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You can get your basic Medicare benefits from Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. If you want more coverage you can get Medicare Advantage plans. Another way to get wide coverage through Original Medicare is by getting Medicare Supplement plans. These plans fill in the gaps of Part A and Part B and also cover a lot of the out-of-pocket expenses that you have to pay with Original Medicare.
You can use the Medicare Supplement plans with Medicare Part A and Part B and not with Medicare Advantage. These plans are only sold by private insurance companies who are authorized to sell such plans. One good feature of Medicare Supplement plans is that the coverage of these plans is decided by the Medicare authority and not by the insurance companies. The companies can only determine the rates they will charge a particular plan on their own.
When you start shopping for a Medicare Supplement plan, first you have to know the benefits of all the ten plans. Since all the benefits are standardized you don’t need to compare the benefits of every company – they will be same for a particular plan whichever company you buy from. All the ten plans offer some basic benefits with some plans offering specific benefits in addition to that. After you have determined the particular plan you need, it is time to compare the rates from different insurance companies.
Premium rates widely differ from company to company and is subject to age, locality, health conditions etc. So, you have to get quotes from some of the best companies in your area and compare the rates of the same plan. The plans are known by alphabet letters – Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Plan A is the most basic plan and hence is the least expensive.
Which plan is best suited for you will be determined by your medical needs and your affordability. One plan cannot be good for everyone because everyone has different needs and budget.

Most Popular and Inclusive Medicare Supplement Plans

Out of the ten plans, the following ones give the widest coverage and are most bought by customers.

Medicare Supplement Plan F

Plan F gives the widest coverage among all the Medicare supplement plans. That is why this plan has always been favored by customers and will be popular in 2018 as well. This plan covers almost every additional expense of Original Medicare. Some of the benefits are as follows –

  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • Copayment and coinsurance for hospice care
  • Nursing care
  • Three extra pints of blood over what Medicare gives
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Coverage for 80% of the expense of foreign travel emergency
  • Basic benefits covered under Plan A

The negative side of Plan F is the cost – the inclusion of all the benefits make it the most expensive plan. You may get other plans with almost identical benefits at lower costs. If you visit doctors too frequently, then it makes sense to take Plan F. You can try to get the least expensive Plan F since you will get the exact same benefits from every company.

Medicare Supplement Plan G 2018

It is sure that Medicare Supplement benefits won’t change in 2018 at least. So, you can go ahead with the coverage that you have this year or take a different plan. Plan G comes a close second to Plan F. The only difference between these is that Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible which Plan F does. All other benefits are identical. However, Plan G comes at a much cheaper cost than Plan F.

Medicare Supplement Plan N 2018

Another Medicare supplement plan which gives great value for money is Plan N. It covers every basic and almost all other benefits without being too expensive. Except Part B deductible and Part B excess charges it covers everything else that is covered by any other Supplement plan.
Since you have to do quite a lot of comparison and research, it is advisable to start the process early in order to avoid any hasty or wrong decisions. You should also consider the network of providers that are in the network of a particular plan while deciding the insurance company.
Once you know the Medicare supplement plan which is right for you, compare the rates and you may find affordable rates from a company for your plan. Plan F may be a popular choice but is an expensive one. So, think if it is really worth it to shell out that extra amount or buy something within your comfort range with one less benefit.