What’s the Best Medigap Policy

All plans with the same letter have the same coverage, but prices can vary by company.

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Question: Do you have any advice to help me choose which type of Medicare supplement plan to buy? - M.R., Folsom, Calif.

Answer: Medicare supplement policies (medigap plans), which pay out-of-pocket costs not covered by Medicare, come in 10 letter designations (A through D; F; G; and K through N). All plans with the same letter have the same coverage, but prices can vary by company. Plan F has been the most popular. It covers the Medicare Part A hospital deductible and co-payments, the Part B deductible, and some emergency care outside the U.S. Plan F will be discontinued for new Medicare enrollees in 2020 (but people who already have Plan F can keep it). Plan G provides the same coverage except for the $185 Part B deductible. If you don’t anticipate having many doctors’ visits, consider Plan N, which usually has lower premiums in return for some cost sharing.

Most state insurance departments describe the types of medigap policies and list the premiums for plans in their area. Find your state’s insurance department at naic.org/map (opens in new tab).

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.