Medigap: Pros and Cons

Learn if Medicare supplemental insurance is right for you by checking out our Medigap pros and cons list.

by Amy De Vore+ on Jun 05, 2015 | 12 Comments

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Medicare Supplemental Insurance (AKA Medigap) enhances Original Medicare to significantly extend hospital, skilled nursing, and travel coverage. It also can pay for Medicare deductibles and Medicare copays. Medigap is the most comprehensive coverage you can buy. Now should you buy Medigap? Check out our list first. 

Medigap Pros and Cons

Medigap Pros Medigap Cons
Plans cover all or part of Medicare additional fees Monthly premiums can be pricey
Plans are easy to compare Difficult to switch once enrolled
Guaranteed 6 month enrollment period when 1st eligible May not be able to enroll after initial enrollment period
All plans offer an additional 365 days in hospital Not all plans cover hospital deductible
Some plans offer extras like excess charges, foreign travel, and Silver Sneakers program Does not include drug coverage
Nationwide coverage Doesn’t cover acupuncture

Learn More about Medigap Get a Medigap QuoteApply for Medigap

What is Medigap?

You have seen the pros and cons list but what exactly is Medigap? Medigap is additional insurance offered by private companies that you can buy to fill in the “gaps” of Original Medicare. While Original Medicare covers much of your medical costs, it still requires you to pay many fees such as copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. These fees can add up which leads many retirees to not be able to afford them.

There are 10 different standardized Medigap plans that can help pay some or all of these costs. However, some are more popular than others. Medigap’s most popular plans simply offer better coverage at a better cost. Some of the benefits consist on extending your Medicare benefits by an additional 365 days of hospitalization and offering coverage not available under Original Medicare such as $50,000 of Foreign Travel Emergency.

How Expensive is Medigap?

It is helpful to get an understanding of Medigap’s average cost, but your price will also depend on many different variables such as your age, zip code and which plan you select. You can get an instant quote by clicking the button below.

How Much Does Medigap Cost?Apply for Medigap

Alternatives to Medigap?

Most people not comfortable with Medigap’s monthly premium consider Medicare Advantage (MA). Unlike Medigap, MA replaces your Original Medicare. It doesn’t fill in all the gaps but it is usually less expensive. You might want to check out Medigap vs Medicare Advantage, to decide which plan is right for you.

For further questions call 800-930-7956.


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Reader Comments and Questions

By Leticia on October 11, 2019

My husband has a Medicare Advantage plan through Humana and pays only $131.50 per month...thats it. He has pulmonary fibrosis and other conditions, therefore, has more medical costs than i do per year. I have medigap plan G through Aetna which costs me $128 per month plus i pay $135 Part B, plus $25 Part D. I have $185 deductible. The plan does not include vision or dental. Thats extra! I'm pretty healthy so I only see my doctor once a year. I also purchased a dental plan for $55/month so that brings my total to $343/month with no vision plan. Pretty pricey! Question: what are the advantages of a medigap plan(mine) vs a Medicare Advantage plan(My husband's)?

Check out our page Medicare Advantage vs Medigap here. One quick reminder: Both Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medigap require that you pay the $135 Part B premium.
-Michelle from

By jay on September 27, 2019

I currently have a Plan F High Deductible for which I enrolled a few months after turning 65 last year. If I disenroll from that plan now will I be able to enroll again to the same plan later in 2020? The term "newly eligible" mentioned in one senior65 response isn't clear to me. Also, I just received an online quote from your website - only Plan F and G plans (no high deductible F), and no K, or M, N, L. Is this because you only get quotes from a few companies? Jay

As you can read in our article about Medigap 2020 Changes, newly eligible means people who are 65 years of age or become first eligible for Medicare because of age, disability or end-stage renal sickness on or after January 1, 2020. That would not be your case since you turned 65 last year. You would be able to disenroll and then enroll again even after 2020. You may want to check our article on What if I have Medicare then return to work? if it is your case.

We do not show quotes for Medigap plans K, M, L, etc, simply because they are often not priced competitively compared to the benefits they offer. Medigap Plan G and F are Medigap's most popular plans for their coverage and price.

To be completely honest we had many clients trying to enroll in high F because it was the lowest price. They didn't know it required a deductible over $2000.

If you give us a call we can give you quotes for High Deductible F, the new Innovative F etc. We can help you enroll at no additional cost to you.
-Michelle from

By Valerie on July 06, 2019

I have heard some Medigap Plans are going away. Can you tell us which alphabet letters are disappearing?

Hey Valerie,
First of all, no Medigap Plans are going away. As you can read in our article about Medigap 2020 Rules, what is changing is who can buy Medigap Plans F, High F, and C. If you are newly eligible for Medicare before 2020 you can buy any plan or switch with no problem. If, on the contrary, you are eligible starting 2020, you won't be able to get the plans mentioned above.

That being said, please give us call if you wish to enroll. We are not only appointed to sell Medigap but also Medicare Advantage and Drugs. There is never a fee for our services.
-Michelle from

By Sherry on May 20, 2019

Do you have to pay "up front" for Plan G? or any other plan for that matter?

That will depend on the health insurance company you choose but typically you pay your monthly premiums in advance. So your July bill is usually due at the end of June.

Please give us a call when you are ready to enroll and we can tell you how specific companies bill. We charge nothing for our services.
-Michelle from

By Alfred on March 07, 2019

I have original medicare coverage and medigap coverage as well. My doctor ordered a routine blood est. Medicare did not cover the test but I knew it wouldnt. My supplemental covered only a small portion of the bill. It just seems to me that I pay a nice sum for Medicare Part B, I pay a nice sum monthly for my supplemental, yet neither can cover a simple blood test. Unbelievable

You should pay nothing for Medicare-approved covered clinical diagnostic laboratory services such as certain blood tests, urinalysis, tissue specimens, and some screening tests. Your test might not fall into Medicare's diagnostic guidelines or the tests were sent to a laboratory that didn't meet Medicare's requirements. staff

By Name Removed on November 11, 2018

I am 65-1/2 and on a medigap plan G. I feel that I am paying a lot for a medigap plan for covearge that I don't need at this time. It seems that an advantage plan would be less costly and give the coverage I need. My health is good, however, I had a mild stroke 5 years ago and take 2 meds for that. I also have an enlarged prostate, and take 2 meds for that. Colon caner is in the family history. If I switch to an advantage plan, will I have problems getting into a medigap plan down the road?

Medigap providers can decline your coverage if you have a past history of major health issues such as stroke or cancer. Each provider makes their decision differently but most factor in how recent the diagnosis was and what current treatment you are taking. There is no guarantee you will be approved on a new plan. There is a special enrollment rules where you can return to your Medigap plan if you are not happy on MA during the first year.
-Amy at

By Sandra on February 22, 2018

Remember- you get what you pay for. In my opinion, there is no advantage to an advantage plan. Very strict networks, difficult to get needed testing approved at times and lots of out of pocket costs.

By joyce on November 01, 2017

I used to think I was reasonably intelligent and healthy besides, but with the onslaught of plans and forms to study and complete, I can only conclude that I am a stupid idiot because I can't understand enough to make a wise decision about healthcare coverage.

Seems to me we're introducing competition in every possible corner, and this only serves to complicate the issues and leave people like me totally befuddled--unless, of course, we're wealthy--because every source of every healthcare service must push its program. In that case it doesn't matter how difficult the system is; we can just spend money until everything is covered.

I'm for a one-system, single-payer program with options that apply equally to everyone in the system, not just to members of a certain service. As long as we have dozens of healthcare organizations competing for every dollar of healthcare expense, we will have confusion that does nothing for anybody.

By Robert on October 05, 2015

I had an MA plan for 4 months in 2014 but was unhappy because it did not cover Cleveland Clinic network, so I switched to Aetna MA on 1./1/2015. I have a preexisting cancer condition which was diagnosed in 3/1/2012 (which was handled on wife's family plan--when she retired I went with the plan in 2014) Now considering moving up to a Medigap plan but I'm seeing restrictions because of pre existing condition and also some Medigap plans have rules reguarding switching only during MA "trial periods"....very confusing.

If you want to enroll in a Medigap plan, you can apply 60 days before your current Medicare Advantage plan ends. As for preexisting conditions, you will have to answer medical questions if you're over 65; however, each company can ask different questions. Some companies will you approve you, while others won't. So you'll want to apply, then see if you are approved.
-Jacima from

By Karen D. on July 22, 2015

I see that one of the cons is that Medigap doesn't cover drug coverage. That seems odd to me. I mean don't all health plans cover drug coverage? And, since they don't how much will I have to pay for a drug plan? This just all seems like another way for the government to get more money from me.

Prescription drug coverage is not covered by Original Medicare; however, drugs administered by a doctor may be covered. Separate prescription drug plans, known as Part D, vary in cost based on your current drugs. Hope this helps. Feel free to call us with a list of your drugs and we will find give you quotes on drug plans.
-Amy from

By Jerry on June 10, 2015

Which plans offer foreign health care? I'm turning 65 in August and traveling for a month to Australia in October. Would like to be covered. Thanks much.

Lucky you! Here is the answer to your question: Medigap plans C, D, F, G, M, and N, all offer foreign emergency travel. Check out the article Comparing Medigap plans to learn more about which each plan offers.
-Jacima from

By Ben Roth on June 09, 2015

I like pros and cons lists. You say Medigap is Pricey on the cons list. How Pricey is Pricey?!?

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot comment on specific Medicare claims. Contact Medicare directly if you are trying to see if your issue is covered.

We will not publish your last name or email if you submit this form.

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