Medicare is a great option for seniors. In fact, people over the age of 65 who qualify for Medicare often cite it as one of the best health plans. however, it does not take care of everything. in fact, you may need additional insurance, known as medicare supplement or medigap, to fully manage your health care problems as you age.
aarp/united health group
united healthcare’s strong financial rating is a plus, because once you sign up for a medigap plan, you’ll likely be a customer of that company for life.1
AARP/United Health Group policies are primarily age honored, which means the company will increase the price of your policy annually. while rates start out low, they have risen steadily in the past.2
although aarp offers medigap plans in all states and most territories, you may not be able to buy what you want. aarp offers six plans, in addition to plan f and c, that are not currently sold to new members. if you want a high deductible or other not-so-popular plans, you won’t be able to buy them.3
mutual of omaha has an a+ financial strength rating, as good as it gets. the rating agency a.m. Best notes that Mutual of Omaha benefits from a “market leading position” in Medicare’s supplement business. When you consider that choosing a Medicare supplement may be a lifelong decision, financial stability is important.4
The company is experimenting with programs to help Medicare supplement customers who are isolated and in need of companionship. Since loneliness is now considered a major health concern, this new and unique program could benefit many clients.5
mutual of omaha has a reputation for being higher priced than some of its competitors. The average Medigap policy increased 4.5% annually according to a survey of pricing professionals conducted by the American Medicare Supplement Insurance Association. One way to check if you’re likely to face big increases is to ask a medicare supplemental insurance broker how much the policy you’re considering has gone up in previous years.6
mutual of omaha doesn’t make it easy to browse their website and find information about their medigap offers, costs, and other benefits. you’ll have to provide a lot of personal information just for a seller to contact you.7
cvs/aetna is actively growing its medicare supplement business, which bodes well for customer service because that’s really all that sets medicare supplement insurers apart.8
In some areas, cvs/aetna offers generous household discounts of up to 14% for a household with two or more clients.9
cvs/aetna better business bureau (bbb) customer rating is 1.02/5. customer feedback is especially critical of the service.10
hymn blue cross blue shield
anthem offers its medicare supplement customers access to silver slippers at no additional cost in many areas. it also has a solid dental, hearing and vision plan at relatively modest prices.11
The number of available plans is limited to three or four out of 10, so if you want one of the less popular plans, you won’t be able to buy it.12
Because Anthem only operates in certain states, if you move out of your coverage area, your Medicare supplemental coverage will be carried by the blue cross/blue shield company in your area, which may mean some changes that I do not like you. your costs may also be affected.13
health services corporation
health services corporation. was one of the first insurers to waive copays, deductibles, and approvals for covid.14 patients
health services corporation. is in a strong financial position, despite providing Medicaid services, which may be less profitable. that’s a testament to the company’s commitment to quality care.15
If you have Alzheimer’s, the Health Services Corporation. is one of the big insurers that has already announced that it is not willing to pay for the new Alzheimer’s drug, adulhelm.16
hcsc only operates in five states: illinois, montana, new mexico, oklahoma and texas. if you purchase an add-on plan and move elsewhere, you may be required to accept a plan administered by a different entity than blue cross blue shield and, while similar, may not be priced the same or include any special benefits . 17
dr. Gina Conflitti, Medical Director of Medicare Products at Cigna, contracted COVID-19 early, and has encouraged the company to provide information on additional help for COVID-19 patients. the company has also waived most of the patient shares of the cost of covid.18 treatment
cigna has been a leader in the movement toward values-based care, which emphasizes preventive care. the value-based care approach to billing aims to control prices by providing patients with care that prevents serious problems rather than waiting until it is a crisis.19
Cigna only sells certain types of plans; In reality, Cigna only sells three out of 10 types of Medicare Supplement plans: Plan A, Plan G, and Plan N. also offers high deductible f and f, but they are not available to new members.20
Cigna aggressively sells disease-specific insurance policies, including heart attacks, strokes and cancer. prices start at $19 a month and can unnecessarily increase the cost of your insurance if you accept the sales pitch.21
cno financial (resource life insurance co.)
bankers life, a division of cno financial that specializes in medicare supplemental policies, sells all available medicare supplemental plans. your website is easy to navigate.22
With Medicare Supplement Plan D, Bankers Life offers gym memberships and access to alternative treatments at no additional cost.23
In some states, Bankers Life has requested a 5% rate increase for the popular G Plan in 2022. That’s a significant increase in one year.24
You can get information about available plans, including the cost to you without giving your name and lots of personal information.25
wellmark blue cross blue shield is a mutual fund insurer, which means you can expect a dividend or premium reduction if the company makes a profit. A.M. best classifies wellmark’s balance sheet as “superior”.26
A little over a year ago, wellmark’s African American employees filed a class action lawsuit against the insurer alleging discrimination. wellmark denied the accusations.27
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find affordable health care that’s right for you
If you’re looking for different options, based on your individual needs, here are some of the best medicare supplement companies for 2022.
medicare supplemental insurance, also known as medigap, increases your basic medicare coverage by typically paying 20% of the cost that medicare doesn’t cover.
There are ten basic medigap policies, each with different benefits. Once you’ve decided on the right policy for you, find a company that sells it. This applies to Medicare coverage nationwide, except in select states.
somehow, medicare supplemental plans are simple:
- Unlike medicare advantage plans, medigap plans don’t make any coverage decisions.
- You can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare.
- Medicare Supplement plans pay the specified portion of your medical bills that Medicare doesn’t pay, including deductibles and copays. no questions asked.
- aarp/united health group
- Omaha Mutual
- cno financial (resource life insurance company)
- massachusetts bcb
- well mark
- Consider the price of the monthly premium. Medicare supplement insurance is highly regulated; Insurers must offer essentially the same coverage for each of the 10 types of Medicare supplement policies. make sure you can handle the monthly expenses and are comfortable with the value.
- calculate your total out-of-pocket costs. Include your monthly premium and an estimate of your Part D drug coverage, which does not include Medicare Supplement plans.
- See incentive benefits. Some insurers offer incentives to Medicare supplement customers, such as a discount on the purchase of dental, hearing, or vision insurance. they may also have free or discounted gym plans.
- Consider these topics. Plan F is the most popular, but it is no longer available to new members. Plan G and Plan G’s high deductibles are similar, but they don’t cover the Medicare Part B deductible, which Plan F does. They cover excess Part B charges, which can be an advantage if the health care provider you choose charges more than Medicare allows. another popular feature available in plan g and some of the other plans is foreign travel emergency coverage.
- Evaluate customer service. Good customer service is what sets medicare supplemental plans apart. asking friends and neighbors to sign up is one way to rate customer service in your area.
While the basic benefits are the same for all Medicare supplement policies, costs vary widely, and some companies offer additional benefits that may make choosing their plans attractive to you.
The rules related to enrollment and changing plans are complex. Choose a Medicare Supplement plan with your future in mind because you have the best chance of getting the right plan when you initially sign up. at that point, how healthy you are doesn’t count.
Later, if you try to switch medigap plans, you’ll probably need to take a health exam. that could mean it will be rejected or the price will be significantly higher than it would have been initially.
who are the main established medicare supplemental insurance companies?
In some metropolitan areas, more than 20 insurance companies sell Medicare supplement insurance.1 Consider the following companies for coverage, based on market share:
what you need to know to choose
medicare supplemental insurance may seem expensive, but a recent study showed that 17% of people with medicare supplemental insurance spent more than 10% of their income on medical costs vs. 23% of those with the advantage from medicare.2
who are the major established medicare supplement companies?
aarp/united health group
aarp/united health group has the largest number of medicare supplement customers in the country, covering 43 million people in all 50 states and most of the united states. territories.3 aarp licenses its name to the insurer unitedhealthcare, which helps make these policies so popular.
Ratings: The company has an a- or “excellent” financial strength rating from the am best4 insurance credit rating agency and satisfactory quality ratings from the national committee for quality assurance (ncqa ).5
Special benefits: Members enjoy gym memberships, a nurse helpline, and dental, vision, and hearing discounts.6
mutual of omaha, the second largest medicare supplemental insurer, launched its medicare supplemental insurance program in 1966, which is the year the medicare program began. the company’s medicare supplemental plans covered 1.4 million people in 2020.7
ratings: mutual of omaha enjoys an a+ financial rating from am best, the best available.8
Special Benefits: As a mutual company, enrollees own the company. that means you’ll get a portion of the profits annually. Other benefits include a discount of up to 12% for people who live with someone over the age of 60, whether they are Omaha Mutual clients or not.9 Plans in some, but not all, areas offer dental and vision, exercise benefits, and a nurse hotline.
cvs/aetna combined forces in 2018.10 offers plans in 49 states, plus washington, d.c. In total, 52 million people participate in some type of CVS/Aetna Medicare plan.
ratings: has an am best rating of a or excellent11 and ncqa gives the company satisfactory quality ratings.12
Special Benefits: Plans in some states include some dental and vision coverage, hearing, as well as fitness members and a nurse consultation service. all of these may have additional fees. if you choose to buy your part d prescription drug coverage through the company, it offers offers on mail order prescriptions.13
hymn blue cross blue shield
anthem inc. It is the largest for-profit insurance and managed care company in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). owns blue cross blue shield licensed businesses in 14 states and covers 107 million people, more than one in eight Americans. offers Medicare supplement plans in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.14
anthem’s website will take you to bcbs medicare supplemental plans in other states, which are not necessarily the same.
ratings: am best rates anthem a or excellent.15 anthem also earns above average ratings from hcqa.16
special benefits: anthem blue offers part d compatible prescription drug plans and access to affordable dental, vision and hearing plans.17 the best thing about being part of the bcbs network is the similarity of nationwide coverage.
health care services corporation
health care services corporation. (hcsc) is a large subsidiary of bcbsa that operates in illinois, montana, new mexico, oklahoma and texas. each state operates semi-autonomously but adheres to the rules and values of the parent company. hcsc insures 17 million members in these five states.
ratings: its am best rating is excellent.18 the company takes pride in its investments in the community.19
Special Benefits: Each state offers separate medicare supplemental plans, but they all work in a similar way, offering plans that include access to part d prescription drug plans and dental, vision, and health plans. auditory. one of the reasons for choosing a hscs affiliated medicare supplement is the company’s affiliation with bcbs, which is national and operates similarly everywhere.
First organized in 1792 in Philadelphia, Cigna is one of the oldest insurance companies in the country. its insurance business serves nearly 190 million customers worldwide and sells medicare supplemental plans in 48 states and the district of columbia.20
ratings: am best gives it an “a” financial strength rating21 and ncqa offers an above average quality rating.22
Special Perks: The company brags about its Healthy Rewards discount program on health and wellness plans, including prescription drug and dental plans. It also offers a 24-hour health information line.23 One reason to choose Cigna is its premiums, which can be competitive in some parts of the country
cno financial (resource life insurance company)
the industrialist john d. macarthur acquired bankers life & accident company for $2,500 in 1939. the company is now a subsidiary of cno financial group. specializes in writing a variety of insurance for older Americans and sells Medicare supplement insurance in 43 states.24
ratings: has a financial strength rating of am best of a or excellent.25 bankers life earns two out of five stars from better business bureau with 90 complaints, mostly about billing.26
Special benefits: As a customer of the bankers life medicare supplement, you will get affordable rates.
massachusetts blue cross blue shield launched 80 years ago. is a nonprofit member of the bcbs association and the largest health insurer in massachusetts.
qualifications: from 2016 to 2020, j.d. power classified it as no. 1 in member satisfaction.27 ncqa ranked bcbs of massachusetts in the top 10 for customer satisfaction in 2019.28
special benefits: bcbs of massachusetts offers exclusive plans for residents of massachusetts. offers medex core, which at $117 is similar to conventional medicare plan a, a reduced plan. the medex sapphire and bronze are more robust at $183 per month. all include exercise and a weight loss benefit. medex sapphire also includes dental, vision and hearing care at a modest additional cost.
wellmark blue cross blue shield, serving south dakota and iowa, is a mutual fund insurer that has been in business for more than 80 years.
Ratings: am best gives wellmark a rating of financial strength or excellent,29 and ncqa calls wellmark “commendable.”30
Special Benefits: Wellmark offers six Medicare Supplement plans, including G and High Deductible G, A, D, F, and N. Members can purchase low-cost vision and hearing policies and, in some areas, can purchase moderately priced dental insurance. wellmark prides itself on its frugal and affordable approach to insurance pricing.
why choose a medicare supplemental plan?
all of these companies also offer medicare advantage plans. Buying Medicare insurance is not an easy decision, and understanding the difference between Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans before choosing one or the other is a good idea.
medicare supplemental insurance plans work with original medicare, part a and part b. They pay costs that original medicare doesn’t pay.
the medicare advantage is different. It replaces original medicare and may be similar to the health insurance you had before you joined medicare. because you are no longer in the federal system, the plans have differences. reading and asking questions about those differences before enrolling is important.
what is our methodology?
We select the health insurance companies with the highest market share and review them based on financial strength, customer satisfaction, and other factors, like what makes these plans so popular.
We also provide information on companies, including financials, customer satisfaction, complaints, geographic reach, and pricing.
We offer this quick read guide to give you an overview of the most popular plans. other companies offer medicare supplements and one might be right for you.
But before you decide, at least consider these insurers that so many people have found to be the right company for them.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of medicareguide.com or healthcare, inc.
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