What Is Medicare Supplement Plan A?

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Plan A is one of 10 Medigap plans that pays some costs that Original Medicare doesn't.

But you can get a lower rate or better coverage with another plan. Plan G has more coverage and Plan N has a cheaper rate. Plan A isn't a popular choice for Medicare Supplement coverage.

What is Medicare Supplement Plan A?

Plan A lowers what you pay for healthcare by paying for some things that Original Medicare doesn't.

For example, when you go to the doctor, Medicare Part B usually only covers about 80% of the costs. Without a Medicare Supplement plan, you have to pay the rest yourself. But Medigap Plan A covers your share, which is called coinsurance, so you pay nothing.

But Plan A isn't the best Medicare Supplement plan. For a little more money each month, you can buy Plan G, which offers much more coverage. Because of this, Plan A is one of the least popular Medigap plans. Only about 1% of people with a Medicare Supplement plan have Plan A.

Medicare Plan A vs. Part A

Medigap Plan A is not the same thing as Medicare Part A. Although the names are similar, they cover very different things.

Part A is part of your Original Medicare coverage, and it pays medical costs while you are in the hospital. Everyone on Medicare has Part A, and it's usually free.

Plan A is a Medicare Supplement plan, also called a Medigap plan. To buy Plan A, you have to be on Original Medicare, which means you also have coverage from Part A. Plan A is a supplemental insurance plan that gives you more coverage on top of your Original Medicare.

How much does Medigap Plan A cost?

Medicare Supplement Plan A costs an average of $141 per month.

Plan A isn't the most expensive plan, but it also isn't the cheapest. Plan G offers better coverage and only costs $7 more per month, on average. And Plan N is cheaper, at $111 per month, and it also has more coverage for Plan A.

Medigap Plan A cost vs. other plans

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Cost of Medigap Plan A vs. other plans

Monthly rate
High-deductible G$48
High-deductible F$52
Show All Rows

Average monthly rates are for a 65-year-old woman who does not smoke.

What does Medigap Supplement Plan A cover?

Like most other Medigap plans, Plan A covers your share of the bill when you go to the doctor or stay in the hospital. This is called "coinsurance." Plan A also pays for three pints of blood if you need a blood transfusion, and your daily payment if you need hospice care.

Plan A
Part A coinsurance
Part B coinsurance
Blood (3 pints)
Part A hospice care
Skilled nursing facility
Part A deductible
Part B deductible
Part B excess charges
Foreign travel emergency80%80%80%

Average costs are for a 65-year-old female nonsmoker.

= 100% coverage

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Overall, Medicare Supplement Plan A has the least coverage of any Medigap plan. Compared to the most popular Medigap plans — F, G and N — Plan A isn't usually worth it. It doesn't have as much coverage as Plan G, and it's more expensive than Plan N. Plan F has the best coverage of any plan, but you can only get it if you were eligible for Medicare before 2020.

Alternatives to Plan A

Medigap plans G, N and F are usually better options than Plan A.

Plan A gives you more coverage than if you just have Original Medicare by itself. But if you want a Medigap plan, it's not usually the best option. You can get a plan that has better coverage and costs about the same or less than Plan A.


Plan G is the best if you want coverage for most medical situations. It offers the best coverage if you're new to Medicare. And it costs an average of $148 more per month, which is close to the cost of Plan A.


If you want a lower rate and good coverage, consider Plan N. The coverage is almost as good as Plan G, and it costs $111 per month. It's not the cheapest Medigap plan, it's a cheap option with good coverage.


If you were eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plan F is a great choice. It has the most coverage of any Medigap plan. But it's also more expensive than most other plans, at $184 per month.

Frequently asked questions

What is Medicare Supplement Plan A good for?

Plan A, like all Medigap plans, is good for lowering how much you pay for medical care. Medigap plans are usually a good option if you have expensive, frequent or complex medical needs. But Plan A is not the best Medigap plan available. The other plans have better coverage, a lower rate or both.

What does Medicare Supplement Plan A include?

Plan A covers your Medicare Part A and B coinsurance, three pints of blood for a transfusion, and your share of the per-day rate if you need hospice. It does not cover what you'll have to pay in a skilled nursing facility, your Part A or B deductible, or medical care that you get in another country during an emergency. Part A also doesn't cover Part B excess charges, which are higher rates that doctors can charge if they don't accept Medicare.

Where can I buy Medicare Supplement Plan A?

You can get Medigap Plan A from any health insurance company that sells Medicare Supplement plans. By law, any company that sells Medigap has to sell Plan A. AARP/UnitedHealthCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield are two of the best Medicare Supplement companies. It's a good idea to get a Medigap plan when you're first eligible for Medicare, because you'll usually pay lower rates.

Methodology and sources

Medicare Supplement rates are for 2024 and come from actuarial data for private insurance companies. Rates are for a 65-year-old woman who does not smoke and who bought her policy when she was first eligible. Medical underwriting was not factored into the rates.

Other sources include Medicare.gov's Medigap guide and AHIP's research into Medigap enrollment.

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