What Is Medicare Supplement Plan A?

Medicare Supplement Plan A helps you pay for the costs you're responsible for if you have Original Medicare. It offers less coverage compared to the most popular Medigap plans.

You should consider Medigap Plan A if keeping rates low is very important to you. Because Plan A offers limited coverage, it tends to be on the cheaper side, but you could pay more when you access Medicare.

What is Medicare Supplement Plan A?

Medicare Supplement Plan A helps you pay for some of the costs Medicare doesn't cover. For example, after you meet your deductible, Plan A will pay your share of the medical bill for routine services. It'll also pay for your daily hospice care fee and part of your blood transfusion costs. It's less robust than other Medigap plans, covering just four of the nine possible kinds of costs.

Medicare is designed to cover roughly 80% of your medical costs. Medicare Supplement Plan A pays for certain parts of the 20% you're responsible for.

Medicare Supplement Plan A offers less coverage compared to other Medigap plans. For example, it doesn't pay for your Medicare Part A or B deductible.

Just 1% of all Medigap buyers choose Plan A. It's unpopular because it covers the fewest things of any Medicare Supplement plan.

Medigap Plan A might be a worthwhile choice if you need less coverage and you'd like to save a little money on your monthly bills. If you want more coverage, you should consider Plan G if you're a new Medicare enrollee or Plan F if you became eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020.

You cannot buy Medicare Supplement Plan A if you have Medicare Advantage. You can only buy a Medigap policy if you have Original Medicare.

The government directly runs Original Medicare, while private companies sell Medicare Advantage plans.

What does Medigap Supplement Plan A cover?

Medigap Plan A pays for 100% of your Medicare Part A and B coinsurance, hospice care and the first three pints of a blood transfusion.

Medicare Supplement Plan A covers the fewest things of any Medicare Supplement plan. The average Plan A policy is also just $5 per month cheaper than the average Plan G policy. This makes it a bad choice for most people since Plan G offers the best coverage of any Medigap plan for new Medicare enrollees.

How much does Medigap Plan A cost?

Medigap Plan A costs $147 per month or $1,764 per year, on average, for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke. Factors like your age, health, gender and tobacco use may impact your rate depending on where you live and when you buy your plan.

Buy your Medigap plan during your initial Medicare enrollment period to get the best rate.

Even though Medigap Plan A offers less coverage than most other Medicare Supplement plans, it ranks near the middle of the pack in terms of affordability.

Medigap monthly rates by plan

Plan
Cost
Plan K$85
Plan N$118
Plan L$136
Plan A$147
Plan G$152
Show All Rows

Prices are for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke.

Where can I buy Medicare Supplement Plan A?

All Medicare Supplement companies must offer Plan A.

You can buy Plan A from any Medigap provider. Plan A is the only Medigap plan type to have this requirement, although if a company chooses to offer more plans, it must sell Plan C or F and Plan G or D.

Although the government sets rules about Medicare Supplement coverage, private companies sell Medigap plans. Many large health insurance companies sell Medicare Supplement Plan A, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare.

Medigap Plan A coverage is exactly the same regardless of which company you buy your policy from. The best Medicare Supplement companies have low prices and low customer complaint levels.

When can I buy Medigap Plan A?

You can buy a Medigap Plan A policy at any time of the year. However, it's best to get your Medicare Supplement plan during your initial enrollment period, which runs three months before and three months after you turn age 65.

You may be denied or have to pay a higher price if you wait until after your initial enrollment period. Insurance companies can also ask you to take a medical exam or fill out a health questionnaire, a process known as medical underwriting, after your initial enrollment period.

Your Medicare initial enrollment period is different from your Medicare open enrollment period, which happens every year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

What are the Medigap plans?

Medigap plans pay for the costs you're responsible for if you have Original Medicare. Some plans also pay for emergency medical care while you're traveling outside the U.S.

In most of the U.S., you can choose from 10 different Medigap plan types. Each plan is represented by a letter, and all policies with the same letter have the exact same coverage. For example, a Plan A policy has the same coverage whether you buy it in California or New York, and no matter which company you buy it from.

Medigap Plan A covers just 1% of all Medicare Supplement plan holders. Its lack of popularity is because it offers less coverage than most Medigap plans.

Plan F is the most popular Medigap policy because it provides the highest levels of coverage. However, you can only buy a Plan F policy if you became eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare on or after that date, you should consider Plan G. It has the same level of coverage except it won't pay for your $226 Medicare Part B deductible.

Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have different ways of organizing Medigap plans. Massachusetts lets you choose from three plan types, Minnesota has two Medigap plan levels and Wisconsin allows just one Medicare Supplement plan choice.

Although some of these plans offer similar coverage to certain Medicare Supplement letter plans, the plans in those three states use different names from the Medigap plans available nationwide.

Medigap Plan N is the third most popular plan type. It offers nearly the same coverage as Plan G, but it doesn't pay for the difference between what your doctor charges and what Medicare pays. These charges are known as excess charges, and only 2% of doctors that accept Medicare are allowed to make them. Plan N also has higher copays than Plan G for some services. That means you may also pay more when you visit a doctor's office.

You should consider Medigap Plan K if saving money on your monthly rate is a high priority. At $85 a month, Plan K is the cheapest Medicare Supplement plan available and the only one with an average price tag below $100 a month. However, Plan K only pays for half of your out-of-pocket costs, such as your copay, coinsurance and deductible, on average. Plan K is not a good choice if you have ongoing health concerns.

Frequently asked questions

What is Medigap Plan A?

Medigap Plan A is an insurance plan that helps you pay for the costs you're responsible for if you have an Original Medicare plan. Medicare Supplement Plan A has fairly basic coverage, and it accounts for just 1% of all Medigap policies sold.

Consider Plan G if you want better coverage and don't mind paying a higher price.

What is not covered under Medigap Plan A?

Medigap Plan A does not cover some Medicare out-of-pocket costs, such as your deductible and some copays and coinsurance.

Not covered by Medigap Plan A Skilled nursing facility {"content":"Daily coinsurance","icon":"","label":"","triggerText":"Skilled nursing facility"} Part A deductible Part B deductible Part B excess charges {"content":"The difference between what your doctor charges and what Medicare will pay for a service.","icon":"","label":"","triggerText":"excess charges"} Foreign travel emergency

Medigap Plan A has the fewest coverage areas of any Medicare Supplement plan letter.

What is a Medicare Supplement plan?

Medicare Supplement plans pay for some of the costs that you're responsible for if you have Original Medicare. Some Medicare Supplement plans also pay for some of your emergency health care costs if you travel outside the country.

Sources and methodology

Medicare Supplement Plan A coverage details and policy limits are based on information from Medicare.gov and Medigap providers. All costs are based on average rates for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke.

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Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a subsidiary of QuoteWizard.com, LLC ("QuoteWizard"), a LendingTree subsidiary, or through its designated agents, only where licensed and appointed. Licensing information for QWIS can be found here. QWIS is a non-government licensed health insurance agency. Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.

Callers to QWIS will be directed to a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Supplement insurance and/or Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations. Calls to QWIS will be routed to a licensed agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more third-party partners of QWIS. Each of the organizations they represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

Availability of benefits and plans varies by carrier and location and may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. QWIS does not offer every plan available in your area. Any information provided is limited to those plans offered in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Deductibles, copays, coinsurance, limitations, and exclusions may apply.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained on this website. Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system every year.

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