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It's important to compare plans to get the lowest cost and best coverage when shopping for a Medicare Advantage, Medigap or Part D plan.

What kind of Medicare quotes should I get?

You should get Medicare Advantage quotes if you want bundled coverage, or Medigap and Medicare Part D quotes if you have Original Medicare (Parts A and B).

  • Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans combine coverage from Medicare Parts A, B and frequently Part D. The average Medicare Advantage plan costs $27 a month.

  • Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans cover the costs that you're responsible for paying with Original Medicare. On average, you'll pay $184 per month for a Medigap Plan F policy and $148 for a Plan G policy.

  • Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage for people with regular Medicare. The average Medicare Part D plan costs $59 a month.

You must sign up for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) before buying any private Medicare coverage. Most people are automatically signed up for Medicare when they begin getting Social Security.

Compare Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans

When shopping for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, the only two factors you should consider are price and customer service.

All Medicare Supplement plans have a plan letter, and all plans with the same letter offer the same coverage. That means each Plan A policy offers the same coverage regardless of which company you buy it from. While coverage doesn't change between insurance companies, quality and price do.

Although there are 10 different Medigap plans to choose from, the three most popular plans make up most of all Medicare Supplement policies sold. When shopping for a Medigap plan, consider Plans F, G and N since they offer the most overall coverage.

These plans only have a few differences. Plan F covers your Part B deductible, while Plans G and N don't. Plans F and G cover what are called Part B excess charges, while Plan N doesn't. Excess charges are rare. Only 2% of doctors can make them.

Covered areas under Plans F, G and N

  • Part A coinsurance
  • Part B coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Daily coinsurance for hospice care
  • Daily coinsurance for a skilled nursing facility
  • 80% of foreign emergency medical care
  • Blood transfusions up to three pints

You need to consider the total cost and coverage levels when shopping for a Medicare Supplement plan. Plans F, G and N are popular because they offer a lot of coverage. However, if you're healthy, you might choose a cheaper plan that has less coverage.

For example, Plan K costs $107 per month less than Plan F, on average. But Plan F covers the full amount of costs like your deductible, copay and coinsurance, while Plan K only covers half of those costs. That means Plan K only makes sense financially if you're in good health and rarely visit the doctor.

Average cost of a Medigap plan

Plan
National average
Plan G $48
Plan F $52
Plan K$77
Plan N$111
Plan L$112
Show All Rows

Average monthly costs are for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke.

You can only buy Plans C and F if you became eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020. Plan G has similar coverage to Plan F. However, Plan G does not cover your $240 Medicare Part B annual deductible.

AARP/UnitedHealthcare and Mutual of Omaha stand out for their combination of low prices and high-quality customer service.

Plan G rates

Plan F rates

Plan G rates

Plan F rates

Review Medicare plan options with licensed insurance agents near you

Aetna and Cigna also offer cheap plans. However, both companies get more customer complaints than average.

Plans F and G average prices by company

Plan G
Plan F
AARP/UnitedHealthcare$142$188
Cigna$148$184
Aetna$152$193
BCBS$155$197
Mutual of Omaha$156$193
Humana$165$193

All monthly quotes are for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke.

How to compare Medicare Advantage quotes

There are many cheap Medicare Advantage plans on the market including some that don't charge a monthly rate. Beyond looking at prices, you should also consider coverage details and customer satisfaction when comparing plans.

It's a good idea to get a Medicare Advantage plan rated at least four or five stars by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Medicare Advantage (Part C) bundles Medicare Parts A, B and often D in a single package. Medicare Advantage plans tend to be popular with people who care about getting the lowest rate because they usually offer extra coverage at no charge or for a low additional cost.

For example, many Medicare Advantage plans offer bundled prescription drug coverage, vision and dental. You'll have to buy these separately with traditional Medicare.

Average monthly rates

Most Medicare Advantage plans are PPOs or HMOs. HMOs typically charge less than other types of health plans. However, they restrict you to in-network doctors for most nonemergency services. PPOs give you more flexibility by letting you see a doctor outside of your network.

When comparing plans, you should also remember other costs like your deductible, copays, coinsurance and out-of-pocket max. A $0 Medicare Advantage plan might have a higher deductible and copay than a Medicare Advantage plan with a monthly premium. That means if you have an ongoing health condition, you might still pay more than if you had a Medicare Advantage plan with a monthly cost.

Compare Medicare Part D plans

Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage for traditional Medicare (Parts A and B). Plans are offered by private insurance companies.

The national average for a Medicare Part D plan is $59 a month. However, this number is misleading because most plans either have a $0 deductible and a high monthly rate or a $545 deductible and a low monthly rate.

Average cost of Medicare Part D

Monthly rate
Deductible
High-deductible plan$42$545
Zero-dollar deductible plan$103$0

Unlike Medigap policies, Medicare Part D is not standardized. That means different Part D plans will cover different drugs. When shopping around, you should check that your plan covers the prescriptions you're currently taking.

Frequently asked questions

What is the average cost for Medicare?

The average cost of Medicare Supplement Plan G, the most popular plan for new enrollees, is $148 a month. Medicare Advantage plans run just $27 a month on average, while Medicare Part D averages out to $59 a month.

In addition, many cheap and no-cost Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans are available.

Who is the best person to talk to about Medicare?

You can apply for Medicare or talk to a customer care representative about your Medicare-related questions at 1-800-Medicare (TTY 1-877-486-2048). Live chat options are also available on Medicare.gov. Some state-level governments also operate free Medicare hotlines.

What is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan?

The two most common Medicare Supplement plans are G and F. Plan F is only available to those who became eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020, making Plan G the most popular plan among new Medicare Supplement enrollees.

Sources and methodology

Medicare Supplement plan information is from Medicare.gov. Recommendations are based on rate prices, customer complaints and reviews and data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Cost data for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke was used to determine average prices. Rates exclude those influenced by medical underwriting, a process in which a consumer's health status is used to determine prices and eligibility.

Averages exclude Medicare Select plans and data from states that use nonstandard Medicare Supplement plans.

ValuePenguin.com is owned and operated by LendingTree, LLC ("LendingTree"). All rights reserved.

Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a separate subsidiary of QuoteWizard, 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 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 will be routed to a licensed insurance agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more nationally recognized insurance companies. 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. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 73 organizations which offer 5,110 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.

These numbers provided are not specific to your area, but rather represent the number of organizations and the number of products available on a national basis. We will connect you with licensed insurance agents who can provide information about the number of organizations they represent and the number of products they offer in your service area. Not all plans offer all of these benefits. Benefits may vary by carrier and location.

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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