You should consider Physicians Mutual if you want a wide array of coverage options, if you want the flexibility to change your plan penalty-free in the first two years and if cheap prices and customer service aren't particularly high priorities for you.
Physicians Mutual offers seven different Medicare Supplement plans including the three most popular options, Plans F, G and N. You can choose between a standard, Innovative and high-deductible version for Plan F and G.
Physicians Mutual Medicare Supplement policies: Our thoughts
You should consider Physicians Mutual for its Innovative Medicare Supplement Plan F and Plan G. These plans cost less than a standard Plan F or G. However, you must pay a $2,700 annual deductible before your coverage kicks in. The deductible disappears after you've had the plan for three years and doesn't apply to preventive care.
Plans F and G with an Innovative Rider are exclusive to Physicians Mutual and should not be mistaken for other types of "innovative" policies, such as those that provide hearing and vision benefits in addition to traditional Medicare Supplement coverage.
Physicians Mutual charges above-average rates and provides average levels of customer satisfaction. You can lower your costs with a 10% household discount. To qualify, you must live with a spouse or another adult aged 60 years or older.
Physicians Mutual's second-chance guarantee lets you change your Medigap policy without the need for medical underwriting once during your first two years of coverage. This means you can expand your coverage or switch to a cheaper plan without penalty if you discover that your first choice isn't a good fit.
You should not consider Physicians Mutual if you're looking for a high-deductible Plan F or G policy because you can find cheaper coverage from another company. Other downsides to the company include limited geographic coverage and lackluster prices. Nearly all of the plans offered by Physicians Mutual are more expensive than the regional average for the states it covers.
How do Physicians Mutual Medigap plans compare to the competition?
You should consider buying an Innovative Plan F or G policy through Physicians Mutual because of the low average prices. However, the difference is modest.
All monthly rates are for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke. Rates are averaged from the areas in which Physicians Mutual sells Medicare Supplement policies.
Physicians Mutual's high-deductible Plans F and G are priced less competitively. Given its average customer service reputation, Physicians Mutual is a poor choice for these policies. Instead, you should consider a lower-cost alternative like Cigna.
Physicians Mutual offers attained- and issue-age Innovative Plan F and G policies. With an attained-age policy, your monthly rates will start off cheap and grow more expensive as you get older.
Issue-age policies don't change in price, and they're based on the buyer's age. You can often save money by buying an issue-age policy when you're young so you can lock in a lower rate that will stay the same as you get older.
Where can you buy a Physicians Mutual Medigap policy?
Physicians Mutual is a large regional Medigap provider with a presence in 30 states and Washington, D.C.
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington, D.C.
Unique features, discounts and benefits
Physicians Mutual stands out for its Innovative Rider Plans F and G. It offers lower rates than a standard policy in exchange for a higher deductible for the first three years that the policy is in force. After three years, the deductible vanishes, but you pay the same lower rate for as long as you have the policy.
A Plan F or G policy with an Innovative Rider is a good deal if you're healthy. However, if you have serious or ongoing health concerns, you should pick a standard policy.
An Innovative Plan G policy costs $348 less per year for a 65-year-old woman living in Denver, Colorado. However, this plan comes with a $2,700 deductible. That means if you hit your deductible for just one year then you would need to hold onto your policy for almost eight years to come out ahead financially versus buying a standard Plan G.
If you met your deductible for all three years, then you would need to wait more than 23 years to make back your out-of-pocket costs. This is a bad deal since the average 65-year-old woman has a life expectancy of 86.
Physicians Mutual also offers a 10% household discount and the right to switch Medigap policies penalty-free once in your first two years of coverage. Although Physicians Mutual sells dental, pet and life insurance, it does not advertise a multiline discount for customers who purchase multiple kinds of insurance.
Customer reviews and complaints
Physicians Mutual's Medicare Supplement division provides average customer service according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), an organization that compares insurance companies based on customer complaints.
On the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, Physicians Mutual has received 51 customer complaints in the past three years. This is a below-average number for an insurance company of its size. Most complaints center on the claims handling process, which is typical for the insurance industry.
Only a few of the complaints deal with the company's Medicare Supplement division. The rest are concerned with life, dental and pet insurance.
Which Medigap plan is best for you?
All Medicare Supplement plan letters are required to have the exact same coverage levels regardless of which company sells them. For example, all Plan A policies must cover the same services. That means you should only look at price and customer satisfaction when shopping for a Medigap policy.
Physicians Mutual offers seven Medicare Supplement plans including three of the most popular options.
Medigap market share
- Plan F: 46%
- Plan G: 27%
- Plan N: 10%
Plan F and G coverage
- Medicare Parts A and B coinsurance and copays
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Hospital costs
- Extra medical charges not covered by Medicare
- Blood transfusions (up to three pints)
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
Plan F's popularity is a result of its generous coverage limits. However, you can only buy Plan F if you became eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020. If you qualified for Medicare on or after that date, you're best off with Plan G. It covers everything that Plan F does except for your Medicare Part B deductible.
Some Plan F holders have switched to Plan G to take advantage of the lower rates. In 2023, the Medicare Part B deductible is $226. That means if you can find a Plan G that's $19 a month cheaper than your Plan F policy, you should switch your coverage to Plan G.
The other seven Medicare Supplement plans are less popular because they provide less coverage. For example, Plan K will only reimburse you for up to 50% of your costs for most services. However, these plans are typically cheaper than Plan F and G, making them a good choice for healthier individuals who don't need as much coverage.
We recommend AARP/UnitedHealthcare for Medicare Supplement Plans G and N. It offers affordable rates, strong customer service and broad geographic availability.
Frequently asked questions
Is Physicians Mutual worth it?
Physicians Mutual is worth it if you want an Innovative Medicare Supplement Plan G or F and you don't mind dealing with average levels of customer service. You should look elsewhere if you want a Plan B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N, high-deductible F or high-deductible G policy.
Is Physicians Mutual a reputable company?
Yes, Physicians Mutual is financially stable, and the company as a whole receives fewer complaints than the industry average (although its Medicare Supplement division is closer to the industry average). Physicians Mutual was founded in 1902, and it has not suffered any major scandals in the recent past.
What is Physicians Mutual's phone number?
You can reach a Physicians Mutual customer service representative or sales agent at 800-228-9100. Medicare Supplement policies are available for purchase online or over the phone.
Sources and methodology
We used information sourced from AM Best, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the creation of this review. Rates were calculated based on average prices for a 65-year-old nonsmoking woman who lives in the multistate area where Physicians Mutual operates.