Medicare is a great option for seniors. In fact, those 65 and older who qualify for Medicare often cite it as one of the best health plans. However, it doesn’t take care of everything. In fact, you may need extra insurance, known as Medicare Supplement or Medigap, to fully manage your healthcare issues as you age.
If you’re looking for some different options, based on your individual needs, here are some of the best Medicare Supplement companies for 2021.
What You Need to Know
When picking a Medicare Supplement plan consider your personal needs and preferences. Think about your budget and see if it makes sense to pay more upfront or to go with smaller payments.
Look at ratings such A.M. Best and J.D. Power to check if a company has good customer satisfaction or is financially healthy.
Best Overall Value: Cigna
Cigna covers more than 230,000 people with its supplemental Medicare insurance, making it the fourth-biggest insurer when measured by direct premiums earned for policies issued from 2016 to 2018.1 Cigna is available in all 50 states and provides access to a variety of discounts and other perks. Cigna offers a lot of information through its web portal and makes use of telehealth and its mobile app. Because Cigna is so technology-heavy, though, it might be harder for some seniors who aren’t as tech-savvy to manage their accounts.
Medigap in all 50 states
Healthy Rewards program
Must have a broadband connection for telehealth
Some of the discounts require smartphone mobile apps
A.M. Best financial rating:(2) BBB (good)
J.D. Power:(3) 781 out of 1,000
NCQA rating:(4) For Medicare plans, Cigna only has a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 in Arizona
Anthem is part of the massive Blue Cross Blue Shield network, but Anthem, specifically, is only available for Medigap coverage in 14 states. The largest state health plan by direct premiums earned is Anthem Health Plans of VA Inc., which covers more than 32,000 people.5 However, if you’re looking for a number of discounts, Anthem Blue Cross can be a good choice. There’s an option to bundle different types of insurance with your Medigap, and you can also include Medicare Part D for prescriptions.
Easy to bundle coverage
Discounts for automatic payments
Benefit of being in the Blue Cross Blue Shield network
Some discounts go away after the first year
Anthem Blue Cross Rankings
A.M. Best financial rating:(6) Depends on the state or region, but Anthem has a rating of A (excellent)
J.D. Power:(7) 788 out of 1,000
NCQA rating: Anthem isn’t rated for Medicare plans
Best Personal Service
State Farm offers Medicare Supplement Insurance in 46 states, covering more than 24,000 people.8 Because State Farm has such a well-known and widespread network, it’s easier to find an agent to see in person. It can be a good choice for those who want a more personal interaction when they are looking for insurance coverage. Plus, if you already have other coverage through State Farm, adding Medigap can make sense and ease the way you manage your accounts.
Ability to go into personal office almost anywhere
Bundle with other insurance, like auto and homeowners
Discounts can be limited in some cases
You might have to make an appointment to speak with your agent
State Farm Rankings
A.M. Best financial rating:(9) A++ (Superior)
J.D. Power:(10) 788 out of 1,000
NCQA rating: State Farm isn’t rated for Medicare plans
Best Online Experience
UnitedHealthcare is the largest Medicare Supplement company by premiums earned, and they cover more than 308,000 people.11 United Healthcare is known for its easy-to-use online portal, as well as its partnership with AARP. In fact, when you go to AARP to look for Medigap plans, they send you to United Healthcare. It’s possible to find United Healthcare coverage for Medicare supplemental coverage in all 50 states.
Partner with AARP
Easy online portal
Wide coverage area
Wait times can be longer
Customer satisfaction considerations
A.M. Best financial rating: A (excellent)
J.D. Power: 784 out of 1,000
NCQA rating:(12) Receives a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 in several states
Best Customer Satisfaction
Highmark is known for its “right fit guarantee” and its high levels of customer satisfaction. As part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield network, this company offers access to a wide care network, even though it’s only possible to buy coverage in limited states. The state with the highest rate of direct premiums earned is Delaware, where just over 3,000 people purchased policies.13
High level of customer satisfaction
Good online portal
Access to the Blue Cross Blue Shield network
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Rankings
A.M. Best financial rating:(14) A (excellent)
J.D. Power:(15) 818 out of 1,000
NCQA rating: Receives a rating of 3.5 out of 5.0 in three states, but rates a 4.5 in customer satisfaction in Pennsylvania
Best Claims Experience
Mutual of Omaha is one of the best Medicare supplement companies with coverage available in all 50 states. It’s sixth in terms of direct premiums earned.16 The company covers more than 150,000 people. One of the main selling points of Mutual of Omaha, however, is that 98% of claims are paid out within 12 hours. As a result, Mutual of Omaha offers one of the best experiences for claims efficiency.
Fast turnaround for claims
Shares profits with members
Not all prices are lowest
Website isn’t as easy to navigate
Mutual of Omaha Rankings
A.M. Best financial rating:(17) A+ (excellent)
J.D. Power: N/A for Medicare
NCQA rating: No rating
Best Cost Effectiveness
Aetna was acquired by CVS in 2018.21 Aetna is the fifth-largest Medigap provider by direct premiums earned and covers more than 169,000 people.22 Especially noteworthy are low-cost Plan G and Plan N, which are cost-effective because they offer reasonably broad coverage at a lower premium.
Low-cost plan options
Better than average customer satisfaction
Sometimes customer services representiatves are overseas
Premium increases can be steep
Not available in all states
A.M. Best financial rating:(23) A (excellent)
J.D. Power:(24) 801 out of 1,000
NCQA rating:(25) Mostly 4.5 and 4.0 ratings
How to Choose Medicare Supplement Insurance
When choosing Medicare supplement insurance, it’s important to consider your personal needs and preferences. While your premium is a big factor, it’s also important to look at other items, including whether you have to worry about copays and coinsurance, and what out-of-pocket costs you’ll have. Also, pay attention to your budget to determine whether it makes sense for you to pay more upfront, or whether you need smaller payments.
Look at various ratings, including A.M. Best and J.D. Power, to see whether a company has good customer satisfaction or its financial health.
How We Choose the Best Medicare Supplement Companies
We chose the best Medicare Supplement companies based on the types of plans offered for different needs, as well as rankings from reputable resources. These companies all offer a variety of advantages, depending on what you’re most interested in.
Keep in mind that the best Medicare Supplement company for you is the one that best addresses your personal circumstances. Shop around to find the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.
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.