Medicare Supplements - Pros and Cons

No one type of Medicare Insurance plan fits everybody the same. What may work best for one person, may not work very good for another person. It is a personal choice for you to decide, but it is important to get all the facts first before making a decision. However it is also important to pick the correct plan that fits your needs. Not all Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap plans) have the same benefits. Different Medicare Supplement Plan Letters have unique benefits to each "Plan Letter." However the Medicare Supplement Plan Letters are standardized by plan letter and regulated by the government. For example, a Plan G with one insurance company will need to be exactly the same as a Plan G with another insurance company. The only real difference will be premium rates, how quickly they pay their claims, customer service, how much the premiums may increase annually, and also any possible value added services such as fitness club memberships, etc. they may offer.


  1. Medicare Supplement Plans are more flexible than Medicare Advantage plans in that the Medicare Supplement Plans do not have a network of providers. You may go to any doctor or hospital in the U.S. that accepts Medicare. Very handy when somebody travels a lot OR just wants the flexibility to go to any doctor in the U.S. that accepts Medicare.

  2. Medicare Supplement insurance plans work with Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, and may help pay for certain costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. For Medicare covered items and services, a Medicare Supplement plan may “supplement” what Original Medicare doesn’t pay.

  3. Depending on what Medicare Supplement Plan Letter you choose, many plan letters may not have any copays or coinsurance each time you visit a doctor or go to a hospital. (So less unexpected out of pocket expenses vs. a Medicare Advantage Plan.) Examples: Plan F doesn’t even have any deductible for those that are eligible for a Plan F!  However if you just turned 65 on or after January 1, 2020 you can no longer choose a Plan F. The Plan G would be the closest plan to a Plan F. The only difference with a Plan G vs Plan F is that you would have a Part B annual deductible. However Plan G premiums are less expensive than the Plan F, so that Part B deductible you would need to pay out of pocket is pretty much offset by lower premiums. Many times a Plan G is less expensive cumulatively for the year, even if after you needed to pay the full Plan B deductible out of pocket as well as pay all your monthly premiums verses a Plan F with just monthly premiums cumulatively for the year.

  4. Unlike a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are not locked into a Medicare Supplement plan for the entire year if you want to switch to another Medicare Supplement company.

  5. Any standardized Medicare Supplement policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means the insurance company can't cancel your Medicare Supplement policy as long as you pay the premium.

  6. Hospitalization: After all lifetime reserve days are used, an additional 365 days (after Original Medicare allows) of Hospitalization are covered with many Medicare Supplement plans.

  7. Some Medicare Supplement Plans include some coverage for Foreign Travel that is NOT covered by Original Medicare. (With a deductible and a maximum lifetime limit)


  1. Depending on your budget, the Medicare Supplement Plan monthly premiums can be expensive compared to many Medicare Advantage plans that offer plans with $0 premiums.

  2. Medicare Supplement policies sold after January 1, 2006 aren't allowed to include prescription drug coverage. So if you need prescription drug coverage, you will need to enroll in an additional stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan adding to the cost of your monthly premiums. (With many Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drugs are covered within the same plan with no additional monthly premium.)

  3. No Dental care coverage. (With many Medicare Advantage Plans, dental coverage within the same plan is included with no additional monthly premium.)

  4. No Vision coverage for glasses or contacts. (With many Medicare Advantage Plans, vision coverage within the same plan is included with no additional monthly premium.)

  5. No Hearing Aid coverage. (With many Medicare Advantage Plans, hearing aid partial coverage within the same plan is included with no additional monthly premium.)

  6. If you didn’t just recently turn 65 (Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment), or retire from your job while still having employer creditable health insurance coverage (Guaranteed Coverage), you may need to get approved by being able to answer underwriting questions within the company’s approval guidelines. If you can’t answer their underwriting questions within the insurance companies guidelines you will be denied.

  7. (Not really a con, but just an informative note): You must have Medicare Part A and Part B to purchase a Medicare Supplement. You will pay the Medicare Supplement monthly premiums in addition to the monthly Part B premiums that you pay to Medicare. Reminder: If you want prescription drug coverage, you will also have that additional premium as well.

Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews