Medicare Supplement plan F, a popular Medicare Supplement plan, isn’t offered anymore—but you can still take advantage of getting the plan under certain circumstances. An estimated 60% of Medicare Supplement (Medigap) enrollees opted for Plan F prior to regulations changing. After January 1, 2020, Medicare required insurance companies to stop offering this plan.
However, you can still get the plan if you were eligible for Medicare benefits before January 1, 2020, or you can keep it if you already had enrolled in Plan F before that date.
Missed signing up for Medicare Plan F? Don’t worry—Medicare Supplement Plan G covers everything Plan F covers except for the Part B deductible and is available to new enrollees.
We’ve expedited your research by reviewing more than 25 companies that offer Medicare Supplement Plan F. Our evaluation methods include availability (most companies offer plans in at least 40 states), company reputation, customer service, ease of website usage, and more. Keep reading for our top recommendations for the best Medicare Supplement Plan F providers.
Best Medicare Supplement Plan F Providers of 2020
Aetna: Best Plan Comparison Tools
Offers Household Discount
Quote available immediately
Plan comparison tools made evaluating cost easier
No high-deductible Plan F in all areas
Not available in 8 states
Aetna is one of the largest Medicare insurance companies in the country and offers its plans in 42 states, leaving out Alaska, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington. When we shopped for Aetna plans, many offered a household discount in some areas. This is when you and another Medicare-eligible person in your household (spouse, partner, or someone you’ve lived with for at least 12 months) both sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan at the same time. When testing the quote function and evaluating costs, the household discount resulted in a monthly premium savings of $8.47—which equals more than $100 a year.
Aetna’s website is easy to use and features an online quote tool that provides results after you answer a few simple questions about your age and gender. The information makes it easy to compare premiums across all plans, and shows you some of the key differentiators between plans. If you have questions, Aetna also has local agents, and the number to call to schedule is easy to find on its website.
The main drawback for Aetna is that it doesn’t offer a high-deductible plan in all areas. When we searched through different states’ options, the high-deductible option wasn’t always available. When we did find it, the high-deductible plan was usually more than $100 cheaper per month.
Humana: Best for Extra Benefits
Offers “Healthy Living” plan with extra benefits
Offers Plan F and High-Deductible Plan F
Available in all 50 states
Offers household discount
Website doesn’t clearly explain some plan aspects
Healthy Living plan isn’t offered in all areas
Humana is the third-largest health insurance company in the country. It is also one of the select few companies that offer a supplement plan with additional benefits.
Humana offers a variation on traditional Medicare Supplement Plans that it calls the Healthy Living plan. This plan includes Medicare Supplement Plan F benefits as well as additional ones, including basic vision and dental services, membership in the SilverSneakers fitness program (includes a membership to one of 17,000 participating locations, a fitness app, and online exercise classes for seniors), and meal deliveries after staying at a hospital or nursing facility. You’ll pay more for the Healthy Living Plan—when we evaluated the plans, the cost difference was about $23 more for a Healthy Living High Deductible Plan and $16 more for a Healthy Living Plan F.
The downside: It took quite a bit of searching to obtain a clear explanation of the Healthy Living plan. The website lets you compare the two plans but finding an in-depth explanation of how these benefits work takes more time. Additionally, Humana doesn’t offer the Healthy Living plan in all areas.
Humana also offers several discounts, including a household discount and a discount for making automatic electronic payments.
Cigna: Best Perks for All
All policies include extra program perks
Offers plans in all 50 states
Must provide phone number and email to get online quote
Must have a MyCigna account to use online chat for questions
Cigna is the product of a merger of two large insurance companies that had each been in operation for more than 150 years. It has a long track record of supplying health insurance products, including Medicare supplement plans in all states. Cigna offers both high-deductible and traditional Plan F options. The high-deductible plans we reviewed were about $130 less expensive than the traditional Plan F.
Regardless of the plan type chosen, Cigna offered extra perks that include a 24-hour information line and Cigna Healthy Rewards, which offers health and wellness program discounts such as weight management programs, alternative medicine or vision, and hearing care. Cigna also offers a 7% household discount on premiums if a spouse or other household member applies for a Medicare supplement policy too. You can add your spouse’s information in at the same time you are filling in information for your online quote.
Cigna’s downside was difficulty obtaining a quote. You’ll have to provide your name and contact phone number before getting any information. This makes obtaining a quote slightly more difficult. Most other insurance companies only ask for information such as your age and dates for Medicare eligibility. However, Cigna’s website featured infographics and videos that made Medicare Supplement plans easier to understand, and the information was very easy to access.
AARP/UnitedHealthcare: Best Discount Opportunity
Offers numerous discounts to save on premiums
Comprehensive guide to supplement plans on the website
Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
No high-deductible Plan F
Hard to find medical condition exclusions
AARP and UnitedHealthcare began their partnership in 1997 to provide insurance plans as well as high-quality education and services to their members. Today, they offer Medicare Supplement Plan F (but no high-deductible Plan F) in 50 states and the District of Columbia, but what really sets them apart are their discounts.
You may be able to receive an enrollment discount based on your age and overall health. When reviewing plans, we saw discounts as high as 39% for those ages 65 to 68 without pre-existing chronic health conditions. The discount decreases by about 3% after age 68 and ends when you turn age 81. It took us quite a bit of searching to find out what the excluding conditions were, but they include end-stage renal disease. You’ll also pay more if you are in your guaranteed-issue period, but your doctor has recommended surgeries like joint replacement, heart surgery, or organ transplant in the past two years (we saw some premiums that were nearly twice as much).
Other discount opportunities include setting up an electronic funds transfer, household discounts, or paying your year of premiums up front. You can’t combine some of the discounts, so read the fine print carefully or ask an insurance agent.
The website contains easy-to-follow information with options to read a number of articles and guides on Medicare Supplement plans. It also features an online chat function where you can chat with a licensed insurance agent. If you prefer to talk on the phone, they offer that option too.
AARP/UnitedHealthcare: Best for Price Transparency
Offers bundled discounts with other plans
Easy-to-use, specific website quote tool
Interactive, easy-to-use mobile app
Doesn’t offer plans in Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Rhode Island
Website is light on education
The country’s largest property insurer also offers Medicare Supplement Plans. State Farm’s size means you can access its plans in almost every state. We rated State Farm highly because its plan quote tool was one of the easiest we used: it immediately asks if you are in a guaranteed issue period. If you aren’t, the tool will walk you through the process, with questions like “Within the last 12 months, have you used tobacco in any form?” and will adjust your premium quote accordingly. This feature allows you to more accurately estimate costs and better understand how a history of tobacco use impacts State Farm’s pricing.
State Farm also offers bundled discounts if you have some of its popular insurance plans, such as automobile insurance. It's also a company known for customer service. With more than 19,000 independent agents in the United States, you can usually find someone to speak with in-person in most areas of the country.
On the education side, State Farm’s website doesn’t have a lot. However, there are more extensive tips on its mobile app, including the ability to enter your location, age, and gender and get a list of available plans and prices. Because its agents sell only State Farm, they are likely well-versed in State Farm's Medicare products.
Mutual of Omaha: Best for Education
Educational guides made decision-making seem easier
Household discount available
Offered in all 50 states
High-deductible Plan F not offered in all areas
Chat function only available for technical issues
Mutual of Omaha has been in operation for more than 100 years, and its website and materials convey a warm, educated tone. Before offering a quote, it encourages you to view its guides to Medicare Supplement Basics, so you have the opportunity to approach the decision-making process well-informed.
The online quote function requires only one step, giving you the opportunity to see costs on a monthly or yearly basis. Mutual of Omaha offers both high-deductible and traditional Medicare Plan F. The search results also give educational recommendations on why each plan may or may not be a better fit for you.
It has a customer service line and lists agents nearby to contact, but its online chat function is limited to technical questions only.
Mutual of Omaha does offer a discount of 12% if your spouse or partner also signs up for a plan, which was one of the larger household discounts.
How We Chose the Best Medicare Supplement Plan F Companies
We selected the best Medicare Supplement Plan F companies based on several criteria. These included breadth of coverage and if they offer a high-deductible option. The companies we chose typically offer their plans to 40 states or more, so it’s likely the plan is available in your area (only 9% of Medigap plans are offered in 40 or more states). We also carefully evaluated each website, looking at how easy it was to find information on their plans, the number of steps required to obtain a quote, the existence of apps that make it simple to see your claim, and the inclusion of easy-to-understand educational content. Finally, we evaluated the companies themselves, including their financial ratings, years in operation, and customer service reviews.
How to Shop & Compare Medicare Plan F
Shopping for the best Medicare Supplement Plan F plan can take some research, but your time is worth the effort as selecting the right plan has the potential to provide a significant cost savings for you. Your shopping usually comes down to the following five steps:
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
Wanting to buy Plan F may be a moot point if you didn’t qualify for Medicare until after January 1, 2020. If you had your Medicare card in-hand (or qualified for Medicare) before January 1, 2020, you are eligible to purchase Plan F.
Medicare supplement plans don’t have a dedicated enrollment period. However, the only time an insurance company cannot turn you down is during your “guaranteed issue” period—within the first six months of signing up for Medicare Part B.
Step 2: Find Available Plans in Your Area
Medicare does not require all insurance companies who sell Medigap to sell every policy type. In 2017, an estimated 85% of Medigap companies sold Plan F.
You can conduct your research in several ways:
• Visit Medicare.gov’s Plan Finder to search for Medicare Supplement plans in your area by your ZIP code.
• Contact companies directly to request information on their plans and pricing. You’re in no way obligated to choose a company you’ve contacted.
• Ask your friends if they have a Medicare Supplement plan and if they’re happy with their plan and the company’s service.
Step 3: Compare Plan Costs
Because Medicare Supplement plans are the same in terms of coverage, cost is their main difference. It’s important to consider the premium a company offers you and how the premium is likely to change over time. We’ll discuss this more in a later section.
Cost isn’t the only factor to consider in Medigap plans. Consider the company itself. You’ll want a reputable company known for its customer service, which will help when you have claims-related questions or concerns.
Step 4: Consider Checking With a Broker or Medicare Consultant
All the information in the world about benefits coverage may still not answer your specific insurance-related questions. You can contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which provides free and unbiased insurance counseling. You can also reach out to an insurance broker in your area. They may sell policies for a particular company or several different companies, and may have access to knowledge or plans that are not commonly known. While you are not obligated to purchase a policy from the broker, you can expect that they will have some bias because they will receive a commission on the policy you choose.
Step 5: Enroll
Once you’ve selected a plan, companies will usually allow you to sign up on the Internet, by phone, or mail the paperwork you can request them to send you.
What Is a High-Deductible Medicare Plan?
Insurance companies typically offer Plan F with a high-deductible Medicare option. This means that your plan will not pay for benefits until you have paid a certain amount toward your deductible. For 2020, the deductible for Plan F was $2,340.
There are trade-offs for choosing a high-deductible plan over the “regular” option. Your monthly premium for Plan F is lower in a high-deductible plan. However, this plan still allows you to obtain supplemental insurance coverage, so you can better estimate your yearly healthcare expenses.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Medicare Plan F?
The average monthly premium for Plan F with a traditional plan is about $185. You’ll likely pay more if you are older, smoke, or have chronic health conditions. Your cost for Medicare Plan F will depend upon several factors, including how your insurance company determines your initial costs, your health, and your age. Another factor is if you choose a high-deductible plan or a traditional plan (a high-deductible plan will have a lower monthly premium.
Medicare Supplement plans are usually priced based on one of three practices: attained-age, issue-age, or community-rated:
- Attained-age: This plan is priced on your current age and will usually increase every year. According to Medicare, these plans usually start as the least expensive but can become the highest-priced as you get older.
- Issue-age: Your insurance company determines your premium by your age when you bought the policy. Older beneficiaries first buying the plan will likely pay more than younger ones. However, this doesn’t mean their plan premium won’t increase—insurers will raise the issue-age premium based on inflation.
- Community-rated: Community-rated plans don’t take age into account. Every person who holds the plan is charged the same amount. Like issue-age plans, the community-rated premium is subject to inflation-related increases.
What Is the Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plan?
The best Medicare Supplement plan is one you can afford, has the coverage you’re most likely to utilize, and that your insurance company of choice offers.
Prior to changes in Medicare regulations, Medicare Part F was the most popular supplement plan. An estimated 60% of subscribers held the plan. While this doesn’t necessarily mean Plan F was the best plan, many Medicare beneficiaries chose it because it offered the most coverage and predictability when it came to their Medicare costs.
How Are Plan F and Plan G Medicare Supplements Different?
Plan G has emerged as the next-closest supplement option to Plan F. Plan G is available if you are new to Medicare in 2020 and beyond. The key difference between Plan F and Plan G is that Plan G does not pay for the Part B deductible, which is $198 in 2020.
Both plans are available as high-deductible options, depending on the state where you live.
Some Medicare Supplement companies require medical underwriting before they will offer you a plan. The healthier you are, the more likely you are to qualify.
Does Supplement Plan F Cover Dental Costs?
Medicare Plan F does not cover routine dental services, such as cleanings, fillings, or X-rays. However, there are some dental services that Medicare Plan F may help pay for. Some of these scenarios may include:
• If you experience injuries to your mouth and other parts of your body that require a hospital stay and emergency dental services. Your Plan F may help pay for the Part A coinsurance and additional hospital costs.
• If you need to have a dental examination to get medical clearance for a surgical procedure, such as an aortic valve replacement or organ transplant. Your Plan F may help pay for your Part A or Part B coinsurance, depending upon where you are receiving care.
• If you require dental extractions as part of a surgical procedure, such as for a tumor in the mouth, soft palate, or throat. Your Plan F may cover some of the Part A coinsurance.
Barron’s. “Medigap Plan F Will Soon End. Here’s How That Changes Retirees’ Costs.” Accessed September 1, 2020.
AARP Supplemental Health. “Enrollment Discount.” Accessed September 1, 2020.
Medicare.gov. "Guaranteed issue rights." Accessed September 1, 2020.
AHIP.org. "State of Medigap 2019." Accessed September 2, 2020.
Medicare.gov. “Costs of Medigap Policies.” Accessed September 1, 2020.