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The State of Medicare Supplement Coverage


For Medicare enrollees, purchasing Medicare Supplement (Medigap) coverage helps fill gaps in their original Medicare benefits.

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Published on Apr 6, 2023

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This report describes Medicare Supplement coverage options, demographics of enrollees with Medicare Supplement policies, and the most recent enrollment trends by using the latest available data sources: 2021 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) data, 2021 California Department of Managed Health Care data, and 2020 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) results.

Key Takeaways

  • Among original Medicare enrollees without additional insurance coverage (such as Medicaid, employer-provided insurance, etc.), 54% had Medicare Supplement coverage in 2020.
  • Between December 2017 and December 2021, the share of original Medicare enrollees who purchase Medicare Supplement coverage increased from 35% to 41%.
  • Medicare enrollees with Medicare Supplement coverage were 3 times less likely to have problems paying medical bills compared to enrollees without Medicare Supplement policies.
  • Only 3% of enrollees with Medicare Supplement coverage reported having difficulty paying medical bills in the last 12 months, compared to 8% of original Medicare enrollees without Medicare Supplement coverage.