The Best Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans in California

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • California Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans help fill the gaps in Original Medicare, reducing your out-of-pocket costs. Read our review of California Medigap plans to find out more about this type of coverage.

Medicare Supplement Insurance is a supplemental insurance plan available to Original Medicare beneficiaries. Even though Original Medicare covers a wide range of preventive and diagnostic services, enrollees still have to pay copays, coinsurance and deductibles.

If you're living on a fixed income, these out-of-pocket costs can be difficult to afford. California Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, covers some of these costs, making health care more affordable. 

Medigap is available to anyone who enrolls in Original Medicare. A third (32%) of California Medicare enrollees have signed up for a California Medigap plan. If you live in California, have Original Medicare coverage and don't have Medicare Supplement Insurance to reduce your out-of-pocket health costs, read on to learn about the Medigap plans available in your state.

Have Medicare questions?

Talk to a licensed agent today to find a plan that fits your needs.

What Are the Best California Medicare Supplement Plans?

In California, you can pick from 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. Some plans cover more of your out-of-pocket expenses than others, so it's important to review each one carefully. The chart below explains the benefits included with each plan.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans 2024
Medicare Supplement Benefits A B C1 D F1 G K L M N
Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
Part B coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
First 3 pints of blood 50% 75%
Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment 50% 75%
Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility     50% 75%
Medicare Part A deductible   50% 75% 50%
Medicare Part B deductible                
Medicare Part B excess charges                
Foreign travel emergency     80% 80% 80% 80%     80% 80%
1. Plans C and F are not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
2. Plans F and G also offer a high deductible plan which has an annual deductible of $2,800 in 2024. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
3. Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $7,060 in 2024. Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,530 in 2024.
4. Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
View an image version of this table.

All Medigap plans in California cover your Medicare Part A coinsurance payments and gives you up to 365 days of extra hospital coverage beyond what Medicare Part A normally covers. Each plan also covers Medicare Part B copays, but plans K and L provide less coverage than the other options.

Some of the more robust plans even cover your Medicare Part B deductible, but others don't. Additional limitations may apply; for example, plan K only covers up to 50% of the cost of a blood transfusion. Plans A, B, K and L also provide no coverage for expenses incurred while you're traveling in a foreign country.

Out of the 10 options available, plans F, G and N are the most popular. Many Original Medicare enrollees sign up for plans F and G because of their low premiums, and plan N is popular due to the high level of coverage it provides. In exchange for low premiums on plans F and G, you'll have to pay a high deductible before your Medigap plan kicks in. Plan N has higher premiums, but it also provides more coverage. For example, many of your copays may be covered completely.

Have Medicare questions?

Talk to a licensed agent today to find a plan that fits your needs.

How Do I Enroll in Medigap Plans in California?

California Medigap coverage is only available to Original Medicare enrollees. If you enroll in Medicare Advantage, you won't be able to get this type of coverage. After you sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B, you'll have six months to enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance. The six-month Medigap open enrollment period begins the month you turn 65. It's important to remember when the Medigap open enrollment period starts because this is the only time you can sign up for Medigap without any restrictions. During the open enrollment period, Medigap is a "guaranteed issue" type of insurance. That means an insurance company can't deny you due to your age or health status.

If you don't enroll during the six-month Medigap open enrollment period, insurance companies can use a process called underwriting to determine if you qualify for coverage. You may not be able to get supplementary coverage if the insurance company determines that you present too great of a medical risk. Some exceptions apply:

  • If you don't purchase Part B coverage when you turn 65 because you still have health coverage through an employer, your California Medigap open enrollment period won't start until the month in which you sign up for Part B. This assumes that your employer-sponsored coverage is ending in the same month.

  • Even if you're not denied due to a pre-existing condition, your Medigap insurance provider may set a waiting period of six months before it will cover any expenses relating to that condition. For example, if you have heart disease, you may have to wait six months before you can use your Medigap plan to pay for expenses arising from certain tests ordered by your cardiologist.

  • You may have guaranteed issue rights outside the Medigap open enrollment period. These rights usually apply to Medicare beneficiaries who lose their health coverage or whose coverage changes. If you have guaranteed issue rights, an insurance company must sell you a Medigap plan, must cover your pre-existing conditions and can't charge you a higher premium based on your health history and current health status.

If you've had health coverage for at least six months, and that plan covered your pre-existing conditions, you may be able to get immediate Medigap coverage.

  1. AHIP. (Feb. 2023). The Sate of Medicare Supplement Coverage Trends in Enrollment and Demographics.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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