California Medicare Options  -  Compare California Medigap Carriers

How to Compare California Medigap Carriers side by side

 How to Compare Medigap Carriers in California



The medicare supplements plans are standardized by law.

This means a G plan will have identical benefits from one carrier to another and even the same network of providers.

Basically, any provider that accepts Medicare nationwide.

So...what's left to compare?

Well cost and carrier!

Okay California, how do we compare the main medigap carriers and rates?

Glad you asked and we're going drill down to the key considerations here so you can pick the best medigap plan for you.

We already went through how to really compare the different plan (G versus N, etc).

Let's turn our 25+ years of experience and attention (see Google reviews below) to the final piece of the decision.

Which carrier to go with!


Here's what we'll cover:

  • What are the top medigap carriers in California
  • How to compare the supplement carriers side by side
  • Which California carrier has the best rate for medigap
  • Which California medigap carrier is easier to work with
  • How to quote and enroll in the top California medigap carriers

Let's get started!


What are the top medigap carriers in California

This has been relatively stable for over a decade now.

Area and age can affect the best value for you but generally, the ranking for California medigap carriers has been:

  • Blue Shield of California
  • Anthem Blue Cross (separate carrier from Blue Shield)
  • United Health (AARP)
  • Health Net

Really, it's the first three that dominate the market for the most popular plans:

  • F plan (no longer available to new enrolled)
  • G plan - currently most popular option due to Medicare Excess coverage
  • N plan


This is quite different from the Advantage market where Kaiser and United Health (AARP) dominate.  Learn more about Medigap versus Advantage plans.

It also doesn't match up with Part D for medication (separate from medigap plans) where Aetna is the leader (under name SilverScripts).  More on Part D.

We run quotes all day long for medicap and consistently, it's about 50% Blue Shield, 40% Anthem, and 10% United Health (AARP).

The carriers can have strengths at certain plan levels but the G plan is the defacto quote and most popular plan by far (learn more here as to why). do we compare these carriers?


How to compare the supplement carriers side by side

We mentioned above how benefits are standardized.  A G plan will be the same in terms of core benefits from carrier to carrier.

Networks are also the same.  Medigap plans can work with any provider that accepts Medicare.  In or out of State.

Pricing then becomes the dominant factor!  We'll look at that below but are there any other considerations when comparing?

Generally, we have to look at how "strict" a carrier can be with health care decisions but that's also addresses since Medicare makes the ultimate decision on whether something is covered or not.

The medigap carrier just pays according to what Medicare dictates (fills in the holes according to plan selected).

This is even managed behind the scenes between Medicare and the carrier with the provider for payment.

So...price and customer service!

Price is specific to zip code and age while customer service is pretty comparable for the big three.

Shield and Anthem (2 separate carriers at this level) have  been in the Medigap market now for decades!

They know it quite well as opposed to other carriers that are life or property insurance players or HMO players that came over later to the game (Health Net, etc).

United health is the carrier and AARP is the marketer and both are well-known and regarded by the senior market.

So...we really can't go wrong in terms of day-to-day interaction with these three carriers for medigap.  Again, Advantage is completely different where they have Star Ratings for each plan.

Medigap doesn't have this scrutiny since the plans and networks are standardized.  Less that can go wrong essentially.

It then comes down to...price.


Which California carrier has the best rate for medigap

This depends.

It's generally Shield or Anthem depending on the area and the plan.

There are some high deductible G plans and other less popular plans where other carriers can pop up.

Let's run some sample quotes!


First, Los Angeles, age 66, G plan (most popular):


quote los angeles G plan


There's our top 3!

LA is one area where Anthem can have better rates.  One note...Shield generally has a "new to Medicare" $25/month discount for 12 months.  You'll be able to see that in the quote below.


What about the next most popular plan (available to new enrollees), the N plan:


quote los angeles N medigap


Okay, so United Health (AARP) is more aggressive with this plan type and ranks #1.  By quite a bit.

Shield is second and Humana rounds up the top 3.


What about the high deductible G plan:


quote los angeles G plan

Humana makes its showing.

Let's quickly look at the G plan in San Diego:


quote san diego G plan


So Shield and Anthem but that Shield rate includes the $25/discount which goes away after 12 months.  Just a head's up.


What about San Jose..Bay Area?


quote san jose G plan


You seeing a pattern here?

Again, we run quotes all day along across the entire State and it's pretty similar.  

So...between these big players, who is the easiest to deal with?


Which California medigap carrier is easier to work with

Shield might be a tad bit easier to deal with but they're really equal.

Put it this way...there's not enough difference in daily customer service at the senior level (very different from Covered Ca or group) to justify paying more premium.

In the end, it's the cost that matters at a given plan level (for example, G plan) as the customer service differences are minute.


This is medigap...Advantage is COMPLETELY different (see Comparing Advantage plans). 

Let's get to brass tacts then.


How to quote and enroll in the top California medigap carriers

You can easily quote all the major medigap carriers here:

quote and enroll in medicare plans

The quote system (free to use) shows Advantage plans, Medigap, and Part D (for medication).


The Medicare supplements plans are the 4th tab over.

You'll see a few quick questions before getting a quote which establish that we're eligible to qualify for a supplement with guaranteed issue (regardless of health).  

We're happy to walk through your situation at  or 800-830-6269 to help with this question.

We have a whole review on How and When to enroll in a medicare plan with more info.

Otherwise, feel free to quote a way!

Filters on the left allow you to choose the plan type (for example, G plan) and/or the carrier.


We recommend starting with the G plan since it's the most popular plan by far and almost every carrier will have an offering there.

From there, you can look at the N plan or G plan high deductible to reduce cost (but take on more risk).

Only the G plan covers Medicare Excess where doctors can charge up to 15% more with no cap!

We don't like uncapped risks which is why the high deductible G would make more sense than the other medigap plans (see our how to pick the best medigap plan guide for a walkthrough this math).

Once you see a plan you like, just "Add to Cart" and you can enroll right online!  It's fast and easy.

Generally saves about 30-40 minutes from the standard enrollment process and we're happy to help with any questions at no cost to you.  Check out Google Reviews along these lines.


medicare agents with google reviews


One note...medigap plans don't cover RX so you'll also need a Part D.  You can quote and enroll in the top Part D carriers as well right through the same quote system (3rd tab over up top!!).

Again, reach out with any questions.  25+ years experience with medicare supplements and we can size up your best situation in about 5 minutes!