The short answer is: no, Plan G is not going away. Although Medigap is changing, especially with respect to availability, Medicare Plan G will still be available to most Medicare beneficiaries.
We’ll run through the current situation regarding the availability of Plan G and a few related plans. This should help you know what to expect when you start talking to a health insurance agent or shopping on your own. Plan G is very similar to a few other plans on the market. That means that understanding which plans fit which needs is essential as you enter the shopping process.
Medicare Supplement Plan G Coverage Details: What do You Get?
Plan G is a Medicare Supplement plan, also known as a Medigap plan. To buy Medicare Supplement insurance, you’ll have to go to a private insurance company, rather than the federal government. They will provide coverage that helps pay for your out-of-pocket costs and other supplemental fees under Medicare, rather than medical costs directly. Medigap is only available if you have Original Medicare, not Medicare Advantage.
There are many Medigap plans out there. Let’s take a look at exactly what Plan G covers.
What Does Plan G Cover?
There are several categories that Medigap plans are allowed to cover, and each plan will cover a different combination of these. Although costs for Plan G can vary depending on many factors, such as your age, health, location, and more, the coverage details will be the same no matter where you buy Plan G from.
Plan G will cover:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copays
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Part B excess charge
- 80% of Foreign travel exchange
As you can see, Plan G offers a lot of coverage. In fact, Plan G offers the most coverage of any plan aside from Plan F. The only main benefit that Plan G does not cover, but Plan F does, is the Medicare Part B deductible.
High-Deductible Plan G in 2021
When discussing Plan G, it’s important to keep in mind that it is one of the few plans that also comes as a high-deductible version. As the name implies, the high-deductible option for Plan G comes with its own deductible, independent of the deductible that comes with Original Medicare.
In 2021, this can amount to no more than $2,490, although the deductible amount can sometimes be lower. The way it works is that your plan will not pay for any coverage until you meet your deductible. As a result, on average, your premiums will be lower. In many places, both high-deductible Plan G and regular Plan G will be available, and it is up to you to compare the costs to see which option is best for your situation.
Why Should I Choose Plan G?
The fact that there are so many Medigap plans to choose from can often make it difficult to make a decision. It is a good idea to have a few plans in mind, since one plan may offer better coverage, but end up costing more in your area. Because Plan G offers so much coverage, it ends up being at the top of the list for many people. Let’s take a look at the details to understand why.
Continue Reading: Medicare Supplement Plan G Explained
High Deductible Plan G offers the same coverage but has its own deductible distinct from any part of Medicare. The deductible can max out at $2,490, and the Medigap plan will begin covering your out-of-pocket costs once it’s met.
You cannot have a Medicare Supplement Plan at the same time as Medicare Advantage. The reason for this is that Medigap plans only cover costs related to Original Medicare. If you have Medicare Advantage, a Medicare Supplement Plan won’t provide additional help.
Excellent Coverage Overall
Plan G offers a lot of coverage, which translates into security for you, as you have less to worry about. It is also one of the most common plans out there, which can go towards lowering costs. The reason for this is that the more it is offered and the more companies offer it, the lower the price gets. This means that Plan G is a very reasonable option for many people.
In addition to this, Plan G offers coverage for many types of out-of-pocket costs that vary from year to year. This includes things like coinsurance payments. Although you know what your deductible for Medicare is each year, the coinsurance depends on how much medical care you receive and is often a percentage of the claim. This can make coinsurance payments much higher, and Plan G covers them.
Excess Charge Coverage for Those Who Need It
It also offers coverage for Part B excess charges. These are costs that you have to pay if your healthcare provider doesn’t accept Medicare assignment, and they can add up to a lot if you see this provider regularly. Plan G can be a great way to get these costs covered so you can stick with your favorite provider without paying as much.
You can enroll in Medigap Plan G anytime throughout the year. If you currently have a Medigap plan now such as a Plan F or N you are able to make the change to Plan G anytime.
Other popular times to signup are during the Open Enrollment Period, a Special Enrollment Period, or during your Initial enrollment when you first become eligible for Medicare. If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, then the rules for Medigap are a bit different. Additionally, those living in New York can enroll more easily than in some other states.
Agent TipYou can typically sign up for Plan G anytime throughout the year. Call us at 800-208-4974 today to find out if you are eligible for a Plan G.
Overall, Plan G offers a very comprehensive amount of coverage that is useful for many people. If you don’t think you need excess charge coverage, there are other options available, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Plan G Costs in 2023: What You Can Expect to Pay
The premiums for Plan G can vary widely depending on the insurance company. In most states, there are between twenty and fifty insurance companies offering Plan G, each at a different price. There is no difference between a Plan G with one company and a Plan G with another company.
Below are some sample rates for Plan G in 2023 for a female age 65 in Atlanta, GA (no discounts applied).
|Company||Plan G premium in 2021|
|Aetna||$133 per month|
|Manhattan Life||$127 per month|
|Mutual Of Omaha||$125 per month|
Looking for the best insurance carrier for your Medicare Supplement? Check out our top companies for 2023 here.
Rates vary greatly deeding on age, location, and company. Call us today for a free quote comparison.
Medicare Supplement Plan F Ending: What Does it Mean?
Medigap Plan G is most often compared to Medigap Plan F. These plans are completely identical with one exception: The Part B deductible. Plan F does cover the Part B deductible, while Plan G does not. The Part B deductible is $226 in 2023. Plan F is slowly being phased out, but isn’t being dropped out completely; we’ll discuss the details below.
Why Is Plan F Going Away?
The reason that Plan F is going away has to do with something known as the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA. MACRA has several parts, but there is one key element that relates to Plan F. MACRA will phase out first-dollar coverage plans, such as Plan F and Plan C.
First-dollar coverage means that plans start to pay as soon as you have any charges. Plan F is a first-dollar coverage plan because it covers the Part B deductible, meaning that you have no payments to pay out-of-pocket. Instead, Part B pays your “first dollar” and beyond.
How Is It Being Phased Out?
Plan F is being phased out in a very specific way. Plenty of people will still be able to purchase and keep this plan. Those who became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, are eligible to buy Plan F. Only new enrollees who became eligible after 2020 are forbidden from buying this plan.
This includes people who didn’t have Plan F before this date, as well as those who didn’t have any form of Medicare before this time. The only thing that matters is eligibility, not enrollment.
It’s important to note that even if you are eligible for Plan F, the cost and availability of Plan F may go up in the next few years as many people start enrolling in alternative plans.
Read more regarding the future of Plan F here.
Should I Change from Medicare Supplement Plan F to Plan G?
If you have Plan F, you may be wondering if Plan G is a better option for you. This could be due to the changing prices, as well as to decreased availability or changing circumstances in your healthcare needs. Changing from Plan F to Plan G will be a good idea for some, but not for others.
There is one main circumstance under which it makes sense to change. If your Plan F has substantially gone up in cost, then you should consider transitioning to Plan G. Although Plan F offers more coverage, lower monthly premiums may end up being worth more than the Part B deductible, which is quite low overall.
Otherwise, those with Plan F who are happy with their coverage should keep it. As time goes on, make sure to compare costs, as higher premiums may be on the horizon. Because the Part B deductible is low, Plan G can end up becoming more worthwhile.
How to Find Out if You Should Switch
Because the Part B deductible is fixed each year, you can do a comparison fairly easily. Just take the Part B deductible and divide it by twelve. If that amount is greater than the difference in premiums between Plan F and Plan G, then Plan F will be a better deal financially.
To compare Plan G rates call us at 800-208-4974.
Comparing Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N: Which is Best?
When it comes to plans that offer a lot of coverage, Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N are the main contenders. In theory, there is no best plan. Rather, different plans are best for different people. Let’s take a look at them all in turn.
Continue Reading: Plan N Explained
When is Plan F Best?
As we’ve gone over in detail above, Plan F is the most comprehensive Medigap plan available. This plan is best for people who feel like they need the most coverage available, including excess charges. It is essential that you buy Plan F only when it ends up being more financially beneficial than Plan G. Generally speaking, those who are eligible for Plan F will find it worthwhile to look into, even if they end up choosing another plan.
When is Plan G Best?
Plan G is a great fit for people who want comprehensive coverage but aren’t eligible for Plan F, as well as those who want a lot of coverage, but who find a cheaper deal on Plan G than Plan F. If Plan G ends up being cheaper than Plan F when you factor in the Part B deductible cost, then you should go for Plan G even if you are eligible for Plan F.
When is Plan N Best?
Plan N is a bit more complex than a few of these other plans. It covers the same things as Plan G, minus excess charges. It also has its own copayment, which stands apart from the Medicare coinsurance. This will usually result in lower premiums and is good for people who don’t expect to seek healthcare quite as often, since in that case, the copayment can add up.
Conclusions: What to Keep in Mind About Plan G
Although things are changing when it comes to Medigap policies, Plan G is staying put and remaining one of the best plans on the market. If you have an interest in Plan G, just make sure that you research your particular situation to determine it’s the best plan for you. Make sure to compare with Plan N, as well as Plan F if you’re eligible, and you should be good to go.
If you have any questions or would like to compare plans, call us directly at 800-208-4974 today!
Alex Wender is the founder and CEO of Bluewave Insurance. He has been blogging about Medicare-related topics since 2010. Since then, he and his agency have helped thousands of people across the country choose the right Medicare to fit their needs.