Medicare Supplement Plan G (also referred to as the “value plan”) has become the most popular Medigap plan among our clients. It is very similar to plan F, with the exception that the Medicare Part B deductible is not covered. After the deductible, Plan G provides full coverage for copays, coinsurance, the Part A hospital deductible and the 20% that Part B does not cover.
Plan G is one of 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap plans) available. Standardized means that the benefit is the same no matter what company is offering the plan. For example, G with one company is exactly the same as a Plan G with a different company, the only difference is the price.
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The US government oversees and regulates the benefits. In most states, there are over 25 companies offering this plan, each at a different price (I will get into pricing a little bit later).
Let’s dive in.
What Does Plan G Cover?
It is considered a comprehensive Medigap plan because it covers everything Medicare does not pay in full, except an annual deductible of $198 for the calendar year.
The chart below shows exactly what Plan G covers.
|Medicare Benefits||Medigap Plan G|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance & hospital costs (up to 365 additional days after Medicare benefits are|
|Medicare Part B Coinsurance or copayment||100%|
|Blood (first 3 pints)||100%|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||100%|
|Skilled nursing facility coinsurance||100%|
|Medicare Part A deductible||100%|
|Medicare Part B deductible||X|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||100%|
|Foreign Travel Emergency (up to $50k)||100%|
Are There Any Co-pays?
NO! There are ZERO co-pays on Plan G. There is, however a “deductible.” This is $198 for 2020 and is associated with doctor visits and outpatient services.
For example, Judy starts on a Plan G Jan 1st, 2019. She goes to the doctor for blood work on Jan 25th. In February, Judy gets a bill in the mail from her doctor asking her to pay the Part B deductible of $198 For the rest of the year, Judy will incur ZERO out-of-pocket costs. No matter how many times she visits a doctor or specialist (as long as they take Medicare), she has already met her deductible.
What Doctors and Hospitals Can I Use?
With this plan (or any standardized Medigap plan), you are able to see ANY doctor or hospital, anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare. No referrals are needed.
Is Foreign Travel Covered?
Yes! Foreign travel is covered under Plan G. There is a maximum of $50,000 coverage for emergencies that occur overseas. There is also a $250 deductible and the coverage is in the form of a reimbursement. See our article about foreign travel here.
Medicare Supplement Plan G vs Plan F
The “value plan” has the exact same benefits as Plan F with one exception: it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible, which is $198 for the year. Besides that, Plan G covers all other expenses that Medicare does not cover, just like Plan F.
Two main reasons Plan G is a better value than Plan F are:
#1. Often it is $30+ less per month than Plan F. People can often save $400-$700 per year by switching over to Plan G from a Plan F. Remember, the only benefit difference between the two plans is an annual deductible of $198 per year. The amount you save in premiums is more than the deductible.
#2. Historically, the rate increases are much smaller with Plan G than with Plan F.
Plan F vs. G Rate Increase History
As I just mentioned, the rate increases on Plan G (and Plan N) are much smaller on average vs . Plan F. I’ve attached a screenshot below of a top insurance company’s rate increase, showing changes for Plans F, G, and N.
The Future of Plan F Is Uncertain
Congress has decided to eliminate Plan F starting in 2020. Everyone who has Plan F at that time has the option to keep it, but insurers will no longer be able to sell Plan F to new clients. This may result in EVEN higher rate increases for the folks who stay with their Plan F (no younger, healthier people paying premiums). The government thinks eliminating “first dollar coverage” will keep folks from overusing their coverage and will save Medicare money. Whether or not that will work is unknown, but you can do something to avoid potential high rate increases – switch the “Value Plan”!
Plan G is a much better option in the long run vs. Plan F for the reasons I just mentioned. You will enjoy smaller rate increases and still have a comprehensive policy.
Medicare Supplement Plan G vs. Plan N
Plan G is “one step above” Plan N. With a Plan N you have the following out-of-pocket costs:
- $0-$20 copay at each office visit
- $198 annual deductible in 2020
- $50 copay at the E.R. (unless admitted)
- Part B excess charges (not covered)
Plan G covers all of these costs, except for the annual Part B deductible of $198.
Are “Excess Charges” Covered?
YES! “Part B Excess Charges” are covered at 100% on Plan G. This is often confusing when comparing Plan N to Plan G. Plan N does not cover “excess charges.” To see a full explanation of these charges, see our explanation here.
Companies That Offer Plan G
In most states, there are between 25-45 companies offering this plan, each at a different price. Remember, the benefits on this plan “standardized” meaning that there is absolutely no difference in benefits from one carrier to the next for the same plan. See our Company Review page here, for reviews on all the top Medigap carriers.
Getting a Quote and Comparing Rates
With all the different companies offering the same plan at different rates, it is important to compare quotes before you make a decision. At Bluewaveinsurance.com we have made this process very simple. Most websites require you to speak with a sales agent in order to get quotes. We understand many folks want to do their own research before speaking to an agent. For this reason, we have implemented the ability to compare live, accurate quotes from the top Medicare Supplement insurers.
Click here to start your free live quote. The picture below is a sample of what you will see on the quote comparison page.
After reviewing rates, you may ask yourself:
Why do companies charge different prices for the plan?
My answer to this question is quite simple: the insurance carriers cannot compete over benefits; the only thing they can compete with each other for is the price. This results in the carriers charging different amounts for the same plan. In most states, the range in premiums between the companies can be quite substantial, usually a few hundred dollars per month from the lowest price Plan G to the highest. In some cases, some the insurance companies no longer wish to bring on new clients and therefore are charging much more per month than other carriers.
Prices do go up over time, so it’s important to have a broker who will get in touch with you and shop your rate for you. Blue Wave Insurance conducts free, annual rate reviews for all our clients, ensuring they remain on the best rate possible.
How Do I Switch My Plan To A Plan G?
If you currently have a Medigap F, N, Medicare Advantage plan, employer/retirement plan, etc., then the process to change to a Plan G is easy: Call us at (800) 208-4974 to get a free quote comparison We will ask you several questions to ensure you are eligible to change. If eligible, together we will submit an electronic application with a top A-rated carrier for Plan G. Once approved, you will enjoy the lower premium and great benefits that Plan G offers.
Why Get A Plan G From Us?
We understand there are many agents out there ready and eager to sell you a Medicare Supplement plan. What makes us different from the competition is this: We are independent and represent ALL the top insurance companies. Our goal is to find you the best rate available.
Our services are 100% free. We get compensated directly by the insurance company; there is no added cost to you.
Rate Lookout Program
As mentioned above, we conduct annual rate reviews with all our clients, to ensure they remain on the best rate possible, year after year. Whenever you have a question or concern with your plan, or with Medicare in general, we are here to assist you. Blue Wave Insurance is licensed in over 40 states. We know the Medicare market, we are experts.
You can learn more about our “Rate Lookout Program Here.”
Overall, G is a better value vs. Plan F. Not only do you save money on your premium now, but you will save a substantial amount of money on future rate increases moving forward.
Call us today at (800) 208-4974 for a free quote comparison or with any questions you may have!
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.