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Are you weighing your Medicare options? Get help paying the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover by purchasing a supplemental insurance plan, called Medicare Supplement or Medigap, through a private insurer. Medicare Supplement Plans F and G are two of the most popular plans out of the 10 standardized Medigap plans (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N), and while they can help offer some Medicare beneficiaries peace of mind, they may not be right for everyone. Learn the subtle difference between the two plans and understand the factors to consider when choosing the right Medicare coverage for your needs.
Medicare Supplement Plans F and G are the only Medigap insurance plans that cover 100% of Medicare Part B “excess charges,” which are the costs a doctor can charge for a service or procedure, if they don’t accept assignment. Therefore, these plans will help protect you from additional out-of-pocket expenses should you need treatment that exceeds what Medicare will approve. In addition to excess charges, Medicare Supplement Plan F and G also cover:
Medicare Supplement Plans F and G are identical with the exception of one thing: Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible (the Part B deductible for 2018 is $183). This means that you will have to pay $183 annually before Plan G begins to cover anything. However, once the Part B deductible for Plan G is paid for, you essentially have Plan F.
Why would someone choose Plan G? Plan G monthly premiums are typically much less expensive than the Plan F premiums – sometimes half the cost. Therefore, even though you will have to pay a deductible, you can save money overall if Plan G has a lower premium than Plan F. However, because pricing varies among plans, states, and individuals, this isn’t always true – sometimes there will be minimal difference in the premium cost. Therefore, when you get a quote, compare the premium amount against the deductible to select the more cost-effective option.
Your unique health insurance needs, budget, and individual quote will help you determine if Plan F, G - or a different Medigap plan - is right for you. Each Medigap insurance company has different rates, which are often based on gender, age, zip code, and tobacco status. If you rarely go to the doctor, Plan G may be an attractive option since you’re not spending money ($183) out-of-pocket towards the deductible. However, if the premium for Plan F is minimal compared to Plan G, it may be the better option. Another thing to consider is that in 2020, Plan F will be going away, however, those who already have Plan F can be grandfathered in to keep it.
If you’re looking for another similar option, consider High-Deductible Plan F. It typically has a lower premium than both Medigap Plans F and G, and essentially offers the same coverage; however, your deductible would be much higher than both Medigap Plan F and G. For example, your premium may cost less than $50 per month, but your deductible may be as high as $2,200, which you would have to pay out-of-pocket before your plan starts paying.
All Medigap policies of the same letter offer the same basic benefits, but some offer additional benefits and different rates. Medicare beneficiaries must be enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to qualify and cannot purchase a Medigap policy in addition to their Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). They would have to switch back to Original Medicare during the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15th – December 7th) or during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (January 1st – February 14th). However, your premium for a Medigap plan may be much higher later versus enrolling in a Medigap plan during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is the 7-month period when you first become eligible for Medicare.
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Premera Blue Cross
Scott & White
Vibra Health Plan
Last Revised 11/15/2017