There is a lot of confusion over which Medicare supplement plan is the best one for each person. The plans differ in important ways, so choosing one of the Medicare supplement plans for 2017 might be tricky for some. You have to balance what they cover with their cost. When you do that, there are really just a few different plans that are the most popular for 2017.
Plan F is 100% Coverage – But Not Worth it?
For most people, the plan that covers all their possible medical expenses is the one they choose. That’s why Plan F gets so many enrollees. It actually covers all supplemental charges that Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover. This leaves no out-of-pocket costs for the beneficiary.
But all that coverage does not come cheap. In fact Plan F simply isn’t worth it in most cases. While it is going to cover enough expenses that you would not have to be concerned over out-of-pocket costs, it also carries the highest premium. Honestly, not everyone needs the one extra benefit that Plan F offers over Plan G, especially when it costs so much.
Medicare Supplement Plan F 2020 Changes!
Now most people are not even aware of the fact that Plan F is actually no longer going to be available in the year 2020 to anyone who is enrolling in Part A Medicare on January 1st 2020 and beyond. The government, in its effort to cut spending and waste, have decided that the “first dollar” coverage that Plan F provides is too expensive and they are removing it from the lineup.
Many people immediately think that they should get the Plan while they still can, such as in 2017. Aside from the fact that Plan F isn’t worth it in most areas now, if you do end up in a Plan F and they close the group in 2020 as they’re going to, you will then be in what is called a closed risk pool. This means no new premiums (people enrolling) may enter the group, and from a numbers standpoint only health claims will be paying out of the group.
Why is that important from a numbers standpoint? Well you see, when the insurance carriers look at those numbers each year to see what the new rate increases will be (and every carrier does this), they must by law adjust the monthly premiums of a Plan in a group based on the amount of premiums coming in, versus the claims being paid out. With a closed risk pool, it’s nothing but claims being paid out. This has historically resulted in very large rate increases. And if you’re stuck in Plan F with a certain health condition that would decline you from switching to another carrier, it could end up costing you a great deal extra.
Play it safe and look at Plan G as well as all of your options.
Plan G – Lower Premiums and Great Coverage
Sure 100% coverage sounds great, but what if there were a Plan where you just had a small deductible to meet each year, and then you got 100% coverage, but it cost less in monthly premiums?. One such supplemental plan is Plan G. This plan actually has almost identical coverage to Plan F. The difference between the two plans is that with Plan G, you would have to pay for the annual Medicare Part B deductible yourself, whereas Plan F would cover it for you. Of course, the monthly premium is lower on Plan G making it worth it in most cases to pay the deductible yourself. For example in 2016 the Part B deductible is $166 per year. Plan F almost always costs more than $166 in premiums, you in many cases you’re paying them extra, just for them to pay the deductible for you. With your money! Why would you do that?
Watch the video below to easily learn why Plan G is a great plan.
Don’t Forget Plan N for 2017
But it is possible that Plan G has more coverage than you need. For instance, some people rarely visit their doctor at all each year. You might require a plan with less coverage and a lower price tag. In that case, you might want to consider Medicare Plan N. This one is still a high-coverage plan, but it doesn’t cover a couple of expenses. These are mostly minor expenses, and they include the same Part B deductible annually that you’re required to pay on Plan G. With Plan N, you might (although very rare) come across some excess charges under Medicare Part B, as well as a small deductible and co-payment from time to time.
Be Sure to Shop Around!
As you can see, these three plans in 2017 are very similar. Only a few small coverage gaps separate them. That means most people need to be paying more attention to how much they cost rather than how much they cover. They can often easily afford the extra uncovered expense or two when they are paying for a greatly decreased rate on their plan.
For just about everyone on Medicare Age 65 and over, or those turning 65 soon one of these Medigap plans should fit their needs perfectly. They all offer lots of coverage, and their diverse price range give a few different options to those requiring a lot of coverage. It is important to examine each plan carefully, and to have experienced Medigap advisors like ourselves compare all the plans and rates for you to see just how much you can save on Medicare Supplement Plans in 2017.