by Russell Noga | Updated May 23, 2023
Medicare Supplement Plan G is now the most popular Medigap plan for people new to Medicare. With just one small deductible and then 100% coverage of the gaps in Medicare Part A and B, Plan G offers very comprehensive coverage for a relatively low monthly premium.
Medicare Plan G is not going away, in fact, a new High-deductible version of Plan G was just recently added. The Medigap plan that was removed from the lineup for people new to Medicare was Plan F back in 2020. Medigap Plan G is here to stay.
What is Medicare Plan G?
Medicare Plan G is now the most comprehensive plan offered by Medicare and has the best benefits for relatively low premiums.
In the realm of Medicare supplement plans, Plan F had long reigned supreme as the go-to option for comprehensive coverage. However, a shift in popularity has taken place, with Medicare Plan G emerging as the rising star.
This article delves into the basics of Medicare Plan G, shedding light on its growing popularity and the financial benefits it offers over its predecessor, Plan F.
Understanding Medicare Plan G
Medicare Plan G, also known as Medigap Plan G, is a supplemental insurance plan that covers the gaps in Original Medicare, providing beneficiaries with additional benefits and greater financial security.
It offers a wide range of coverage, including hospitalization costs, skilled nursing facility coinsurance, Part A and B deductibles, excess charges, and emergency care during foreign travel.
The Rise of Plan G
For many years, Medicare Plan F held the title of the most popular Medicare supplement plan due to its comprehensive coverage, including the Part B deductible. However, as of January 1, 2020, Plan F is no longer available to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
This change was implemented as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which aimed to reduce healthcare spending.
The Shift in Popularity: With the discontinuation of Plan F for new enrollees, Medicare Plan G has stepped into the spotlight. Plan G offers similar coverage to Plan F, except for the Part B deductible, which beneficiaries must pay out of pocket.
Despite this difference, Plan G has gained traction due to its cost-effective nature and potential for significant savings.
Medicare Supplement Plan G Benefits
Medicare Plan G covers 100% of the gaps between Medicare Part A and Part B after you just pay one small deductible.
So what are “gaps”?
Gaps are just expenses that you’re required to pay. These are items that Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover for you.
These expenses include things like:
Prior to Medicare Part B (Doctor’s Services) paying any of your medical bills, you’re required to pay the Part B annual deductible. In 2023 this deductible is $226, and the Medicare Part B deductible in 2024 should be close to this amount.
That simply means that you need to pay the first $226 of your medical bills and then Medicare and Plan G will pick up 100% of the rest of your bills for the remainder of the year.
What does Medicare Plan G Cover?
Medicare Plan G, also known as Medigap Plan G, bridges the ‘gap’ between original Medicare coverages and out-of-pocket costs. It’s an optimal choice for those seeking extensive coverage without worrying about unforeseen medical expenses.
While it doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B deductible, it covers nearly everything else, providing a comprehensive shield against high healthcare costs.
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Medicare Part A & B with Plan G
One of the standout benefits of Plan G is coverage for Medicare Part A deductible and hospital costs. You’re safeguarded for an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted, an added layer of protection that can be a game-changer in case of prolonged hospitalization.
Plan G also fully covers Medicare Part B excess charges, a feature not common among all Medigap plans including Medicare Plan N which is becoming increasingly popular. These are additional charges levied by healthcare providers who do not accept Medicare assignment, and they can stack up quickly.
With Plan G, you can rest easy knowing you’re protected from these unexpected costs.
Foreign travel emergency care is another critical advantage of Plan G. Imagine needing urgent medical attention while traveling overseas – an often overlooked risk. Plan G covers 80% of emergency healthcare costs during foreign travels up to plan limits, a reassuring benefit for avid globetrotters.
Medicare Plan G extends coverage to skilled nursing facility care coinsurance and Medicare Part A and B coinsurance or copayments, thereby easing the burden of regular healthcare costs. Moreover, the first three pints of blood for a medical procedure are also covered, which can significantly alleviate financial stress during critical times.
Medicare Plan F vs Plan G
Many people reading this likely still have Medicare Supplement Plan F, and are looking to save money but still want great coverage.
Medicare supplement plan F pays 100% of the gaps in Medicare. Including that Medicare Part B deductible that you must pay on plan G.
While 100% coverage might sound good, in reality, you’re paying extra money for Plan F for almost no extra benefit.
Medicare Part B deductible
The only difference between Plan G and Plan F is who pays the Medicare Part B deductible. Technically you pay the deductible with both.
With Plan F, you pay higher premiums to have the deductible paid for you (with your money). On Plan G, you will get billed the deductible and pay it yourself.
So would you ever give someone extra money and hand over your checkbook to them to write the check?
You can do this yourself and save money with Plan G.
Medicare Supplement Plan G Cost
In 2024, the cost of Medicare Supplement Plan G varies depending on several factors. Age, location, gender, tobacco usage, and the insurance company all play a role in determining your premium.
The most common pricing model is attained-age-rated, meaning the premium is based on your current age and increases as you grow older. For instance, a 65-year-old might pay an annual premium of around $1,200-$1,400 in 2024, but this could increase to $1,800-$2,200 by the time they turn 75.
Geographical location is another key determinant. Insurers usually charge more in areas with high living costs. Therefore, a Plan G policy in New York City would be pricier than one in rural Texas.
Gender and tobacco usage also influence the premium. Typically, females and non-smokers benefit from lower premiums due to their lower risk profiles.
The insurance company chosen has a significant impact on the cost. Each insurance provider has unique pricing methodologies, administrative costs, and discounts, all of which can influence the final premium.
Medicare Plan G Enrollment
Lastly, the time you enroll in Plan G matters. The best time to sign up is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period when you’re guaranteed coverage irrespective of your health condition. Post this period, insurers can charge higher premiums or deny coverage based on health status.
While Medicare Supplement Plan G offers expansive benefits, it’s crucial to understand its cost to budget accordingly. We can easily see what your best options are for Plan G in your area. Just give us a call today.
Medigap Plan G – FAQs
What is Medicare Plan G?
Medicare Plan G, also known as Medigap Plan G, is a supplemental insurance plan that covers out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B). It provides extensive coverage, only excluding the Medicare Part B deductible.
What benefits does Medicare Plan G cover?
Medicare Plan G covers the Medicare Part A deductible, hospital and hospice costs beyond Original Medicare, skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, Medicare Part B excess charges, and 80% of foreign travel emergency care up to plan limits. It also covers the first three pints of blood used in a
Does Medicare Plan G cover prescription drugs?
No, Medicare Plan G doesn’t cover prescription drugs. For prescription coverage, you would need to enroll in a separate Medicare Part D plan.
What doesn’t Medicare Plan G cover?
The main cost not covered by Medicare Plan G is the Medicare Part B deductible. It also doesn’t cover routine vision, dental, or hearing care, long-term care, or private nursing.
How much does Medicare Plan G cost?
The cost varies based on several factors like age, gender, location, tobacco usage, and the insurance company. As of 2024, a 65-year-old might pay around $1,200-$1,400 per year.
When can I enroll in Medicare Plan G?
The best time to enroll is during the six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins on the first day of the month when you’re both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Is Medicare Plan G worth it?
This depends on individual needs. Plan G offers comprehensive coverage, making it a good choice for those wanting extensive protection against out-of-pocket costs.
Can I switch from Plan F to Plan G?
Yes, but your acceptance may depend on medical underwriting outside the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. You might pay a higher premium or be denied coverage based on your health status.
Does Medicare Plan G cover dental?
No, Medicare Plan G doesn’t cover routine dental care. You would need to purchase a separate dental plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes dental coverage.
Is Plan G better than Plan N?
Both have their strengths. Plan G offers more extensive coverage, but Plan N generally has lower premiums. The best plan for you depends on your healthcare needs and financial situation.
Russell Noga is the CEO of Medisupps.com, an online Medicare Agency and resource center helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medigap and Part D drug plans, and Medicare Advantage plans since 2009. Russell is licensed in all 50 states and has been featured as a keynote speaker, and author of several publications, along with hosting the very popular Medisupps.com Youtube channel.