Medicare Supplement Plan G – Our Most Popular Plan
Medicare Supplement Plan G, often called the “better value plan” is one of the most popular Medicare plans today. In fact, Plan G is the most popular plan we sell here at Sams/Hockaday & Associates.
Clients often ask us about what Plan G covers, how much Plan G costs, if Plan G is better than Plan F, and so much more. Let’s go over everything you need to know about Plan G.
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What’s the correct terminology for Plan G?
We see all kinds of terms in the Medicare world, and Plan G has a ton, including:
- Medigap Plan G
- Medicare Supplement Plan G
- Medicare Plan G
- Part G
- Medicare Part G
… the list goes on and on.
First and foremost, it’s Plan G – not Part G. Medicare Supplements are plans. Medicare has parts. Folks in our industry joke that it’s alphabet soup, and it really is!
Secondly, Medicare Supplement and Medigap mean the same thing. These terms are used interchangeably. The idea is these plans supplement your existing Medicare coverage – they fill in the coverage “gaps.” That’s where the terms came from.
The term Medicare Supplement is slightly more popular and is used more often than Medigap. However, both terms are correct.
As of 2020, there are 12 different Medicare Supplements plans, including:
- Plan A
- Plan B
- Plan D
- Plan G – most popular
- High-Deductible Plan G
- Plan K
- Plan L
- Plan M
- Plan N – gaining traction
- Plan C*
- Plan F* – used to be the most popular
- High-Deductible Plan F*
*A new law called MACRA went into effect January 1, 2020. This law is phasing out Plans F, High-Deductible F, and C. If you turned 65 before January 1, 2020, you’re still able to purchase these plans. However, if you turned 65 after January 1, 2020, you cannot.
You can read more about this here: Medigap Plan F: What You Need to Know Before 2020
Medicare has four different parts – Part A, B, C, and D. We won’t get into that now, because it's another subject entirely, but you can read more about that on our Parts of Medicare page.
What does Plan G pay for?
Plan G supplements Original Medicare by covering the following:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
- Part B coinsurance, which is 20%
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductible, which is $1,408 in 2020
- Part B excess charges
- 80% of foreign travel exchange, up to plan limits
Remember that Medicare Supplements supplement Original Medicare, so in general, they won’t be paying for anything Medicare doesn’t already cover.
Does Medigap Plan G cover chiropractic?
As a general rule of thumb, Medicare Supplements help supplement what Original Medicare covers. So, if Medicare doesn’t cover something, the supplement doesn’t either.
We get asked a lot about chiropractic care; unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover care at the chiropractor, at least for the most part.
Dr. Jamaal Rahman, DC, a chiropractor at Stout Chiropractic in Normal, IL, breaks that down for us and explains that Medicare covers one thing and one thing only: the chiropractic adjustment.
In order for Medicare to help pay for that adjustment, you need to have an active problem, like chronic lower back pain.
If you have a Plan G, this adjustment would be free to you (aside from your Part B deductible of $198).
Any other chiropractic services you might need – like X-rays, massage therapy, maintenance care, preventative wellness, and acupuncture – are not covered at all by Medicare, which means they aren’t covered by Plan G.
Does Medicare Plan G cover dental and vision?
Medicare Supplements do not cover dental and vision expenses in almost all cases. Original Medicare doesn’t, which means supplements don’t either.
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans often do include extra benefits like dental and vision but remember this is simply an extra. It’s important to compare the core coverage of an MA plan against a Medicare Supplement when choosing your health insurance in retirement.
Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover Silver Sneakers®?
SilverSneakers® is a free health and fitness program included with many Medicare insurance plans. If you buy a Medicare plan that includes a SilverSneakers® benefit, you get free access to over 16,000 fitness locations in the United States.
Medicare Supplements do not offer the SilverSneakers® program. While Medicare Supplements theoretically could offer this benefit, we don’t know of any that do.
Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, commonly offer a free gym membership as part of their added benefits.
Don’t choose a plan based solely on the fact that it has a free fitness benefit, though. Remember that the purpose of a Medicare health plan is to provide you with great health benefits! Be sure to consider your deductible, copays, and out-of-pocket maximum before settling on a plan.
While there are a few Medicare Advantage options here in Decatur, IL, they aren’t very competitive. We often see much better options for folks in larger cities.
What does Plan G not cover?
It’s important to remember that Medicare Supplements help supplement Original Medicare. That means your supplement won’t be covering any items, tests, treatments, or services Original Medicare doesn’t already cover.
Plan G will not cover the following:
- Long-term care
- Most dental care
- Eye exams for glasses or contacts
- Cosmetic surgery
- Hearing aids
Plan G does help cover your Part A deductible as well as your copays and coinsurance.
Take advantage of the free “What’s covered” app from Medicare. You can type in any kind of medical care and get information on whether or not Medicare covers it. If Medicare covers it, your supplement will pay its portion.
Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer at least the same coverage as Original Medicare, so this app can also tell you if your MA plan will cover an item, test, treatment, or service.
How much does Medigap Plan G cost?
Plan G is often referred to as a better value plan. It has great coverage, but it doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B deductible, which is $198 in 2020. Plan F does cover that deductible, but you pay more premium for it.
Here’s an example showing how Plan G is the better value compared to Plan F:
You can see here that companies are charging you a premium – pun intended – for that $0 deductible. When we compare “apples to apples,” we can see that Plan G is the better value, saving you $64 in premium for the same coverage.
Plus, if you don’t reach your deductible, you save even more.
The cost of Plan G varies based on a few factors, including:
- Your age
- Where you live (based on zip code)
- Tobacco or non-tobacco
If you have to go through underwriting, you could also end up paying a higher premium due to your health. (If you are new to Medicare or qualify for a Guaranteed Issue situation, you do not have to go through medical underwriting.)
Pricing also varies from company to company. We represent over 30 Medigap companies, so we can always find you the best pricing.
In central Illinois, a Plan G typically ranges from $96-$160 with younger females being on the lower end and older males being on the higher end.
Plan G prices can reach close to $400 from some companies – that’s why it’s so important to price shop! You never want to be stuck overpaying on premium, because a Plan G is a Plan G, no matter which company you have.
What is the monthly premium for Medicare Plan G?
Medicare Supplement Plan G premiums vary based on age, gender, your zip code, and more.
Make sure to Get a Quote for accurate pricing, but here are a few examples* in Decatur, IL:
- 65-year-old female: $100
- 70-year-old male: $120
- 75-year-old female: $125
- 80-year-old male: $170
*Quotes are subject to change, please contact us for a personalized quote
Many retirees are shocked when they realize just how affordable health insurance is in retirement. It’s finally time to enjoy the Medicare benefits you’ve been contributing to for so long, and a Medicare Supplement can offset your potential financial risks.
Plan G is our most popular plan, both for its depth of coverage and its affordable monthly premium.
What is the deductible for Plan G in 2020?
Medicare Supplement Plan G has a deductible of $198 in 2020. That deductible is the Medicare Part B deductible, which Plan G does not cover.
The Part B deductible can change each year, so it may be more in 2021.
Does Plan G have rate increases?
All Medicare Supplements have rate increases over time. It’s fairly typical to see at least one rate increase per year, if not two.
However, Plan G’s rate increase trend is slightly lower than Plan F. It’s fairly typical to see a Plan F take a 7-8% rate increase, while a Plan G can be closer to 3-4%.
Plan N’s rate increase trend is even lower than that.
Regardless of which Medicare Supplement you choose, you will experience rate increases. We help avoid those increases as much as we can by doing annual policy reviews and price shopping the other carriers on the market.
If we can find you a lower premium, we’ll help you transition to the more competitive carrier. Keep in mind you do need to health qualify to switch carriers outside of your open enrollment or if you don't qualify due to a Guaranteed Issue situation.
- Taylor Thomas Saves Client Over $1,200 On Her Medicare Supplement
- Michael Sams Helps Couple Save $960 On Medigap Plan G
- Helen's premiums went up, so she took action
- This couple saved over $1200 on their Medicare Supplement
Is Medicare Plan G going away?
Medicare Supplement Plan G is not going away. However, Plan F is currently being phased out.
In 2015, Congress passed a pretty lengthy bill called the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 – it also goes by MACRA.
Essentially, this bill makes it illegal for Medigap policies to cover the Medicare Part B deductible to Medicare beneficiaries who are newly eligible on or after January 1, 2020.
That means Plan F (and Plan C and High-Deductible Plan F) cannot be purchased by people who are newly eligible to Medicare starting in 2020.
You can read more about that here: Medigap Plan F: What You Need to Know Before 2020
Is Medicare Plan G better than Plan F?
Medicare Supplement Plan G is more popular than Plan F in our agency, but is it better? That’s really up to you!
Plan F covers everything Medicare leaves behind – in other words, you’ll have no out-of-pocket costs at all as long as the medical expense is approved by Medicare.
Plan G does the same thing, except you are responsible for the $198 Part B deductible.
Plan F’s premium is almost always more than $198 when compared to a Plan G, so you’re paying extra to have no deductible.
That convenience is really attractive to some people, but others prefer to save on premium. The choice is yours, but you may not have a choice if you’re new to Medicare.
Plan F is no longer available for Medicare beneficiaries who are newly eligible on or after January 1, 2020.
If you turn 65 after January 1, 2020, you’re better off comparing Medicare Supplement Plan G to Plan N. You also may take a look at the Lasso Healthcare MSA, which is a type of Medicare Advantage plan.
Is Plan G the best?
This is subjective, but Plan G is certainly the most popular plan we sell to our clients in Decatur, IL.
Plan F used to be the plan of choice, but now that Plan F is being phased out, Plan G is quick to take its place.
Plan N is also gaining popularity, but it does have copays when you visit the doctor or emergency room. While there is a savings in premium, many clients don’t like copays and prefer the simplicity of Plan G.
Should I switch from Plan F to Plan G?
If you have a Plan F, you can keep it! There’s no law stating you must switch from a Plan F to a Plan G.
However, some clients do switch from Plan F to Plan G to save money. For example, Taylor Thomas was able to save her client over $1,200 per year in premium by switching from an F to a G.
The coverage is identical except for the Medicare Part B deductible, and the premium savings can be significant.
What is the most popular Medigap plan?
According to Consumer Reports, Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan on the market.
However, as Plan F begins to phase out for new Medicare enrollees, Plan G is quickly becoming the plan of choice. Other than Plan F, Plan G has the most comprehensive coverage of all the Medigap plans.
Plan G is our most popular plan, and we expect it to become the most popular Medicare Supplement plan nationwide as Plan F phases out.
We get a lot of similar questions about Medicare Supplement Plan G, and rightly so! Medicare is confusing, and we try to simplify it and answer as many questions as we can here on the website. If there are any questions you may still have about Medigap Plan G, please get in touch with us!
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