What is Medicare Plan G?
When people talk about Medicare Plan G, they are referring to the Medicare Supplement Plan G. It can also be called a Medigap Plan G. Plan G is on its way to becoming the most popular Supplement Plan.
2020, is the first year that people newly aging into Medicare cannot choose a supplement that covers the Medicare Part B Deductible. This included Plans F and Plan C. However, people who have already turned 65 before January 1, 2020 can still choose a plan F or C at any point going forward. They are considered “grandfathered in.”
Although, people age 65 before January 1, 2020 can still choose a Plan F or Plan C, it doesn’t mean that they should. These plans may get more expensive at a faster rate since they cannot enroll younger beneficiaries into them going forward. It makes sense then for everyone to learn about Plan G and all the other plans that are still available to everyone in Medicare.
What Does Medicare Plan G Cover?
Medicare Plan G is a Medigap Plan. This means it picks up the charges and fees that original Medicare does not cover.
Medicare Supplemental Options
Traditionally, Medicare covers about 80% of Medicare approved services. As a result, Medicare Beneficiaries are either left to cover the other 20% by themselves, or to supplement their Medicare insurance with an additional plan.
- They can either pick a Medigap Plan, also called a Supplement, or they can opt for a “Part C” Medicare Advantage Plan.
- You can learn more about Medicare Advantage vs Medigap Plans here.
Here is a list of the charges and fees that Plan G 100% covers, where Original Medicare leaves off:
- Part A Coinsurance
- Medicare Part A Deductible
- All Part B Co-payments and Coinsurance
- Medicare Part B Excess Charges
- The First 3 Pints of Blood
- Foreign Travel Emergencies (up to plan limit)
- Hospice Care Coinsurance
- Skilled Nursing Facilities Coinsurance
What Does Medicare Plan G Not Cover?
- What Plan G does not cover is the Medicare Part B Deductible. As of 2020, no one aging into Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, can apply for a supplement that covers the Part B Deductible.
Why? Well, the U.S. Legistlature passed a bill called the MACRA bill, or “The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015”, that said so. It is a small attempt to keep Medicare costs lower for tax payers and assure our system is sustainable for future generations. Will it be enough? Who knows, that is beyond this article.
Plan G vs Plan F
Plan F and Plan G both have the most extensive coverage out of all the Medigap Plans. They cover 100% of the costs that Medicare leaves behind (minus the Part B Deductible for Plan G).
Even though this is the only difference between these two plans, Plan G’s will often be much less expensive to buy than Plan F’s – even after you take the Part B Deductible into consideration.
Why? The reason for this is mostly due to the fact that Plan G’s can enroll newer, younger (and hopefully, healthier) Medicare Beneficiaries into their plans. In contrast, Plan F’s will now have a shrinking pool of people to choose from as people age.
Plan F’s are not going away, as many millions of Medicare Beneficiaries still have them, but they may have steeper price increases each year – relative to other plans.
Conclusions and Actions
In summary, Medicare Plan G is a good replacement for Plan F, and offers the most comprehensive Medicare coverage available to people just now aging into Medicare.
Remember, Plan F is only available to people who already turned 65 before January 1, 2020. However, people in Plan F might benefit from seeing if they can get Medically underwritten into a Plan G as its premiums might be cheaper. In addition, Plan G’s premiums will most likely raise at a slower pace than Plan F’s as G can enroll new people.
How to Choose Which Supplement and Which Insurance Company
Each private insurance company will offer the same coverage for each letter plan. However, each company will offer different prices for different markets. For this reason, we recommend you speak to an independent insurance agent to discover what is available to you in your area of the country.