If you are turning 65 and shopping for Medicare, you may need Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, as well. Medigap is private insurance available for those who choose Original Medicare and don’t have other coverage such as union, employment, or retiree benefits. It fulfills much the same purpose as choosing a Medicare Advantage policy—to lower your out-of-pocket expenses– without being an HMO or PPO that dictates which doctors or facilities you use.
The most popular Medicare Supplement plans are certainly Plan F, and Plan G. In the past premiums between the two were relatively close which made Plan F the most popular plan. This is due to the fact that Plan F offers 100% coverage of the gaps in Medicare.
On Plan G, you must first pay the annual Part B deductible ($183 in 2017) yourself out-of-pocket-. Once that is paid, Plan G is just like Plan F paying 100% of the gaps. The premiums between the two have a wide range however, depending on which company you choose and what part of the country you’re in.
More often than not, Plan G will actually save you money due to lower premiums. Even if you factor in having to pay the annual Part B deductible yourself on Plan G, often you will still save money by doing this.
Watch the Quick Video Below to Learn Why Plan G Might be Best over Plan F
Unlike Medicare Advantage, Medigap is not part of a Medicare plan, so you will have a separate monthly premium. Your Medicare coinsurance and copayments will be paid for, plus you’ll have extra coverage for things like hospital stays up to 365 days after Medicare benefits end.
Open Enrollment refers to the six month period beginning on the first day of your birthday month when you turn 65. If you do not join Medicare Part B right away then this period begins later. During open enrollment, insurance companies cannot refuse to admit you to a plan they sell based on your medical conditions or impose a waiting period.
There are 10 standard Medigap policies to choose from, Plans A to N, with varying features and prices. Each insurer decides which plans to sell and sets its own prices, so shop around. There are several ways prices are set but everyone in each group pays the same amount. Plans K through N have lower premiums and higher out-of-pocket expenses.
Click below to get a rate comparison to see the difference of Plan F vs. Plan G Rates
Some plans, such as Plan C, D, F, G and to an extent N, cover hospital deductibles and limited emergency expenses during foreign travel. Plans F and Medicare Supplement plan G also cover doctor fees that exceed Medicare benefits, known as excess charges. Plans C and F cover medical deductibles.
As you can see, Plan F has the most features, but you may not need all of them. The difference between Plan F and Plan G is the coverage of your medical deductible, which is $147 for 2013. Since Plan F is usually more expensive, even when you add the cost of the deductible to the Plan G premiums, it only saves you money if you do not need the deductible. The lower monthly premiums may be worth it to you.