While traveling out of town recently, I injured by thumb in my hotel room. There was an on call doctor that would come to the hotel for an upfront fee of $225. The other option was an emergency care center. I opted for the latter. After seeing the nurse, having x-rays and given a prescription, the charge was $0. I used my Medicare Plan B and my Aetna Supplement Plan G!
I chose Plan G after much research about Medicare before turning 65. Selecting Plan G was easy once I learned that people whose birthday is December 31,1954 (turning 65 on December 31, 2019) may be the last group able to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F. After January 1, 2020, you will not be able to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan C, one of the closest alternatives to Plan F, either, since it also covers the Part B deductible. If you already have Plan F, you can keep it. The law only affects new enrollees.
What is Plan G?
Medigap Plan G is a high-benefit plan that is commonly overlooked for the more-popular Plan F. However, Plan G is very similar to Plan F and may be cheaper in some cases.
Comparing benefits and cost
Both Plan G and Plan F provide high levels of coverage. Plan F includes all 9 Medigap benefits. Plan G has the same coverage except it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible, which is $183 in 2018.
The following chart compares benefits for the two plans.
|Medicare Supplement benefits||F||G|
|Part A hospital care co-insurance & costs||√||√|
|Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment||√||√|
|Part B co-insurance or co-payment||√||√|
|First 3 pints of blood||√||√|
|Part A deductible||√||√|
|Part A skilled nursing care co-insurance||√||√|
|Part B deductible||√|
|Part B excess charges||√||√|
|Foreign travel emergency||√||√|
This small difference in benefits between Plan G and Plan F makes a huge impact when consumers choose a Medigap plan.
Plan F usually comes with a higher cost than Plan G.
Plan G and Plan F monthly premiums can differ by $30 in states such as Texas. When you do the math, you can understand why. If you pay $30 more a month to have Plan F instead of Plan G, you’d be paying an extra $360 a year for an extra $183 in coverage in 2018.
However, the price gap between Plan F and Plan G may not always be so large. The prices you are quoted will differ depending on the insurance company and your personal details.
On a national scale, Plan G is still less expensive than Plan F, but only by about $12 a month, according to a 2010 statistical report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Premiums can vary widely depending on the insurance company and the state in which you live.
Consider all of the options before choosing. I chose Plan G, and I am glad I did!