Medigap Plan G – If you are new to Medicare and have started looking at your insurance options, it’s pretty likely that Plan G has shown up a time or two – and for good reason! Plan G is one of the most comprehensive Medigap plans on the market, offering excellent benefits and reducing your out-of-pocket costs to next to nothing. Anyone who chooses to enroll in Plan G can rest assured they have some of the best insurance out there.
But, don’t take our word for it! You should learn the ins and outs of Plan G before deciding if it’s a good option for you. Today, we’re going to take you through everything you should know about the plan.
What is a Medigap plan?
First, we should probably discuss what a Medigap plan even is! Medigap plans are also called Medicare supplement plans and are one of two ways Medicare beneficiaries can add benefits to the ones found in Original Medicare. Original Medicare consists of Part A and Part B.
Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (outpatient insurance) offer great coverage. However, they leave enrollees with quite a few out-of-pocket costs. Let’s take a minute to look at those.
The deductible for Part A is currently $1,556 per benefit period, which basically means for each inpatient admission. Other than the deductible, you won’t have any coinsurance costs for the first 60 days of an inpatient stay. Starting on day 61, you’ll pay $389 per day. On day 91, your benefits are exhausted unless you have any lifetime reserve days to use. Even if you do, you’ll still pay $778 per day.
The annual deductible for Part B is currently $233. Once that has been paid, you’ll be responsible for approximately 20% of the cost for services. What is important to know here is that neither A nor B have any out-of-pocket limits. You could be responsible for tens of thousands of dollars under Parts A and B alone. Ouch!
For those reasons, many people choose to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan, which will act as your secondary insurance plan. After Parts A and B pay, the claim is sent on to your Medigap plan. The amount it pays depends on which of the policies you have.
There are about ten Medigap plans available, plus two high-deductible versions. Plans are labeled by a letter of the alphabet and include Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. The plans are standardized, so no matter which company sells you the policy, it will be the same. Medigap plans do not change from one year to the next.
What are the benefits of Plan G?
Now let’s talk specifically about Plan G! Plan G includes coverage for the following:
- Part A deductible
- Part A coinsurance and an additional 365 days of hospital costs
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A hospice coinsurance/copayment
- Part B coinsurance/copayment
- Part B excess charges
- First 3 pints of blood
- 80% of foreign travel emergencies
Notice the missing piece? Plan G does not include payment for the Part B deductible. Outside of that, all remaining costs are covered. Now you know why it’s so popular!
What isn’t covered by Plan G?
There are a couple of other considerations to ponder before you enroll in Plan G. There are a few things outside of your general medical expenses that are not included in coverage under Plan G or any other Medicare supplement insurance plan.
You will need to enroll in a separate Part D prescription drug plan. Medicare Part B includes some coverage for injectable prescriptions but does not cover any drugs you would typically get filled at your local pharmacy. Even if you are not currently taking any medications, you need to enroll in a Part D plan to avoid paying a penalty later.
Original Medicare and Medigap plans do not include coverage for routine vision, hearing, or dental services. In some cases, such as trauma, you’ll have limited benefits. But to have preventive or restorative dental care, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and other routine exams covered, you’ll need to enroll in additional coverage like a Dental, Vision, Hearing (DVH) plan. However, you will not be penalized if you choose to forgo this type of coverage.
How much does Plan G cost?
On average, Plan G premiums run between $120 and $200 per month. However, there are several factors that can impact those premiums.
Age: Younger individuals pay less than older ones since the thought is that our medical costs get more expensive as we age.
Gender: Men pay more than women.
Location: Individuals who live in areas with a higher cost of living will pay more than people in more rural areas.
Tobacco use: If you use any form of tobacco, including vaping, you will pay more for a Medigap plan.
Discounts: Discounts vary among insurance companies. Some offer discounts if your spouse enrolls in the same plan, while others give discounts for simply living with someone else of a certain age.
Generally speaking, you should expect your Medigap premium to increase once each year. Some policies and carriers increase at faster rates than others. Recently, Plan G has had an average annual increase between 4% and 6%.
How To Enroll In Medigap Plan G
Once you have enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you can enroll in a Medicare supplement plan. You can enroll directly through an insurance company, or you can work with an independent insurance agent who can look at rates across many different companies. An agent can also look at the carrier’s history of rate increases to make sure your current premium won’t increase drastically shortly after having the plan.
If you’re ready to enroll or would like to know more about your Medicare options, give us a call today. Our agents are experts in all things Medicare, so we can answer any question you have and then get you enrolled in a plan when you’re ready. There is no cost to use our services, so call to schedule an appointment today!