Original Medicare, which is made up of Medicare Parts A and B, pays for a portion of the health care services you may need. However, it does not cover the cost of everything, and you may have to pay some things out of pocket. Thankfully, Medicare Supplement plans can help with this. These plans fill in some of the “gaps” in Original Medicare and will help you save money in the long run by paying for certain Medicare deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and other costs. Two of the most comprehensive Medicare supplement plans are Plan F & Plan G. In order to decide if one of these plans might be a good fit for you, you will need to explore what they cover and how much they cost.
Medicare Supplement Plan F
Medicare Supplement Plan F is one of the most popular Medicare Supplement Plans because it offers the most coverage out of all of them. But unfortunately, it’s no longer available to everyone on Medicare.
When compared to the other Medicare Supplement Plans that are currently available, Medicare Supplement Plan F has the most benefits and fills the coverage “gaps” left by Medicare Parts A and B best. For a low monthly premium, this plan lets you go to a doctor’s office or hospital, get approved treatment, and leave without paying anything out of pocket.
Plan F also covers other Medicare-approved expenses that aren’t related to Parts A or B. This includes coverage for emergencies that happen while you’re traveling abroad and coinsurance for skilled nursing facilities. Plan F is also notable because it is one of only two plans that covers Medicare Part B excess charges.
Plan F can only be bought if you had qualified for Medicare before December 31, 2019. Anyone who has become eligible after that date is unable to purchase Plan F. Even if you qualify, it can be a lot more expensive than other Medicare Supplement Plans, so you may end up spending more than the value of the extra coverage you’d get.
What Plan F Covers
As was said above, Medicare Supplement Plan F covers all of the services that Medicare Parts A and B cover, but with less out-of-pocket costs. If your doctor accepts Original Medicare and it is your main insurance, Medicare Supplement Plan F will cover everything that Original Medicare doesn’t. That includes:
- Part A hospital deductible and coinsurance
- Hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Blood (the first 3 pints)
- Other Medicare-approved expenses associated with Part A hospitalization
- Medicare Part B 20% coinsurance and copayments
- Medicare-approved doctor’s office fees
- Part B deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- Other Medicare-approved expenses associated with Part B coverage
Plan F Costs
Medicare Supplement Plan F may have higher premiums than other Medicare Supplement Plans, but that’s because it has the most benefits compared to the plans. Medicare Supplement Plan F costs about $230 per month on average, but premiums can be anywhere from $150 to $400 per month or more. This is because many things can affect the price of your premium, such as your zip code, gender, age, whether or not you smoke, and so on.
Medicare Supplement Plan G
Plan G is one of the best options for people who don’t qualify for Plan F. Medicare Supplement Plan G is a top choice for anyone who has Medicare. If you choose Medicare Supplement Plan G, your out-of-pocket costs will usually be a fraction of what they would be if you only had Original Medicare, since you will only be paying one low premium price. Then, once you’ve paid your annual Part B deductible, the rest of your health care costs for the rest of the year will be covered in full.
What Plan G Covers
Medicare Supplement Plan G covers a wide range of services and helps you save money when you use Medicare-approved medical services. As previously mentioned, one of the best things about Plan G is that it pays for all Medicare-related costs after your Part B deductible has been met. Many other Medicare Supplement Plans, on the other hand, require you to pay more out-of-pocket costs after you’ve paid your Medicare Part B deductible.
All of this means that because Medicare Supplement Plan G covers a great quantity, it helps you keep your out-of-pocket costs low. Here’s a breakdown of exactly what’s covered:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
- Part A deductible
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Part B coinsurance or copayment
- Part B excess charges (if a provider is permitted to charge more than Medicare’s approved amount and does so)
- Blood transfusion (first 3 pints)
Plan G Costs
Plan G costs different amounts depending on where you live, your age, whether or not you smoke, and your gender. For example, the monthly premiums for Medicare Supplement Plans are usually higher in places where the cost of living is higher. So, the monthly premiums for Medicare Supplement Plan G are usually between $100 and $300.
How They Compare
Plan F and Plan G are two of the most popular Medicare Supplement plans that people who qualify for Medicare can choose from. Both plans cover costs in addition to what Original Medicare does, but there are some differences between them that you should think about when deciding which one is best for you. Looking above you’ll notice they cover a lot of the same things:
- Part A deductible
- Part A coinsurance
- Part B coinsurance or copayment
- The first three pints of blood used in a transfusion
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance or copayment costs
- Hospice care coinsurance or copayment costs
- Medicare excess charges (up to 15% more than the amount Medicare says a service is worth)
- Foreign travel emergencies
Plan F covers the annual Medicare Part B deductible, but Plan G does not. This is the main difference between the two plans. Even though Original Medicare Part B deductibles are getting more expensive over time, it may still make financial sense to choose Plan G because it usually has a lower monthly premium than Plan F.
Plan F and Plan G have similar coverage, but Plan G is the most complete Medicare Supplement plan for new Medicare recipients. This is another important difference between the two.
Plans F and C are no longer available to new Medicare recipients because of new laws passed by the federal government. You can still apply for Plan F if it’s available where you live and if you were eligible for Medicare before 12/31/19. You are able to keep using Plan F if you obtained it before 2020.
Pros and Cons
As with all insurance options, Plan F and Plan G come with both advantages and disadvantages. So let’s take a look at what these are.
- Plan F is the best Medigap plan because it covers more Medicare-approved costs at 100% than any other plan. It also gives you the option of choosing a high deductible, which lets you pay lower premiums while still being covered for all approved costs once you’ve met your deductible.
- Plan G covers almost all of the same approved Medicare health care costs as Plan F, except for the annual deductible for Medicare Part B. Before your insurance pays for Part B, you will have to pay for it out of your own pocket. Still, the premiums may be cheaper than Plan F, depending on where you live and how much coverage you want. Plan G also has a version with a high deductible that usually has even cheaper monthly premiums.
- Unfortunately, both plans don’t cover prescription drugs. Original Medicare recipients can add a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, which only covers prescription drugs, or they can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan (also called Medicare Part C), which covers their Original Medicare health benefits and may cover prescription drugs.
- If you choose the version of either plan with a high deductible, you may have to pay more due to the need for more money up front before any coverage is able to begin.
Which is better?
Plan F covers a little bit more than Plan G, but not by much. Its premiums and deductibles are higher than those of Part G. In the end, the best choice will depend on what you need and how much money you are able to spend. If you are thinking about either plan, you should talk to a Medicare agent to find out which one they feel is best for you.
Should I switch from Plan F to Plan G?
It can be a good idea to switch from Plan F to Plan G depending on your needs. If you switch to Plan G, which is usually less expensive than Plan F, you may save money on premiums. In the end, it depends on what you need and how much money you have. You can switch plans at any time, but if you don’t have “guaranteed issue rights,” the insurance company can use “medical underwriting” to figure out how much your premiums will be and may even refuse to cover you.
Why Is Plan F Discontinued?
Federal law says that Medicare Supplement plans can no longer pay for the Medicare Part B deductible. The goal of the change is to cut down on visits to the doctor that might not be necessary, which will save money on health care.
Working With EZ
When looking for a Medicare Supplement Plan, it’s important to compare the costs and benefits of each one. That means you’ll have to do a lot of research. Which can be time consuming as you’ll have to call multiple insurance companies to get price quotes. However, if you work with an agent from EZ, you can compare prices in half the time. Working with a licensed agent gives you access to many Medicare Supplement Plan carriers and plans in one place. In addition to giving you price comparisons, your agent can tell you how each plan is different. Also, your agent can help you compare out-of-pocket costs with premium costs to figure out which plan will save you the most money over time. Call us today at 877-670-3602. Or enter your zip code in the bar below to start looking for a Medicare Supplement Plan.