As you probably know, Medicare Parts A and B don’t pay all your healthcare costs – you’re still responsible for co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance. But if you have Medicare Supplement Plan G, virtually all of those costs will be paid for. Plan G is just one of 10 Medicare Supplement, or “Medigap” plans that are available.
Medicare Plan G Coverage
Medicare Plan G offers many benefits beyond what you get with Medicare alone. Plan G will typically pay for:
- Another 365 days in the hospital after your Medicare Part A benefits have run out.
- Your coinsurance for doctor visits, tests and other medical services under Medicare Part B. Medicare usually pays 80 percent; Plan G picks up the other 20.
- The Medicare Part A deductible ($1340 in 2018).
- Your coinsurance for hospice care.
- Your coinsurance for skilled nursing care.
- Three pints of blood.
- Travel emergencies, within limits.
Plan G is also one of only two Medicare Supplement plans that pays Medicare Part B Excess Charges. If you see a healthcare provider that does not accept Medicare’s rate as full payment for services, then in most states the provider can charge you an extra 15 percent as “excess charges.” Excess charges are not covered by Medicare Part B, but they are covered by Plan G and Plan F.
Eligibility for Medigap if You are 65 and Older
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B because you are 65 or older, you can apply for any Medigap plan, including Plan G. If you submit your application during the six-month period that begins with the first month you are at least 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B, you are guaranteed to be accepted and your health won’t be a factor in the amount of your premium. This is also true if you apply at one of the other specific times when you have guaranteed issue rights.
You can apply for Plan G even if you don’t qualify for guaranteed issue rights, but insurance companies will take your overall health into account in deciding whether to accept you and how high your premium will be.
Plan G Eligibility for Disabled People Under 65
Some states require insurance companies to make Medicare Supplement policies available to people under 65 and disabled. If policies are offered in your state, your choices may be limited. Coverage for people under 65 is typically much more expensive than it is for people 65 and older.
Medicare Supplement Plan G Reviews
Plan G has become increasingly popular for its combination of robust coverage and relatively low premiums. Many people find that Plan G is a good value compared to the most popular Plan, F. Here’s how Plan G stacks up against Plan F, and another popular plan, Plan C.
Plan G vs Plan F
Plan F offers the most complete coverage of any Medigap plan. It has all the benefits of Plan G, plus one more: it pays the annual Medicare Part B deductible ($183 in 2018). With Plan F, you have the fewest possible out of pocket costs. However, Plan F typically has more expensive premiums than Plan G, and it has tended to have higher rate increases than Plan G.
Plan G vs Plan C
Plan C has many of the same features as Plan G, but there are two differences:
- Plan C covers the Medicare Part B deductible, but Plan G does not
- Plan G covers Medicare excess charges, but plan C does not
Both Plan C and Plan G offer fewer benefits than Plan F, and therefore they tend to have lower monthly premiums. If you are trying to decide between Plan G and Plan C, consider which is more valuable to you: having the $183 Part B deductible covered, or being protected against Medicare excess charges.