A, B, D, F, G…? What Do All These Different Letters Mean?
Basic Medicare is made up of Part A, which covers the costs of inpatient hospital stays, Part B, which covers the costs of doctor visits and outpatient hospital treatments, and Part D, which covers prescription costs. Each of these plans leaves patients with a certain amount of copay and coinsurance to pay on their own. There are also deductibles, coverage gaps, and donut holes during which costs go up; sometimes patients must pay 100% of the bill on their own. This can quickly become overwhelming and a burden financially.
Why a Medigap Coverage Plan is a Smart Choice
Medigap plans help to pay for some of those costs that Medicare does not cover. This can help relieve some of the overall financial burden that may come with your medical needs. Part G, one of these Medigap or Medicare Supplement programs, is one of the more comprehensive supplement plans available, although its coverage is not as complete as Plan F. Plan F, however, has higher premiums and higher rate increases from year to year. For this reason, Plan G is becoming more and more popular. It offers great coverage at what many consider a more comfortable overall price.
For example, Medigap Part G covers:
- Hospitalization benefits, including the Part A coinsurance. Medicare Supplement Plan G also pays for an additional 365 days of hospitalization after Part A no longer pays.
- Medical expenses, such as the Part B coinsurance and co-pays for doctor visits and outpatient hospital treatments.
- Part A deductibles, Part B excess charges (the difference between what your doctor charges and what Medicare pays) and skilled facility nursing care.
- $50,000 in foreign travel emergency benefits
Essentially, Medigap Plan G covers all of the medical benefits that Plan F does. One of the key differences, however, is that Plan F also pays for the Medicare Part B premium. Not sure you understand? Let’s take a look at an example of Plan G coverage in the section below.
Medicare Supplement Plan G Coverage Example
Darren has a chronic condition and he also has Medicare Supplement Plan G. Once a year, he visits his primary care doctor. However, he also visits a specialist several times a year to renew his prescriptions. His first visit for the year is in January. After his visit, the specialist’s office sends the bill to Medicare, which covers 80% of the bill, with the exception of the $183 deductible that Darren pays himself.
At that point, Darren’s Medicare Supplement Plan G kicks in and covers the rest of the bill. His coverage will also provide medical equipment he may need. For example, if Darren is diabetic, his coverage will pay for lancets, test strips and a new glucose meter. This is all at no charge to Darren.
For the remainder of the year, Darren will not owe anything out of pocket for services that are covered by Part A and Part B. His Medicare Supplement Plan G coverage pays for the rest. Darren will only pay for the copays under his Part D prescription card.
Under Medigap Plan G, Darren will no longer need to cover doctor office copays. Furthermore, he doesn’t have to pay for lab work or imaging. And if Darren is scheduled for surgery, Medicare will cover 80% and his Medicare Supplement Plan G will cover the remaining 20%. In this sense, Plan G is truly a superb Medigap option.
What Else Makes Medigap Plan G a Great Option?
Not only does Medicare Supplement Part G have lower premiums than some other Medigap plans, it also has a lower long-term rate. This is especially in comparison to Plan F, and is part of what makes this plan so attractive to potential enrollees.
For example, in recent years, Medicare Plan G often has shown a rate increase as little of 3% or less, depending on the carrier. This is remarkably lower than the yearly rate increases that come with Plan F.
Moreover, if you switch from a Plan F that has already covered your Part B deductible for the current year, you will be exempt from that deductible until the following year.
As Medigap Part F is currently slated to disappear as of 2020, Plan G may gain even more popularity and may also be the best option for many enrollees. However, those who purchase Plan F now will still receive coverage after 2020.
Plan G may be considerably cheaper in your area than is Plan F. If this is the case, it is definitely the logical choice to purchase Plan G. While you will have to pay the Part B deductible once a year, you will save hundreds of dollars in premiums as compared to Plan F.
Overall, you will likely save more money opting for Plan G over Plan F. However, once again, different Plans offer different perks. You should choose the supplement plan that fits your lifestyle and specific medical as well as financial needs. Our agents can assist you in this important process.
Choose the Medicare Supplement Plan That Works Best for You
Determining which Medicare Supplement plan – if any – is right for a particular person can be a very personal process. All of the Medigap plans have a monthly premium. Some people would prefer to pay each month and know that their healthcare costs are covered; others are comfortable with the idea of needing to pay more for individual visits or appointments, but not needing that extra monthly overhead. Each enrollee must decide what the best solution is for them. This may vary depending on what specific medical or financial needs you may have.
How Do I Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan G?
There is an initial open enrollment period for Medicare Supplement programs that activates at the same time as someone becoming eligible for Medicare. At this time, people can sign up for a Medigap plan without their health needing to be examined. After that open enrollment, however, it is possible to change plans, but at that juncture, a person’s health will be taken into consideration. Based on health risks, they may be charged a higher premium or denied coverage entirely.
If the decision is that Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan G will be beneficial, however, participants should know that each company that offers Plan G provides the same benefits, due to rules from the Federal government. Beneficiaries are therefore free to choose a plan from an insurance company they trust. Contact us today, and our Medicare agents can help you pick the best option for your needs.