Medicare Supplement Plan G – Plan G is one of about ten different Medicare supplement plans. It offers great benefits and predictable costs for Medicare beneficiaries who’d like to supplement their coverage under Original Medicare.
What many people don’t realize is that Medicare does not pay for everything. In fact, there are many out-of-pocket costs associated with Parts A and B. There are deductibles, coinsurance, and copayment amounts. Plus, Medicare does not have a limit on your out-of-pocket expenses. That means that if you have (or suddenly develop) any major health conditions, you could wind up with extensive medical debt.
It’s no surprise to any of us that medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. For those reasons, most Medicare beneficiaries choose to supplement their Original Medicare benefits with either a Medicare supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. Today, we’ll focus our attention on Medicare supplement Plan G.
This article will explain what Plan G is and how it works, how much it costs, and when you can enroll.
What is Plan G?
Medicare supplements, otherwise known as Medigap plans, act as secondary insurance plans. Original Medicare remains the primary payor. After the federal Medicare program has paid on a medical claim, it gets sent to the Medicare supplement plan. Plan G will not pick up all the remaining costs, but it will get most of them!
Plan G includes payment for:
- Part A deductible
- Part A coinsurance plus an additional 365 days of hospital costs
- Part A hospice coinsurance/copayment
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Part B coinsurance/copayment
- Part B excess charge
- 80% of foreign travel emergencies
The only thing you’ll have to pay is the Part B deductible, which is only $233 this year (2022). You can see why Medicare supplement Plan G is one of the most popular options.
How much does Plan G cost?
You will pay a premium for the coverage Plan G provides, and the premium will vary based on various factors, the first being the insurance company itself.
Medigap plans were standardized by the federal government years ago. That standardization made every plan the same, regardless of which company sold it or where you lived. Plan G is Plan G, no matter where you get it. However, they did not standardize the premiums. Therefore, some companies have higher rates than others.
Other factors that go into your premium are your age, gender, tobacco use, and zip code. Men pay higher premiums than women, older folks pay more than younger ones, and tobacco users pay more than non-users. Lastly, states, counties, and zip codes that have a higher cost of living also have higher Medigap premiums.
Most plans use the “attained-age” pricing method, which means your rate is based on your current age. For that reason, you can expect your premium to increase as you get older. Your plan will notify you a few months before the premium is set to go up.
Insurance carriers offer a variety of discounts you might be eligible for. Many have household discounts that are given if a spouse also enrolls in one of their plans or simply if you live with someone of a certain age. You can also find discounts based on your payment method and even if you wear an activity tracker.
All that to say, the average Plan G premium runs somewhere between $110 to $200 per month.
When can I enroll in Medicare supplement insurance?
As soon as you get enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you can enroll in a Medicare supplement plan. If you do so during your Initial Enrollment Period (around your 65th birthday), you will have guaranteed issue rights to the plan of your choosing.* These “guaranteed issue rights” mean that no insurance company can deny coverage based on your health history.
If you don’t enroll during your IEP and you didn’t have other creditable coverage in place (like under an employer’s plan), you may not have the same guaranteed rights. However, some states have their own unique rules around the issue.
The nice thing about Medicare supplements is that there are no specific enrollment windows. You can change or join a plan at any time, though you’ll usually need to undergo medical underwriting to do so.
*Plan C and Plan F are only available to Medicare beneficiaries who turned 65 prior to 2020.
If you’d like to learn more about Medigap Plan G, speak with one of our experts! Our insurance agents specialize in Medicare plans and can offer you the information and help you need to choose a plan that’s right for you.