Is Medicare Part G the Supplement Plan for You?

Medicare Part G could help cover as many of your Medicare spending as Medicare Part D, but not all, according to a new study.

Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap or MediSupp, offer optional coverage to complement your original Medicare benefits such as health insurance coverage, prescription drugs and medical expenses. G is a standardized Medicare supplement, you can buy a plan in most states to cover things that will not adequately cover your original Medicare benefit. Medicare supplemental plans like Plan G may have higher premiums and offer less coverage, but they cover more Medicare spending than Medicare Part D.

“Anyone who turns 65 before Jan. 1 can still enroll in Plan C or F even after that date,” said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino in New York and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans. “This only affects people who turn 65 after this year.”

And, if you already have one of those Medigap policies, you can keep it and nothing will change, Gavino said. Medigap plans, which are sold by private insurance companies, help cover cost-sharing aspects of original Medicare — Parts A and B — including co-pays and coinsurance.

The two supplements are almost identical, but you can compare the different supplements in our guide to make them reasonably easy to understand. Medicare Supplement Plan G does not pay the Part B deductible, which is $198 in 2020, and the Medicare Part D deductibles, $199 in 2019 and $202 in 2018.

Many savvy individuals have found that the cost difference between the two plans is greater than the annual deductible. G offers a higher value to beneficiaries who are willing to pay the lower annual deductibles.

The Medicare Supplement in Plan G covers all medical services that are covered under original Medicare, and it fully covers the gap in Medicare. The gap between Medicare Part B and the deductible is covered by Plan G, the Medicare supplement.

The Medicare Supplement in Plan F helps policyholders pay out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by traditional Medicare. You may need to find another option if you are eligible for Medicare starting in 2020 or later, but you may also have the option of Medicare Part D, the Medicare Supplement Plan.

Medigap coverage in Plan G is the same as Medigap Plan F, with one exception. Unlike Plan B, which provides basic benefits without deductibles, the Medicare supplement in Plan G has a deductible of $1,000 for the first year and $2,500 for each year thereafter.

The majority of Medicare supplement insurance plans do not cover Medicare Part B deductibles, but Medigap Plans C and F do cover Medicare Part B deductibles. If your out-of-pocket expenses reach the Part B deductible amount, you are eligible to pay for Part B Medicare-approved benefits, such as prescription drugs and medical devices. You must pay for the majority (or all) of your Medicare supplements in Medigap Plan G out of your own pocket, which is not covered by a majority or even all Medicare supplements in Plan F.

Many Medicare Advantage plans include Part D drug insurance, and you can supplement that coverage. You can also purchase a standalone policy to choose from a variety of Medicare Advantage plans that do not include regular or traditional Medicare programs, consisting of Medicare Part B, Part C, or Medicare D. Regular and traditional Medicare supplemental insurance can be supplemented with many other Medicare supplements, such as Medicare Supplement Plan G

Although it is optional, there is no financial penalty if you sign up for Medicare and later have to buy another policy if you need expensive drugs. Consider choosing your Medicare insurance and taking action yourself by buying supplemental insurance, but don’t forget your regular Medicare Part B or Part D.

Budgeting your health care costs in retirement can be difficult, although this is usually the case because you know that your spending for the year will be minimal or enormous.

Traditional Medicare offers the best basic health insurance, but typically does not cover as much of your health care costs as Medicare Part G. Traditional Medicare pays recognized costs for hospitals, doctors and medical procedures. You pay the recognized costs to ensure good basic care for yourself and your family, as well as for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other family members. It pays hospital, doctor’s, treatment, hospital and doctor’s fees as well as recognized care costs. 

The Medigap supplemental insurance plan is designed to bridge the gap between Medicare Part G and traditional health care costs. Medigap is the most common type of supplemental health insurance in the US and is available to people with incomes between $50,000 and $100,500.

These plans are offered by Medicare – approved health insurance companies – and often include deductibles, copying, co-payments and other health costs. Original Medicare does not cover copies, co-insurance or deductibles, so you can opt for a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare supplemental plans, also known as Medigap plans, offer a combination of Medicare Part G and traditional insurance plans that help you pay for your health and care costs. These plans can be offered through Medicare, Medicaid or a private insurance company. 

The HAP Alliance Medicare Supplement offers a combination of Medicare Part G and traditional insurance plans as well as copies, co-payers and deductibles.

Plans D, F, G and N cover more than basic services, but are not as comprehensive. In addition, policies that offer more comprehensive coverage will have significantly higher monthly premiums at a higher level.