Medigap is supplemental insurance plan sold by private companies to help cover original Medicare costs, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
Medigap Plan G is a Medicare supplement plan that offers eight of the nine benefits available. This makes it one the most comprehensive Medigap plan offered.
Keep reading to find out more about Medigap Plan G, what it covers, and what it doesn’t.
Private health insurance companies sell Medicare supplement plans to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses and sometimes pay for services that Medicare doesn’t cover. People also call these Medigap plans.
The federal government requires private insurance companies to standardize Medigap plans. Exceptions exist for Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, who standardize their plans differently.
Most companies name the plans by uppercase letters A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N.
Medigap policies are only available to those who have original Medicare, which is Medicare Part A and Part B. If you have Medicare Advantage, you can’t have a Medigap plan as well.
The following are the healthcare costs that Medigap Plan G covers:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to 365 days after your Medicare benefits are used up
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments
- first 3 pints of blood for transfusions
- Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments
- skilled nursing care facility coinsurance
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- foreign travel exchange of up to 80 percent
The only cost that Medigap Plan G doesn’t cover is the Part B deductible.
On January 1, 2020, changes to Medicare meant that Plan F and Plan C were phased out for people new to Medicare. Formerly, Medigap Plan F was the most comprehensive and popular Medicare supplement plan. Now, Plan G is the most comprehensive plan insurance companies offer.
Because Medigap Plan G offers the same coverage no matter what insurance company offers the plan, the main difference is cost. Insurance companies don’t offer the plans at the same monthly premium, so it (literally) pays to shop around for the lowest-cost policy.
There are lots of factors that go into what an insurance company charges for Plan G. These include:
- your age
- your overall health
- what ZIP code you live in
- if the insurance company offers discounts for certain factors, such as being a nonsmoker or paying yearly instead of monthly
Once you choose a Medicare supplement plan, the deductibles can increase on a yearly basis. However, some people find it hard to change their coverage because they get older (and premiums are more likely to be higher) and they may find switching plans costs them more.
Because Medigap Plan G is one of the most comprehensive plans, it’s likely that health insurance companies may increase the costs over time. However, competition in the insurance marketplace may help to keep prices down.
Medigap Plan G might be a good fit if you’re new to Medicare as of 2020 and you want the most comprehensive Medigap coverage available.
However, it’s also usually the most expensive Medigap coverage and costs can continue to increase each year.
Tips for how to shop for a Medigap plan
- Use Medicare.gov’s tool to find and compare Medigap policies. Consider your current monthly insurance costs, how much you can afford to pay, and if you have medical conditions that may increase your healthcare costs in the future.
- Contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Ask for a rate-shopping comparison guide.
- Contact insurance companies recommended by friends or family (or companies you have used in the past). Ask for a quote for Medigap policies. Ask if they offer discounts you may qualify for (such as being a non-smoker).
- Contact your State Insurance Department. Ask for a list of complaint records against insurance companies, if available. This can help you weed out companies that may be problematic to their beneficiaries.
- Medicare supplement Plan G, also known as Medigap Plan G, is now the most comprehensive Medicare supplement plan health insurance companies offer.
- The plan can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs when you have original Medicare.
- If you’re going to purchase a Plan G policy, enrolling during your open enrollment period is likely the most cost effective.