Medicare Plan F vs. Plan G – Many of our clients want to know which Medicare Supplement is best. Many people have heard of Plan F and Plan G but are unsure which one is right for them. While there is no one-size-fits-all in Medicare, we can at least compare these two plans so you can make an educated decision.
What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?
A Medicare Supplement plan, known as a Medigap plan, acts as secondary coverage to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). They help pay for your deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance costs that you’d otherwise be responsible for with Parts A and B alone. How much of those costs your supplement picks up depends on which of the plans you have. There are about ten plans to choose from, each named by a letter of the alphabet.
Medicare Supplements offer standardized coverage, which means they will not change from one carrier to the next, one state to the next, or one year to the next. If you purchase a Medigap plan, you’ll be able to keep that plan for as long as you pay the premiums.
What Is the Difference Between Plan F and Plan G?
Plans F and G are two of the most popular Medicare Supplement plans. They both offer excellent coverage and are only slightly different when it comes to their benefits. Let’s start by reviewing what these plans have in common.
Both will pay the Part A deductible and coinsurance costs. The Part A deductible (in 2022) is $1,556 per benefit period. The coinsurance costs depend on how many days you’ve spent as an inpatient in a skilled nursing facility or hospital. In addition, these plans give you an extra 365 days of inpatient benefits since the Part A benefits end after 90 days.
Both supplements also pay for Part B copayments, coinsurance costs, and any Part B excess charges. They’ll pay for the first three pints of blood for a transfusion and also offer some coverage in case of emergencies during foreign travel.
The only benefit difference between the two plans is the Part B deductible coverage. This year, the deductible is $233. Plan F pays that deductible, but Plan G does not. That is the only area of difference between the two plans.
Now, there are two other differences outside of the plans’ benefits. First is the eligibility requirement. To enroll in Plan F, you must have turned 65 before 2020. If you turn 65 in 2020 or later, you are not eligible to enroll in Plan F.
The other difference, and certainly the most notable, is the premiums. As you may have expected, premiums for Plan F are higher than for Plan G. Insurance companies base their premiums on your age, gender, zip code, and tobacco use. Each carrier can set its rates, but generally, premiums are higher for Plan F.
How much higher? It depends, but on average, you can expect to pay about $40 more per month for Plan F. That’s a total of $480 for the year. Considering that it is more than twice the amount of the Part B deductible, it makes more sense to enroll in Plan G, even if you are eligible for Plan F.
Can I Switch from Plan F to Plan G?
So, what if you’re already enrolled in Medigap Plan F? Can you switch to a lower premium with Plan G? Maybe.
In most states, the only time you have guaranteed issue rights to a plan is when you first enroll in Medicare. The guaranteed issue right means no insurance company can deny your enrollment, regardless of past or current health conditions. However, once that time is passed, most states require you to undergo medical underwriting if you want to change your Medicare Supplement plan.
If you’d like to learn more about the underwriting process or see if you’d qualify, speak with one of our licensed insurance agents. We can discuss the common health conditions that would not allow you to switch policies.
Regardless, no adverse action will be taken if you apply and are declined based on your medical history. You’ll still be covered under your current Medigap plan, and your premiums will not increase. In addition, we can also discuss other options you may have to decrease your monthly premiums.
If you’re currently healthy, now is the time to switch from Plan F to Plan G! Don’t wait until you develop more severe health conditions to make that decision.