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What Is Medicare Plan G?

You’ll hear a lot of people talking about “Plan G” when you start looking into Medicare - and for a good reason. Plan G offers excellent coverage for your healthcare costs. It’s even been called the “new Cadillac” of Medicare Supplements. But what exactly is Plan G, and what does it cover? Let’s find out.

What Is a Medigap Plan?

Before we get into exactly what Plan G is, we need to know what a Medigap plan is. Medigap is another name for Medicare Supplements, one of the ways in which Medicare beneficiaries can enhance their healthcare benefits.

If you enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, it will be your secondary insurance plan. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is your primary insurance. Once a claim has been approved and paid for by Original Medicare, it is sent to your Medigap plan for payment. The amount your Medigap plan pays depends on which of the plans you have. Plan G happens to be one of the most popular Medigap plans on the market today.

Benefits of Plan G

To understand the expansive benefits of Plan G, you need to know what costs you’re responsible for under Parts A and B. You’ll have deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance costs in both parts. On top of that, there is no maximum out-of-pocket limit. So the sky is the limit when it comes to your financial responsibility. Fortunately, Plan G takes care of nearly all those costs.

Plan G includes coverage for:

  • Part A deductible
  • Part A coinsurance plus an additional 365 days of inpatient costs
  • Part A hospice and skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • First 3 pints of blood
  • Part B coinsurance/copayment
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergencies (up to plan limits)

The only thing you won’t find in Plan G is coverage for the Part B deductible. Virtually every other Medicare-approved service will be paid completely with a combination of Original Medicare and Plan G.

Outside of those tangible benefits, Medigap plans have advantages over other Medicare options like Medicare Advantage (Part C). The biggest one is that they are portable. Medigap plans do not rely on provider networks or only operate within set service areas. As long as a provider accepts Medicare, they’ll accept your Medigap plan, regardless of which insurance company you bought it from. This is helpful for those who travel frequently or just want more control over their healthcare choices.

What Is Not Covered Under Plan G?

Now, there is one caveat with these plans. You still need to enroll in other types of coverage. Medicare Supplements only pay for services also covered by Parts A and B. Therefore, you’ll need to enroll in a separate Part D prescription drug plan. Be sure to enroll in Part D even if you are not taking any medications to avoid the late-enrollment penalty.

You also may want to consider enrolling in a Dental, Vision, and Hearing policy. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover routine and preventive care for these three areas, but they are all vital aspects of our overall health. Fortunately, many policies wrap all of these services into one plan and offer excellent benefits at affordable prices.

Premiums for Plan G

This coverage does come at a cost, but many find it surprisingly affordable when compared to employer-sponsored plans that have less coverage. Premiums for Medicare Supplement plans depend on various factors, the biggest being your age, gender, location, and tobacco status. For example, men pay more than women; older folks pay more than younger ones; people in areas with higher costs of living pay more than people living in low cost of living areas; tobacco users pay more than non-users.

In addition, premiums vary from one company to the next. An important thing to note here is that the government standardized all Medicare Supplements several years ago. That means each letter plan is the same, no matter where you buy it. This is just one reason it’s important to work with a Local Medicare Specialist when shopping for your Medicare plans. An advisor will make sure you're getting the most competitive rate available.

OK, let’s cut to the chase! How much does Plan G cost? On average, the monthly premium for Plan G ranges from $100 - $140 for a newly-eligible beneficiary. You can expect that premium to increase approximately 3%-5% every year.

Speak with one of our local Medicare agents if you’d like to learn more about Plan G or your other Medicare options. We can help you determine if Plan G is a good fit for you or if there is something else you might want to consider. Then, we’ll compare plans and prices in your local area to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck!

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