Trying to save money on health care costs is not new and many people are finding that it pays to break out the calculator to get the full picture.
Many people shopping for a Medicare supplement don’t take the time to explore all their options. This may be in part because insurance agents by default typically quote Medicare supplement Plan F. It offers the most comprehensive coverage, has the highest premium and some insurance companies pay commissions based on the amount of the premium.
But there are times when an alternative can actually save you some money and give you a solid value. For many people Plan G has proven to be a plan that works.
Plan G vs Plan F
There are 10 standardized supplements available in most States. (Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have there own plan variations). Benefits are categorized and each plan will pay your share of benefits according to the plan’s terms.
More people choose Plan F each year than any other plan. But there is very little difference between Plan F and Plan G.
Medigap Plan G Benefits – What’s covered
- Part A Deductible
- Part A Coinsurance
- Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment
- Part B Coinsurance
- Part B Excess Charges
- Part B Preventative Care Coinsurance
- Blood (1st 3 Pints)
- Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance
- Foreign Travel Emergency (Up to Plan limits)
The only difference between Plan G and Plan F is that Plan F will pay the Part B deductible. The Part B deductible for 2017 is $183. If you have Medigap plan G you will be required to pay the first $183 of out-patient charge.
There are two opportunities to save money by choosing Plan G. The first opportunity is based on the difference in monthly premium alone. If Plan G has a premium at least $15.25 per month lower than Plan F you are ahead in the game ($183 / 12 months = $15.25)
Often you will find at least this much savings due to differing claims experience between the two plans. If affordable, most all people with health conditions will choose the most comprehensive plan which will require higher premiums.
The second opportunity to save money is most relevant if you are healthy and don’t visit your doctor frequently. Or only visit for preventative care, which is covered by plan G.
Consider this example: You see your doctor twice per year. Medicare pays 80% and you are responsible for 20%. At $100 per visit you would only pay $40 for the two visits. Even with labs you would still normally have less than $183 out of pocket.
When considering a Medicare supplement you owe it to yourself to take a look at all the available options. And if you are considering a policy from be sure to compare AARP Plan G to Plan F. You may be pleasantly surprised.