If you’re getting ready to enroll in Medicare, then there’s one very important thing you need to do: start researching Medicare Supplement Plans. Once you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B, you’ll have 6 months to purchase a plan; after that, you could be facing the Medicare underwriting process. What this means is that you could be turned down for a plan or charged more based on your health history. Researching these plans can seem overwhelming at first – there are 10 of them to choose from, after all! But don’t worry, we’re going to give you the lowdown on one of the most popular and best value plans around: Medicare Supplement Plan G.
How Medicare Supplement Plans Work
You’ve been paying into Medicare for your whole working life, and, once you turn 65, it’s time to reap the rewards. The only problem is, Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and there are actually quite a few out-of-pocket costs associated with it. Part A (hospital insurance) has a deductible of over $1,000 and a substantial coinsurance payment if you have a hospital stay of longer than 60 days. Part B (medical insurance) has a monthly premium of around $144 as well as a deductible of almost $200. Not only that, but Part B only covers 80% of the Medicare-approved costs of most services, meaning you’re left to pay the remaining 20% out-of-pocket.
So what can you do to keep these costs down? Your best bet is to get a Medicare Supplement Plan, also known as Medigap, because these plans fill the “gaps” in Medicare. There are a few things you should know about Medicare Supplement Plans. They are:
- Sold by private insurance companies. They have a monthly premium, and will help with the out-of-pocket costs of Medicare, such as coinsurance and copays
- Available only to people enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B
- Guaranteed renewable, no matter your health
- Tied to one person – if you and your spouse both want to be covered, you will each need to buy a separate plan
There are 10 plans to choose from, all named with a different letter. If you’re unsure where to begin, we suggest you start with Plan G, the most popular plan after Plan F, which was phased out at the beginning of 2020.
What Plan G Covers
Plan G is quickly becoming the most popular Medicare Supplement Plan now that Plan F is no longer available for new enrollees. For a low monthly premium, it covers almost all of your out-of-pocket Medicare Part A and B costs, and then some. It covers:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments
- Blood transfusions (first 3 pints)
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Your 20% share of Medicare Part B costs
- Emergency medical care while traveling overseas (up to your plan’s limit)
- Prescription drugs that are administered in a clinical setting, such as chemotherapy
What doesn’t Plan G cover? The Part B monthly premium and the Part B deductible of $198 per year. But when you consider what you’ll be saving in out-of-pocket costs, Plan G is worth its weight in gold.
How Plan G Can Save You More
Plan F was so popular because it covered everything that Plan G covers, plus it covered the Part B deductible. But if you’re wishing you could choose Plan F, consider that the premiums for Plan G are generally much lower than the premiums for Plan F. That means that, even though you’ll be paying the Medicare Part B deductible of $198 with Plan G, you’ll be saving so much on premiums that you’ll end up pocketing the difference.
BiG can find you a Medicare Supplement Plan G that will save you hundreds of dollars a year over other plans – not to mention how much you’ll save over Original Medicare. You’ll also have the peace of mind of knowing exactly how much you’ll be paying in medical costs each year: you won’t end up with any huge bills because of an unexpected health crisis. Imagine, for example, if you were hit with a cancer diagnosis – with Original Medicare you’d end up paying 20% of the costs of all of your treatments for the duration of your illness. That could add up to a catastrophic amount of money, considering that out-of-pocket costs for cancer treatment can soar into the tens of thousands of dollars per year.
With a Medicare Supplement Plan G, though, the only costs are your Part B deductible, and your Part B and Plan G monthly premiums. So, for example, your out-of-pocket costs could look like this for the year:
- $198 annual Medicare Part B deductible (paid when you receive your first bill(s) that reaches that amount
- $125 (for example) per month Medicare Supplement Plan G premium
- $144.60 per month standard Medicare Part B premium
All of that comes out to $3,235 per year for all of your covered medical care. Plan G could even beat out the popular Plan F when it comes to annual costs: let’s say you were grandfathered into a Plan F with a monthly premium of $195 per month, your annual costs with that plan would end up being $4,075 per year. You’d save almost $1,000 per year with Plan G! It’s clear that this Medicare Supplement Plan is absolutely worth a closer look.
For many people, heading towards Medicare enrollment means being able to breathe a sigh of relief. But remember, your work isn’t done yet! As we have shown, enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Plan alongside Original Medicare is a must – and Plan G might just check all the boxes for you when it comes to coverage and value. If you’re not sure, come to BiG and speak to one of our knowledgeable agents – they can find the best plan for you at the best price for your budget. We know our stuff when it comes to Medicare Supplement Plans, so get started with us today!