Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) plans are private insurance policies that help fill the gaps in Original Medicare coverage. There are 10 types of Medigap plans, designated by letters A through D, F, G, and K through N.
This guide will explain the key features of Medicare Supplement Plan G so you can make a more informed decision about your health insurance in retirement.
What Is Medigap Plan G?
Plan G covers all the gaps in Medicare except the Medicare Part B deductible, which is $203 in 2021. Many retirees prefer Plan G because it offers such extensive coverage.
What does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover? According to Medicare.gov, Plan G covers:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after you use up your Medicare benefits.
- Part B coinsurance or copayments (after you've paid the Part B deductible).
- The first three pints of blood for a transfusion.
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments.
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.
- The Part A deductible.
- Part B excess charges (up to 15% above Medicare allowable amounts that providers not participating in Medicare can charge).
- 80% of health emergencies when you travel internationally, up to the limits of individual plans.
Like all other Medigap policies, Plan G does not cover vision, dental, prescription drugs or long-term care.
Plan G is not available in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin, which have set up their own standards for Medigap policies. Visit the Medicare website for links to information about Medigap plans specific to those states.
A high-deductible version of Medigap Plan G is available from some insurers for Medicare beneficiaries who are or will become eligible after January 1, 2020. In exchange for charging a higher deductible, these policies offer lower monthly premiums than the standard version of Plan G. They provide the same coverage as the standard version, but not until after you have paid the annual deductible, which is $2,370 in 2021.
How Does Plan G Compare to Other Popular Medigap Plans?
For a long time, the most popular Medigap plan was Plan F because it covered the maximum amount allowed for each of the nine benefits Medicare Supplement insurance policies can cover. Plan G had the next-best coverage, offering the maximum amount for eight benefits.
By federal law, as of January 1, 2020, Plan F is no longer on the market. That leaves Plan G as the Medigap option that provides the most coverage for people buying new policies.
Here are a few other notable points of comparison between Plan G and other Medigap plans:
- Plan G is the only plan other than Plan F to cover 100% of the Medicare Part B excess charge.
- Plan G is one of six Medigap plans that pay 100% of skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, along with Plans C, D, F, L and M.
- Both Plans F and G have a high-deductible option, but neither the standard version nor the high-deductible version of Plan F is available to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries as of January 2020.
Is Medicare Supplement Plan G a Good Fit for Me?
Plan G may be right for you if:
- You want a Medigap plan that's widely available. Most Medigap insurers offer Plan G because it's so popular with consumers.
- You want predictable health care costs to make budgeting easier. With no cost sharing once you've paid your Part B deductible, Plan G can help you make more accurate estimates of your monthly health care costs.
- You go to the doctor frequently.
- You often visit health care providers that opt out of Medicare and you live in a state that allows Part B excess charges.
- You travel abroad frequently.
Medigap Plan G has the most comprehensive Medigap coverage on the market today. If you're shopping for a Medigap plan and recently became Medicare eligible or will become eligible soon, talk to an insurance provider to learn more about Plan G and whether it's right for you.