Medigap Plan G – Why You Should Consider This Alternative Plan

Medigap Plan F is certainly the “headliner” among the 10 standardized Medigap plans – it pays everything that Medicare Parts A & B do not cover. However, Plan G can sometimes be a better value and an altogether better option for coverage. There are click here for plan g quotes2several distinct advantages to Plan G, which we will detail below. But first, you should know how it differs from Plan F.

Plan F, as mentioned above, is the most comprehensive Medigap plan – it pays for everything that Medicare A & B do not cover at the doctor/hospital. Plan G is exactly like Plan F with one exception – Plan G does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible. For 2017, this deductible is $183/year. This is a deductible that must be met at the doctor’s office. After that deductible is met, the benefits are the same for the rest of the year.

So, what advantages does Plan G have over Plan F:

– Price – Because it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible, Plan G is always going to be less expensive than Plan F. But it’s less coverage, right? Because it doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B deductible? That’s true, but in almost all cases, the monthly premium disparity is significantly greater than the Medicare Part B deductible. For example, the average difference between the lowest-cost ‘F’ plan and lowest-cost ‘G’ plan, in a survey of 40 states in early 2017, is approximately $25/month. That’s easy math. Save $300/year in exchange for paying out $183/year. In many instances, the savings is even greater (have seen as high as $100/month difference). There are NO other benefit differences between ‘G’ and ‘F’. Click here to get a list of Plan G rates by email for your zip code.

– Rate Stability – This difference is not as straight-forward as the price differences mentioned above. The short of it is that Plan G is more rate-stable historically than Plan F. The reason for this is complex – it is called adverse selection. Essentially, the people on ‘G’ are, on average, healthier than the people on ‘F’. This is because Plan F is required to be offered (by all companies doing Medigap plans) to people in a “guaranteed issue” situation (i.e. losing employer coverage) without medical underwriting. This means, if you have health problems and are losing your employer coverage, you can get ‘F’ but not ‘G’. Over thousands of people, this means that ‘G’ attracts slightly, on average, healthier people. This can certainly have an effect on rates over time. For example, if a company’s Plan F goes up 6%, Plan G may go up 4-5%.

Moreover, Plan F is being eliminated in 2020. When this has happened with other plans in the past, it dramatically impacts rates with rates going up considerably more since there are no “new” 65-year-olds being put on that plan.

So why do so many agents promote, or push, Plan F? Well, first of all, some companies do not offer Plan G. For example, the largest Medigap provider nationwide (AARP/United Healthcare) sells Plan F but NOT Plan G. Secondly, many agents don’t even understand the information above, or if they do, choose not (for selfish reasons) to relay it to consumers.

The savvy consumer would take a Plan F until they had their first doctor visit, for which the plan would pay the Medicare Part B deductible. Then, once the Medigap plan has paid that deductible, they could switch to Medigap Plan G in the middle of the year (there are no enrollment periods for Medigap), and they would essentially have the equivalent of “F” for the rest of the year – for the cost of a Plan G.

The bottom line is that Plan G is both a better “deal” than Plan F and more stable over time historically and in the future.

If you have questions about how this works or want to get Medigap Plan G quotes, please visit our website or call us at 877.506.3378.

How to Get a Medigap Quote

Getting a Medigap quote is a crucial part of turning 65 or going on Medicare for the first time. But, it also is a prudent idea for someone who is already on Medicare with a Medigap plan. The rates for Medigap plans change annually in most cases, and what was a good “deal” when you signed up, may not still be the most advantageous option. Since Medigap plans are Federally-standardized, in 90% of cases, you can reduce your cost for equivalent coverage.

So, just how do you go about getting a Medigap quote? It’s actually quite easy to do. One option – although not the most desirable one – is to find the names of the insurance companies offering plans in your state. These can be found on your state department of insurance website or at Medicare.gov. Then, you would call each specific company and try to obtain the rates for your age and zip code. Some companies will give their rates out by phone or publish them on their website. Others will require you to meet with or talk to an agent.

But the easiest way to get the quotes is via an independent Medigap broker. Comparing plans is easy to do since the plans are Federally-standardized. In other words, a Plan F with one company is the exact same coverage and works the same way as a Plan F with a different company. An independent broker can send a list of the plans in your area with customized quotes for your specific age, gender, and zip code. This list of plans will allow you to compare all options in a centralized place and make an informed choice about the plan that is the best overall deal from a reputable company.

If you have had your plan for more than 12 months, you have likely had a rate change to your Medigap plan. If you HAVE had a rate change, you should be able to reduce your costs for equivalent coverage. Medigap rates can vary as much as $100/month for the same coverage, and no matter your financial status, it certainly does not make sense to pay that much “extra” for the same plan.

While most independent brokers will do this via a face-to-face meeting or telephone conversation, Medigap-Quote.com believes in providing that information via email so you can compare the plans on your own time schedule, formulate your questions and/or pick a plan that is right for you. Because we are an independent brokerage, we can and do work with all the companies that offer plans in each area so that we can provide unbiased information and quotes.

Medigap-Quote.com, which is owned by Secure Medicare Solutions, has been in business for 9 years with thousands of satisfied Medigap clients from around the country. Watch the video below to see what our actual clients have to say about us:
Reviews of Secure Medicare Solutions and Medigap-Quote.com

Best Medigap Plans for People Turning 65

best medigap plansIf you already understand what the plans cover, and want to skip ahead to find out which plan has the best rates for your zip code, click here.

When you are turning 65 or going on Medicare for the first time, there is an abundance of information available to you. There are several different types of plans and numerous companies that sell each type of plan. Moreover, the plans vary by geographic location, state or county (Medigap plans vary by zip code). There are a couple of variables that determine which plan is the “best”.

The two variables that deserve consideration in this are the PLAN that is best for you and the COMPANY that is best. Since Medigap plans are standardized – that is, all companies are required to offer the same coverage plans – the first thing that you have to decide is which plan you want. Here is the chart that shows what the different plans cover: Medigap Coverage Chart.

Determining which plan is right for you is a product of your health status and financial position. The top plans, Plan F and Plan C, are obviously the most expensive. However, they are also the most comprehensive. Plan F pays everything that Medicare A & B do not cover so that you do not have any out of pocket costs. Often, Plan G is a better value than Plan F, the only difference being that it does not pay the Medicare Part B deductible (which for 2013 is $147/year). Typically, the premium savings is far greater than that Part B deductible amount.

The plan level below Plan G is Plan N. This plan is also a good alternative for people who are either in good health or have limited financial resources (but want the security and flexibility of a Medigap plan). There are other plans – 10 in total – but these three are the most commonly offered plans, and these three represent a top, middle and lower level of coverage. So deciding between those three is typically a good way to simplify it for most people, at least as a starting point.

Once you know which plan you want, the next step is figuring out which company has the best rates for that plan. These rates vary greatly by zip code, so it is essential to compare based on specific rates for your situation. You can call all the insurance companies to get these rates, or better yet, use an independent Medigap agent to compile them for you and provide you with that information.

Once you have the rates for the various plan options, it is very easy to compare and choose based on the rates and the company ratings/reputations. We would always recommend choosing the lowest rate for a specific plan, as long as it is from a relatively stable company.

If you have specific question or want to discuss the best Medigap plans for your area, contact us online or call us at 877.506.3378.

 

Garrett Ball on Google+