Why Is the Medigap Plan G So Popular?

Senior couple walking on the beach with dog as they discuss their medigap plan G being so popular.

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Medigap Plan G Popular – If you are looking for supplemental health insurance, then you may have heard of the Medigap Plan G. This plan is one of the most popular plans on the market, and for good reason. Let’s take a look at some of the features that make it so popular!

What are Medicare supplement plans?

Medicare supplement plans are health insurance policies that help to cover some of the costs that Medicare does not cover. These plans can be a great way for Medicare beneficiaries to fill in the gaps in their coverage and protect themselves from high out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare supplement insurance plans help to cover a wide variety of costs, including some of the following:

  • Copayments for doctor visits and other services
  • Coinsurance for hospital stays, including skilled nursing facilities
  • Preventive services
  • The Part A deductible
  • The Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergencies

There are a variety of different Medigap plans available, with Plan G being the most popular. Let’s take a look at some of the features that make it so appealing.

Why is Medicare supplement Plan G popular?

Plan G is one of the most comprehensive Medicare supplement plans available. The only Medigap plan that offers more coverage is Plan F. However, not everyone is eligible for Plan F, and its cost is quickly outweighing its benefits.

Benefits of Plan G

Benefits included in Plan G include payment for most of the out-of-pocket costs left by Parts A and B. Let’s talk about what those costs might be.

The Part A Deductible

In 2022, that deductible is $1556, and it applies to your first 60 days of an inpatient hospital stay. If you are admitted to the hospital more than once in a year, you might have to pay the deductible two or more times since it is based on a benefit period, not a calendar year.

Part A Coinsurance

Once you meet your deductible, Part A covers the first 60 days of your hospital stay. However, from day 61 to day 90, you’ll be responsible for $389. That amount will be paid by your Plan G. After day 90, your Part A benefits will be exhausted for the benefit period unless you have any of your 60 lifetime reserve days left. If you do, your cost will be $778. Again, Plan G will pick up those costs. In addition, Plan G offers an additional 365 days of coverage. The cost for a stay in a skilled nursing facility is different, but Plan G will also pick up those expenses.

senior couple hugging in park talking about medigap plan G.
Plan G is one of the most comprehensive Medicare supplement plans available. The only Medigap plan that offers more coverage is Plan F.

Part B Coinsurance and Copayments

Once you meet your Part B deductible, Medicare works as an 80/20 coinsurance split. (Part B pays 80%, and you pay 20%.) Plan G will cover your 20% cost and cover any copayments you may incur.

Part B Excess Charges

An excess charge is an amount over and above what Medicare has set as an appropriate fee. If your provider does not accept Medicare assignment, they are allowed to charge more than the approved fees. This is known as an excess charge. Plan G will pay for all Part B excess charges.

Foreign Travel Emergency

The federal Medicare program only applies to care received within the United States. However, there are some exceptions, like when traveling internationally. Plan G has a foreign travel emergency allowance, up to $50,000. You can get the emergency care you need abroad before getting back home.

What’s left? The only remaining cost you’ll have to pay with Plan G is the Part B deductible. In 2022, that deductible is $233.

Cost of Plan G

The average monthly premiums of Medigap Plan G are between $100 – $300. However, your premium depends on various factors. Your gender, age, tobacco use, and the area you live all contribute to your rates. As you may have expected, premiums are generally higher in zip codes where there are higher costs of living.

One option you have to reduce your Plan G cost is to choose the high-deductible version of Plan G. It has the same benefits but at a lower monthly premium. You will have to pay a deductible of $2,490 (in 2022) before coverage begins.

History of Plan G Rate Increases

Most Medicare supplements increase their premiums as the insured ages. This is called attained age rating. An annual premium increase is not uncommon for any of the Medicare supplements, but some increase at faster rates than others. Also, some insurance carriers have higher rate increases.

There is no way to know for sure how much a plan will increase, but Plan G has had an average increase of 2% – 6% over the last three years.

You should discuss an insurance carrier’s history of rate increases with one of our licensed insurance agents.

Eligibility for Plan G

Anyone who has already enrolled in Parts A and B of Original Medicare is eligible to apply for Plan G. Eligibility is one reason Plan G is a popular Medicare supplement. Prior to recent years, Plan F was the most popular. However, there were changes made to the program a few years ago, and Plan F is now only available to those who turned 65 before January 1, 2020.

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance