With so many Medicare plan options available, it’s hard to know which plan will meet your medical needs—especially when it comes to coverage. Plans F and G are known as Medicare (or Medigap) Supplement plans. They cover the excess charges that Original Medicare does not, such as out-of-pocket costs for hospital and doctor's office care.
It’s important to note that as of December 31, 2019, Plan F is no longer available for new enrollment. However, if you already have Plan F, you can keep it, making the decision between Medicare Plan F vs. Plan G an important one.
By comparing Medicare Plan F vs. Plan G, you can determine whether staying with Plan F or switching to Plan G can better supplement your existing coverage.
Is Medicare Plan F Being Discontinued?
Yes, Medicare Plan F has been discontinued. The last possible day for new enrollment was December 31, 2019. If you currently have Medicare Plan F, you can continue with the plan, if you so decide. This distinction is worth noting when reviewing the differences involved with Medicare Plan F vs. Plan G.
What Do Medicare Plan F and Plan G Cover?
Medicare Plan F and Plan G are similar and offer the same basic coverage benefits, which include:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs.
- Part B coinsurance or copayment.
- Blood (first three pints).
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.
- Part A deductible.
- Part B excess charges.
- Up to 80% of medical emergency costs during foreign travel.
- No out-of-pocket limit.
What’s the Difference Between Medicare Plan F and Plan G?
Although the plans have several similarities, there is one key difference between Plan F and Plan G: With Medicare Plan F, you're getting the plan with the most coverage available. In addition to the above coverage, Plan F also covers Medicare Part B deductible payments. Plan G does not.
This much coverage means that Plan F may come with a higher premium. However, choosing a high-deductible option for Plan F could help keep your premium down. If you’re currently enrolled in the Plan F high-deductible option for 2021, you are required to pay for Medicare-covered costs up to the deductible amount of $2,370 before your Medigap plan begins to cover any expenses. If you’re not enrolled in Plan F, this will not affect you as it is no longer available for new enrollment as of December 31, 2019.
Which Is Better: Medicare Plan F vs. Plan G?
No Medicare Supplement plan is better than another. It really depends on your needs and budget. However, as of December 31, 2019, Plan F is no longer available for new enrollment. Here are two things to consider as you evaluate keeping your Medicare Plan F.
- If coverage for the Part B deductible is important to you, you may want to stick with Medicare Plan F. If you enrolled in Plan F before 2020, you will be “grandfathered” into the plan. This gives you the choice to keep the plan past 2020.
- Although Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible ($198 in 2020), the premium savings could offset the cost of the yearly deductible. For example, the average 2020 premium ranges from $160 to $210 for Plan G and $185 to $250 for Plan F for a 65-year-old Florida woman who does not use tobacco. Plan G costs approximately $25-$40 less per month. That’s a savings of around $300-$380 a year, which more than pays for the annual Part B deductible.*
Should I Change From Plan F to Plan G?
If you're considering switching from your grandfathered Medicare Plan F to Plan G, it can feel like a constant game of tug-of-war. Some Medicare Supplement plans are “guaranteed issue,” which means you can’t be refused for pre-existing conditions. But, it’s important to note that you might be required to undergo underwriting when switching Medicare Supplement plans.
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* The cost of Plan G premiums will vary by state, age, sex, and tobacco use.
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