The 2010s are behind us and with the new decade comes a big change in Medicare. As of 1 January 2020, Medicare Plan F is no longer available to people getting their Medicare benefits for the first time. In other words, if you’re not age 65+ before 2020, Medicare Plan F isn’t for you.
Medicare Plan F vs Plan G
Let’s address this head-on. Is one plan better than the other? That depends on if you’re looking for the lowest overall cost or the most convenient.
Here’s what Medicare Plan F covers:
- Medicare Part A Coinsurance & Hospital Costs
- Medicare Part A Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance
- Medicare Part A Deductible (per benefit period)
- Medicare Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or Copayment
- Medicare Part B Deductible (annual)
- Medicare Part B Coinsurance or Copayment
- Medicare Part B Excess Charges
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Foreign Travel Emergency
By the way, that’s the most coverage you can get with a Medigap plan (aka, Medicare Supplement insurance). In fact, that’s first-dollar coverage, which means you don’t pay a dime to see your doctor, go to the emergency room, or if you’re admitted into the hospital, so long as all charges are Medicare-approved.
Here’s what Medicare Plan G covers:
- Everything that Plan F covers…
- Except for the Medicare Part B Deductible
Okay, so what’s the real difference?
The real difference comes down to how you pay the Medicare Part B deductible because it gets paid with both plans. With Plan F your insurance company writes the check for your deductible, and you never see a bill. For this convenience, your annual premium will be a little more (on average). With Plan G you pay the deductible out-of-pocket and get a lower annual premium (on average).
That’s it. That’s the only difference between these two excellent Medicare supplement plans.
So, what’s your preference? Do you want the convenience of first-dollar coverage of the savings that come with paying the deductible yourself?
What If I Don’t Turn 65 Until After 1 January 2020?
In this case, Medicare Plan G is better than Plan F because F isn’t available to you. Your choice is now easy because Plan G is the best plan you can buy.
For super healthy seniors, with no family history of chronic illness later in life, Medicare Plan N is the policy you should be comparing with Plan G. Here’s why.
Medigap Plan N has similar coverage as compared to Plan G. The big difference is that it does not cover excess charges, and you’ll make a small copay when you see your doctor (up to $20 per visit) or when you use the emergency room(up to $50 per visit). But, when you take on these costs yourself, you get a much lower premium. That’s why Plan N is a good option for healthy people.
Why Can’t I Get Medicare Plan F?
We get it, it’s frustrating seeing your spouse, neighbors, and friends with Plan F coverage, and not being able to get it yourself. But, Congress changed the law so that new Medicare beneficiaries no longer qualify for plans that pay the Part B deductible.
Supposedly Congress made the change in order to make adjustments in what Medicare pays doctors to treat us; the so-called “doc fix”. The real reason is that Medicare spending is going up at an unsustainable rate and they want seniors to put a little more skin in the game when they see their doctor. In other words, by making us think twice about going to the doctor, because we’ll have to pay the first bill or two out-of-pocket, maybe we won’t go for minor things, like a cold.
Need advice on choosing the best Medicare supplement plan for your personal situation? Call 1-855-266-4865 and let a HealthPlanOne agent answer your questions. There’s absolutely no obligation. Ask them for a free rate plan analysis from all of the top carriers in your state, as well as any questions you still have about Medicare Plan F vs Plan G.