Popular Medigap plan options: F, G, and N
Medigap Plan F review
When choosing a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan and conducting Medicare research, you may have heard that Medicare Supplement Plan F is the best plan. Is this actually the case? Is Medigap Plan F the best plan and, if so, is it the best plan for you?
When considering any Medicare Supplement plan, it is important to first understand the concept of Federal Standardization. This is simply the way Medigap plans are organized. Each plan letter is a standardized plan that can be sold by a variety of insurance carriers in states throughout the country with the same basic benefits.
So, a Plan F offered by any carrier is the same plan as we describe below.
What does Plan F cover?
As you can see in the chart at the bottom of this post, Plan F covers many of the gaps left in Original Medicare. Additionally, this plan covers more gaps than any of the other plan letters. Plan F is indeed the highest level of coverage available.
Who should choose Medigap Plan F?
Our advisors offer this plan to clients across the country every day. Those who end up selecting a Plan F are people who want to avoid extra out-of-pocket costs and who do not mind paying a slightly higher monthly premium to maintain such coverage. Plan F typically has the highest monthly premium of any of the plans.
Who shouldn’t choose Plan F?
Depending upon what plans and rates are available to you, another option such as Plan G may make more sense. Oftentimes this plan, which simply requires you to pay the Medicare Part B annual deductible, can save you money even after having paid that deductible.
Another situation where someone may opt for a lower coverage level is if they are exceptionally healthy. Those who tend not to have regular health issues and doctor’s office visits may be able to take on more risk in the form of potential out-of-pocket costs. As you may imagine, plans that open you up to more potential costs will typically have lower monthly premiums.
Medigap Plan G review
What is Medicare Supplement Plan G and what does it cover?
Plan G can cover almost every cost that remains after Original Medicare pays its part. As the chart at the bottom of this post illustrates, the main difference between Plan G and the highest level of coverage, Plan F, is the Medicare Part B deductible. With Plan G you are responsible for this annual amount which is $183 in 2017.
Who should choose Medigap Plan G?
Plan G is one of the most popular options amongst our clients. This is due, in part, to the fact that Plan G offers similar coverage to Plan F, but can have lower premiums. Most people who choose Plan G do so after calculating the difference in premiums between Plan G and Plan F and then accounting for the annual deductible.
If the premium for Plan G is low enough to save you money even after having paid the deductible, it may be a better option.
Who shouldn’t choose Plan G?
There are two reasons why you may not opt for a Plan G.
- Premiums for Plan G for you are not lower than Plan F after accounting for the annual deductible.
- You are sure you will not visit the doctor’s office during the year and, thus, will not pay the Part B annual deductible.
Medigap Plan N Review
As you can see in the chart below, Plan N is one of the more comprehensive Medicare Supplement options available. This plan requires you to pay the Medicare Part B deductible, a maximum of a $20 copay at the doctor, and a $50 copay emergency room visit cost (if you are admitted to the emergency room, that copay is waived).
Plan N may also expose you to excess charges. Although relatively uncommon, it is vitally important to know how excess charges work before deciding if a Plan N is the best choice for you. Doctors reserve the right to upcharge your service by a maximum of 15% above the Medicare-approved amount. With Plan N, you’d be paying for this 15%. The only plans that cover excess charges are Plan F and Plan G.
Who should choose Medigap Plan N?
In our experience, those who choose Plan N are either individuals who are exceptionally healthy and will not have to pay co-pays for the doctor and hospital on a regular basis or those who wish to have lower premiums than a Plan F or Plan G.
Who shouldn’t choose Plan N?
If you have some sort of health issue that requires regular doctor’s office or hospital visits, Plan N may not be the best option. The copays for such visits can quickly add up to overcome the premium savings when compared to a higher level of coverage such as Plan F or Plan G.