When choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan there’s several options to consider. The daunting task of familiarizing yourself with Medicare and your options can be a bit intimidating.
But that’s why we are here, to make things a little easier on you so you can make the best choice in one of the most important decisions in your life. About 10,000 Seniors are aging into Medicare daily, and many of them are choosing Medigap Plans to cover the costs left over by Medicare.
In a nutshell, Medicare basically covers 80% of the bill and the additional costs could be substantial. Medigap plans help by covering all or most of these costs, depending on the plan you choose.
When it comes to Medigap there are 10 Standard plans; With exception to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts, that have different options than the rest of the country.
These plans are designated by letters and the coverage is Exactly the same regardless on which carrier you choose. What this means for seniors is that no matter where you are in the United States the Plan G is Plan G, and the coverage is exactly the same despite state or carrier.
Medicare Plan G vs F vs N
These plans are offered by private insurance companies such as Mutual Of Omaha, Aetna, Cigna, AARP United Healthcare, and United American. When it comes to Medigap plans most people choose between Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. There is a very good reason why these plans are the most popular, they are the most comprehensive.
For many years Plan F has been the most popular. That’s because anything Medicare covers, Plan F covers all of the cost left over. For example, if you have a $100,000 Surgery where Medicare leaves you with about $20,000, Plan F covers every penny.
This Plan F is considered first dollar coverage. Meaning that the beneficiary cost share is completely covered.
Medicare Supplement Plan F is going to be discontinued, along with Medigap Plan C, in the year of 2020 as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2016.
Although those members on the Plan F at this time will be able to keep it, the prices are expected to increase dramatically. Just as the other plans that have been discontinued in the past, such as the Plans H, I, and J which are no longer in circulation.
Plan G is currently the Most popular plan in Medicare. This is because the beneficiary usually saves significantly more money every year by being on the Plan G and paying their own Part B deductible ($183 in 2018), which is the only difference between the F and G.
Basically, Plan F is a Full coverage plan. Likewise, Plan G covers exactly the same. Except it requires the beneficiary to pay the Part B deductible, and this generally saves hundreds of dollars per year over Plan F.
Not to mention, Plan G rate increases have traditionally been less. Thus, making the value that much greater for the beneficiary. The Plan G is staying intact in 2020 unlike the Plan F
What Benefits Come with Medigap Plan N
Plan N is growing in popularity and is considered by many as the most affordable, full coverage plan option. Like Plan G, you’re responsible for paying the Medicare Part B deductible. In addition, you’re responsible for a $20 copay for the doctor, including specialists, and $50 for the emergency room.
The only thing that leaves you vulnerable are excess charges. An excess charge is an additional 15% that a provider can charge above the Medicare approved amount. These are not common as more than 90% of providers accept Medicare assignment, meaning they agree not to charge the excess charge.
The savings of being on the Plan N is quickly making it grow in popularity. If you are relatively healthy this is one of the best options for you.
What Else Do I Need to Know when Comparing my Options
The best time to enroll is during your Open Enrollment Period. Medicare beneficiaries should start shopping for Medigap options 6 months prior to being eligible to enroll.
Those same persons have up to 6 months after becoming Medicare eligible. That equates to 12 months in which Medicare beneficiaries can review and shop for the best Medigap plan to meet their needs and budget.
It is important to choose a highly rated carrier and plan when you’re starting Medicare. You can anticipate stable rate increases over the future when selecting a creditable carrier. Unfortunately we do not get healthier as we age and this is one of the most important choices for your health and financial needs going forward.
For more information on Medicare Supplement Plans, give us a call. You can also compare rates in your area using our online rate form here.