About Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans F, G, and N
Last Updated : 11/07/20195 min read
Shopping for Medicare Supplement plans? It’s always helpful to compare benefits before you buy so you know you’re getting the coverage you need. This article breaks down what to expect if you buy Medicare Supplement Plan F, Plan G, or Plan N.
What are Medicare Supplement plan basic benefits?
Basic benefits for each lettered Medicare Supplement plans are set by the government. If you buy Medicare Supplement Plan G from one company, it will have essentially the same basic benefits as Plan G offered by another insurance company.
All Medicare Supplement plans may pay 100% of your daily hospital coinsurance under Medicare Part A, and include an additional 365 days of coverage after Medicare coverage runs out. All plans generally pay between 50% and 100% of your Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayments, your Part A skilled nursing home coinsurance, and your Part A hospice coinsurance. They all may cover your first three pints of blood.
What does Medicare Supplement Plan F cover?
Medicare Supplement Plan F offers comprehensive protection against Medicare Part A and Part B out-of-pocket costs. It may pay 100% of your Part A and Part B coinsurance, and adds in 100% coverage for your Part A and Part B deductibles, too.
Medicare Supplement Plan F also pays 100% of your excess charges under Part B. You might face excess charges when you get care from a provider who doesn’t accept Medicare assignment. Health-care providers who don’t accept Medicare assignment may charge up to 15% more than the Medicare-approved amount for a service, if they’re legally allowed to do so. Plan F usually pays 100% of those charges for you.
If you travel outside the country, Medicare Supplement Plan F may cover 80% of your emergency health-care costs, up to the plan’s limit.
There is also a high-deductible version of Plan F that might have a lower premium than the regular Plan F, because of its high deductible.
It’s important to know that changes in Medicare law are phasing out plans that pay your Part B deductible, as of January 2020. Medicare Supplement Plan F is one of these plans. This only affects you if you won’t be eligible for Medicare until at least January 1, 2020. If you already have Plan F when the new law goes into effect, you’re allowed to keep it. You might even be able to buy Plan F after that date, if you qualify for Medicare by the end of 2019.
What does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover?
Medicare Supplement Plan G is essentially the same as Plan F, except it does not cover your Part B deductible. You may still be able to buy Medicare Supplement Plan G in 2020.
A Medicare Supplement high-deductible Plan G might become available in 2020.
What does Medicare Supplement Plan N cover?
Medicare Supplement Plan N doesn’t cover your Part B deductible or Part B excess charges. Otherwise, it has the same benefits as Plan F.
There are additional charges to keep in mind if you’re considering Medicare Supplement Plan N. If you buy Plan N, you may have to pay a $20 copayment for certain office visits, and a copayment up to $50 if you go to the emergency room and aren’t admitted to the hospital as an inpatient.
Which of these Medicare Supplement plans is right for me?
Medicare Supplement Plan F has the most comprehensive benefits of the three; your out-of-pocket Medicare costs with this plan are generally minimal. However, Plan F premiums may also be higher compared to Medicare Supplement Plan G or Plan N. Premiums may vary from one company to the next, even for the same plan.
Medicare Supplement Plan G might be a good choice if you’re someone who uses a lot of health-care services each year, but you don’t want to pay a high premium. Once you pay your Part B deductible, most of your Medicare out-of-pocket costs may be covered.
Medicare Supplement Plan N has fairly comprehensive benefits, as well, and if you’re someone who doesn’t visit the doctor a lot, your Medicare out-of-pocket costs will be very low. This plan may also have the lowest monthly premium of the three, depending on the insurance company you choose.
Whatever plan you choose, it’s usually best to buy it during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Your six-month OEP starts the month you’re both 65 or older, and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, you can buy any Medicare Supplement plan sold in your state, and you can’t be charged more due to your health status. If you wait until after the OEP, you may be charged more or turned down for coverage if you have a health condition.
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