Medicare Supplement Plan G: Cost, Benefits, and Company Ratings
Medigap Plan G (also called Medicare Supplement Plan G) is the perfect coverage option for people who love a good deal. It truly is the best value for what you get.
We know that Medicare is confusing. To make things simpler – and a bit more fun – we decided to liven things up.
Let’s pretend that we’re a popular lifestyle magazine, and as you flip through the gossip columns and how-to articles, a certain little page catches your eye.
In big, bold letters you see this:
QUIZ: Which Medicare Supplement Plan Are You?
You pause and linger for a moment. Before you know it, you’re reading the questions and are circling your answers.
Q1: Let’s say you’re in the wine section of your local grocery store. Which section do you go to first?
- I go for the expensive stuff – it might be overpriced, but at least I know it’s quality.
- I look for something in the middle. I want a good value, but I still want decent wine.
- I scan the bottom shelf. Any wine will do!
Q2: It’s time for a movie night. What do you do?
- I’ll find a great movie on pay-per-view. The newer, the better.
- I’ll find something on Netflix. Might as well take advantage of my subscription!
- Redbox! $1 for a movie night? That’s what life’s all about.
Q3: When you go out to dinner with friends, who picks up the tab?
- Me. Always.
- My friends and I rotate. We share the burden.
- Go out to dinner? I cook at home. Eating out is way too expensive.
Q4: When it comes to clothing, which one of the following describes you the best?
- I gravitate towards brand name items.
- I love getting a great bargain, and I certainly never pay full-price.
- I prefer buying used clothing from resale shops.
Q5: When you go grocery shopping, which of the following sounds most like you?
- I hate coupons and think they’re a waste of time. I find what I need, and I buy it.
- I love getting a good deal – when I see a 2-for-1 sign, my heart practically skips a beat.
- You could say I’m an extreme couponer.
Now it’s time to flip the magazine upside down and see the results. Which plan are you?
Medicare Supplement Quiz Results
Mostly 1s: You’re a Plan F!
Mostly 2s: You’re a Plan G!
Mostly 3s: You’re a Plan N!
We get it – this isn’t exactly foolproof and you should take it with a grain of salt. But seriously – if you picked mostly 2s, you’re likely the type of person who wants a lot of value for a great price. And that’s often how we describe a Plan G to the clients we help.
Medigap Plan G Benefits
Yeah, that quiz isn’t exactly going to tell you everything you need to know about Plan G – particularly the benefits.
Here are some of the benefits that come with Plan G:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
- Part B coinsurance
- First 3 pints of blood
- Part A hospice care coinsurance
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Part B excess charges
- 80% coverage when you’re traveling outside the United States
It may also be easier to understand what’s not covered with a Plan G, which is:
- The Part B deductible
That’s it. Everything else is covered, as long as it’s a Medicare-approved expense (which is how all Medicare Supplements work).
The Part B deductible is not a big deal. Here’s what that Part B deductible has historically been for the year:
This deductible is also the only difference between a Plan G and a Plan F. However, a Plan F typically costs around $300 more per year than a Plan G. Doesn't quite make sense, does it?
You’d basically be spending an $300 to save $185. In other words, you’re paying extra for convenience. And savvy shoppers don’t particularly enjoy that!
If you don’t mind that Part B deductible, a Plan G is definitely the way to go.
Cost of a Medigap Plan G
We’ve talked about this before on the Medicare Allies blog, but the cost of a Plan G (or any Medigap plan for that matter) varies quite a bit from person to person.
Your age, gender, zip code, and tobacco status are all factors that play into the final monthly premium. Even so, we know that a ballpark estimate of the cost is helpful, so we’ve put together some samples.
You can check those out here: How Much Does Medigap Insurance Cost On Average?
Based on the sample quotes we ran in that article, the estimated cost of Medigap Plan G spans from $93-$132. This varies, of course, but that should give you a good idea of what a Plan G would cost you each month.
For those of us accustomed to pre-65 healthcare costs, this is quite the steal! This is particularly exciting for those used to a high deductible. With Medigap plans, you don’t have to worry about 4, 5, or even $6,000 deductibles.
With a Plan G, all you’re on the hook for is that Medicare Part B deductible, which has historically been under $185 for the year.
Medigap Plan G Company Ratings
When you’re researching Medigap plans, you probably find yourself interested in what companies offer this plan.
But here’s the thing – the company doesn’t really matter. That can be confusing to hear, so let me explain.
By law, every Medicare Supplement insurance plan is standardized. Each insurer must offer identical coverage for the same plan.
Let that sink in for a moment. A Plan G is a Plan G no matter which company is selling it.
There are really only two main differences from company to company, and those are:
Underwriting differences basically mean that one company will have their own set of health questions, and other will have a different set of health questions. For example, one company may take diabetics that use up to 50 units of insulin, while another company may take up to 70 units of insulin. This can be important for those with health issues that need a supplement outside of open enrollment or guaranteed issue situations.
However, if you’re new to Medicare, underwriting isn’t as important, because you do not have to pass underwriting.
Watch this video to learn more: Open Enrollment vs. Guaranteed Issue (GI): What's the Difference?
What’s the most important is the price!
And you may be wondering… why would the price be different from company to company if the plan benefits are exactly the same?
Here’s the answer: each company has their own set of health questions. Each company thinks that if you can pass their questions, you won’t have as many claims, which means you won’t cost them as much money. Therefore, they’re willing to offer you the same plan for a better price.
Other factors that go into pricing include how many claims that company is facing, your age, regular inflation, the general cost of healthcare, and admin costs.
But even so, people are still interested in particular Medigap companies. And one way to distinguish companies from each other are their ratings.
A.M. Best Company provides credit ratings for the insurance industry. Their Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (IC) Scale goes from Poor (c) to Exceptional (aaa).
Here are some popular Medigap companies with A.M. Best Ratings, the most recognized rating agency for the insurance industry:
- Aetna – bbb (Good)
- Americo – a (Excellent)
- Cigna – a (Excellent)
- CSI Life – a+ (Excellent)
- Everest – a+ (Excellent)
- Liberty Bankers Life – bbb+ (Good)
- Lumico – a+ (Excellent)
- Manhattan Life – bbb- (Good)
- Medico – a- (Excellent)
- Mutual of Omaha – aa- (Superior)
- Prosperity – a- (Excellent)
- Sentinel – bbb (Good)
- Thrivent Financial – aa+ (Superior)
- Western United Life – bbb- (Good)
Keep in mind that the Medigap company rating shouldn’t necessarily play into which carrier you choose. The price is ultimately the main distinguishing factor between companies.
Are you interested in a Medicare Supplement Plan G? The best place to start is by requesting a quote. Contact us to get started.
Our team of dedicated, licensed agents can help you as little or as much as you need. Whether it’s answering a few questions about Medicare or creating a comprehensive Medicare Planner with you, we are your Medicare Allies.