As we meet with individuals both NEW to Medicare, or those who have been covered for many years, one of the most common questions we are asked is about the difference between a Supplement Plan F and a Plan G. In a nutshell, Medicare Supplements (nationwide) are categorized by letters (F, G, N, A, L, etc.) with the “top” plan being the “F”. Twelve or thirteen years ago when I was helping individuals enroll in a Medicare Supplement at age 65, the ONLY plan we were writing was the Plan F—financially it made the most sense with the least out of pocket cost, and is today still a fabulous plan in terms of coverage.
However, over the years the Plan F has increased in price substantially, and combined with the introduction of the lower rates of the Plan G about 5-6 years ago, this has resulted in the Plan G taking first place in new enrollments.
What’s the difference?
Medicare imposes a calendar year deductible when you are enrolled in Part B—for 2019, this deductible is $185. If you have a Plan F Supplement, your PLAN pays this deductible; if you have a Plan G Supplement, YOU pay the deductible. That’s it. No other differences in coverage whatsoever.
As younger Medicare-eligibles enter the Supplement arena—99% of the time they’re going with a Plan G, meaning the “aging” population currently covered by Plan F isn’t being balanced out by younger and perhaps healthier individuals, and in return, causing an uptick in rates.
Medicare Supplement rules do NOT allow you to switch from one letter to another without going through underwriting; however, if you’re currently covered by a Plan F and would like to consider applying for the lower-priced “G”, now is certainly the time to do so! The process is quick and doesn’t require a physical but rather just answering a few health questions and typically completing a phone interview. There is no harm in applying and no “mark” on your record if you should apply and be denied—you’ll simply just carry on with your current coverage with no change.
Please call or email me if you’d like to explore changing your Supplement—remember, we can do this at ANY time of year!