Choosing a Medicare plan is a vital step when you approach Medicare eligibility. Whether you apply for Medicare when you’re first eligible or past 65 if you had creditable employer coverage, you’ll be exploring your Medicare options. Your Medicare plan options depend on where you live, among other factors. However, you’ll likely hear about Medicare Plan G, but what is Plan G? How do you know if it’s right for you? Let’s dive in.
What is Medicare Plan G?
As you will find out, there are several “parts” and “plans” when referencing Medicare. What’s confusing about Medicare is each part and plan has a specific letter. For example, there is Medicare Part A and Part B, but also Medicare Plan G and Plan N. It’s important to distinguish the different parts and plans.
The federal government provides Medicare Part A and Part B, which is your hospital and medical coverage and is also known as Original Medicare. But since Original Medicare does not cover 100% of your costs, private insurance companies sell plans to help pick up the expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Medicare Plan G is one of the plans you can purchase from a private insurance company that helps supplement your Original Medicare. In this situation, Medicare is your primary payer for hospital and medical services. When you purchase a Plan G, it will be your secondary payer and help cover costs after Medicare pays.
The benefit of enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Plan G is you can see any provider in the U.S. that accepts Original Medicare. A provider cannot deny you service based on the insurance carrier you choose for your Plan G policy. Therefore, this plan may be a good fit for you if you travel frequently.
What does Medicare Plan G cover?
Medicare Supplement plans are designed to cover the gaps in Medicare. This means that your Medicare Plan G policy will pay the Part A deductible, other hospital costs, skilled nursing facility costs, hospice, the 20% Part B coinsurance, and Part B excess charges for you.
Plan G is meant to help lower your out-of-pocket costs during the year. Those who like predictable costs and want to know precisely what they could pay in the year typically lean towards Plan G.
What doesn’t Plan G cover?
One gap in Medicare that Plan G won’t cover for you is the Part B annual deductible ($233 in 2022). This means you will need to meet that deductible first before Medicare covers 80% of the cost of Part B services and Plan G covers the remaining 20%.
Besides the deductible, your Plan G should cover all approved costs after Medicare pays.
However, there are many things that Medicare does not cover, so Plan G won’t cover either. For example, Medicare does not cover most retail prescription drugs, long-term care, routine dental, vision, or hearing. If Medicare does not cover a specific procedure or service, then neither will your Plan G. This is important because many people mistakenly think Plan G will cover services that Medicare denies.
Special perk with Medicare Plan G
If you enjoy traveling out of the country, you should know Medicare has limited coverage outside the U.S., but Plan G can offer 80% coverage for emergency services. There is a $250 deductible and a $50,000 limit, but it can be helpful if traveling!
Plan G offers comprehensive coverage at a reasonable cost. Not only will you know how much you can spend in the year, but you have the freedom to see providers anywhere in the country!