Medicare Supplement Plan F vs. Plan G
- Medigap Plan F and Plan G are the two most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. See how these plans compare against each other in terms of benefits and costs and find out which one may be right for you.
Plan F and Plan G are two of the most popular types of Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) plans. What makes them so popular, and how do they compare against each other?
In this article, we take a look at Medigap Plan F vs. Plan G to help you make an informed decision about whether one of these plans may be right for you.
How Are Plan F and Plan G Different?
There are three key differences between Medigap Plan F and Plan G: coverage, eligibility and costs.
Plan F and Plan G Coverage Are Nearly Identical
The first difference between Plan F vs. Plan G has to do with the benefits they offer.
The 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans available in most states can cover nine benefit areas, and Plan F is the only type of plan to cover all nine benefits. Plan G covers eight of the nine benefits.
The comparison chart below shows the benefits offered by each type of Medigap plan.
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C1||D||F1||G||K||L||M||N|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|First 3 pints of blood||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Medicare Part A deductible||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||50%||✓|
|Medicare Part B deductible||✓||✓|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||✓||✓|
|Foreign travel emergency||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|1. Plans C and F are not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
2. Plans F and G also offer a high deductible plan which has an annual deductible of $2,370 in 2021. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
3. Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,220 in 2021. Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,110 in 2021.
4. Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
View an image version of this table.
The only area where Plan G coverage is different from Plan F is regarding the Medicare Part B deductible. Part B requires you to pay an annual deductible of $203 in 2021 before your Part B coverage kicks in. Plan F covers the Part B deductible in full, which means that you don’t have to pay anything toward your Part B deductible for covered care if you have Plan F. Plan G does not offer cover the Part B deductible.
Aside from coverage of the Part B deductible, Plan F and Plan G offer the same benefits:
- Part A coinsurance and extended hospital costs
- Part B coinsurance and copayments
- First three pints of blood
- Part A hospice care coinsurance and copayments
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergency care
Each of the above benefit areas are covered at 100% by both Plan F and Plan G, with the exception of foreign travel emergency care, which is covered at 80% (the maximum allowed by Medicare Supplement Insurance).
New Medicare Beneficiaries May Not Be Eligible for Plan F
The second difference between Plan F and Plan G has to do with eligibility.
Only people who became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020 are eligible to enroll in Medigap Plan F. If you did not become eligible for Medicare until Jan. 1, 2020 or later, you will not be allowed to enroll in Plan F and must choose another plan (such as Plan G).
The eligibility rule is a result of federal legislation that requires Medicare Part B beneficiaries to be subject to the annual deductible. Plan C is the only other Medigap plan that covers the Part B deductible, and the same eligibility rule applies.
You can apply for Plan G whether you became eligible for Medicare before or after January 2020, as long as Plan G is available where you live.
Plan F and Plan G Premiums May Vary
The cost of Medigap plan premiums can vary based on location or insurance carrier. And all things being equal, Plan F will generally cost more than Plan G within the same market since Plan F covers the Medicare Part B deductible.
Plan F premiums may also become more expensive than Plan G premiums in the coming years because as fewer people are eligible to enroll in Plan F, the insurance risk pool for Plan F in each local market will get smaller. This means that insurance companies will likely need to charge higher premiums for Plan F, whereas Plan G premiums may decrease as more people enroll in Plan G and the risk pool gets bigger.
In fact, Medigap Plan G enrollment has increased 39% year-over-year in recent years, while Medigap Plan G enrollment has decreased.
Plan F and Plan G are similar in one cost aspect. Plan F and Plan G both offer a high-deductible option. Depending on where you live and the plans that are available in your area, both of these high-deductible options may be available. High-deductible Plan F or high-deductible Plan G allows you to pay a lower monthly premium in exchange for a deductible that must be met before the plan coverage takes effect. In 2021, the deductible is $2,370 for both high-deductible Plan F and high-deductible Plan G.
Is Medicare Plan G Better Than Plan F?
Choosing between Plan F and Plan G may ultimately come down to cost for beneficiaries who are eligible to apply for both plans.
If Plan F and Plan G are both available where you live (and if you are eligible to enroll in Plan F), you may want to add up the premium costs for each plan for the year.
- If the cost for Plan F is at least $203 more than the cost of Plan G, then Plan G will be the more affordable option. That’s because the $203 Part B deductible coverage is the only benefit difference between these plans, so if the cost of Plan G + $203 is less than the cost of Plan F, then Plan G will have a lower overall cost for the year.
- If the cost difference for Plan F is less than $203, you may wish to consider how much you anticipate using your Part B coverage to find out if the higher premium costs will be worth the difference.
It never hurts to speak to a licensed insurance agent from your area who sells both plans to discuss which one might be best for you.