Because of changes to the laws governing the Medicare program, Plan F and Plan C will not be available to new Medicare enrollees any longer. For a detailed explanation of those changes, see our page about the MACRA law. To sum it up as briefly as possible, the law was changed to discontinue plans that pay for the Medicare Part B annual deductible. Click here to see the Part B deductible for the current year.
People who have Plan F or Plan C after January 1, 2020, can keep their current plan. They can even switch to a different company offering the same plan. But for new Medicare enrollees, Plan F and Plan C is no longer an option. Plan G will likely replace Plan F as the most popular plan in the next few years. Plan F had a high deductible option until the law changed. Now the High Deductible Plan G will replace it as the high deductible option going forward.
How Does High Deductible Plan G Work?
- You need to pay an annual deductible before the plan pays for any of your medical care.. In 2023, that deductible is $2,700. Any payment towards your Part B deductible also applies to this High Deductible Plan G deductible.
- Once you meet the annual Part B deductible, Medicare Part B covers 80% of your expenses. On High Deductible Plan G, you’ll need to cover the remaining 20% until you reach the total annual deductible.
- Once you meet the annual deductibles, High Deductible Plan G covers the rest of the Part B co-payments for Medicare-approved care for the rest of the calendar year.
This can be a little confusing. Just be aware that it is extremely rare that you would meet the entire annual deductible without also meeting your Part B deductible. Since your Part B deductible payment also counts toward the larger deductible, it is very unlikely to be an issue. Personally, I have never run into a situation where someone paid more than the total High Deductible Plan G annual deductible.
Is It the Right Plan For Me?
There is no rock-solid yes or no answer to this. The $2,700 deductible is a big financial commitment if you end up having to pay it. However, in the meantime, you can save a tremendous amount on premiums by going with High Deductible Plan G. It is certainly better than going with Original Medicare with no other coverage.
High Deductible Plan G is also a better alternative to Medicare Advantage plans. On Medicare Advantage, you could end up paying a $8,300 maximum out of pocket if your health takes a turn for the worse. Under High Deductible Plan G, that is limited to $2,700, plus possibly having to pay the Part B deductible in addition. As I mentioned in our popular article and video comparing Medicare supplement vs Medicare Advantage, there are many more benefits to choosing Medigap. The biggest one is being able to go to any doctor, specialist, or hospital in the country that accepts Medicare. Over 96% of doctors do.
Just as with other forms of insurance like auto and home coverage, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. High Deductible Plan G premiums are significantly lower than other plans. The exchange is that you have that high deductible to carry some of the risk yourself.
We have offered the High Deductible Plan F for several years. I can tell you that the feedback that we get from those who have chosen to go that route is that they mostly didn’t think it was worth the hassle. My job is to inform you of the options that are available and educate you on how it all works. Your job is to decide what works best for your situation. Together we can come up with a plan that fits your budget and your needs.
How Do I Find a High Deductible Plan G?
Companies are not required to offer High Deductible Plan G, and only a handful of companies do offer it. As an independent agent, Stanley Keith Murray can shop the entire market for you at one time. Best of all, our services are FREE. You get the same price whether you let us enroll you in the plan of your choice or whether you go directly to the insurance company. Many companies will not allow you to enroll directly. If you are shopping on your own, you may miss some great opportunities.
Stanley Keith Murray is an independent agent and the founder of Integrity Senior Solutions Inc. He has been working with Seniors to meet their Medicare insurance and financial needs since 1996.