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We are going to review the best Medicare Supplement plan options for 2022 and everything you need to know before enrolling in a plan!
Why Medicare Supplement Plans?
Jumping right in, Medicare Supplement Plan and Medigap plan are interchangeable terms for the same product. If you come into Medicare and stay on original Medicare Part A and Part B, which I absolutely 100% recommend, you will likely get a Medicare Supplement Plan.
These plans cover what Medicare A and B do not. While Original Medicare is great coverage, it does have a lot of holes that leave you with possible out-of-pocket expenses that have no limit. A Medigap plan is going to fill in those holes, and leave you with very little out-of-pocket expenses, which protects us now and in the future.
Medicare Supplement Choices
When you look at the choices for Medicare Supplement Plans, you’re going to find that Medicare makes this as complicated as possible. There are actually 12 choices for Medigap Plans, running through the letters of the alphabet from A-N. There are even some hidden plans tucked behind Plans G and F!
Best Medigap Plans
To put it simply, 12 Medigap Plan choices gives us way too many options, and many without enough coverage to be considered. In reality, we are going to break it down into three plans that you need to understand. The three plans are Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. There are also some sub-plans like Plan FHD and Plan GHD are are important in certain states.
Medicare Supplement Plan F
Medigap Plan F used to be the #1 plan, also known as the Cadillac and gold-standard of Medicare Supplement plans. The main reason that Plan F has always been held in such high regard is that is has 100% coverage, leaving enrollees with zero out-of-pocket through the year.
Sounds terrific, right? The main problem with Plan F is that if a plan is going to pay everything, it is going to have a premium to match that benefit. If you are asking advice from someone who has been on a Medigap Plan for more than 5 years, there is a good chance they are enrolled in a Plan F. Why? Plan F is an incredibly easy plan to sell due to the full coverage, and agents love to sell it!
Why isn’t Plan F considered the #1 plan anymore? In 2019, CMS issued a new ruling that anyone who turned 65 after January 1st, 2020 would not be eligible to enroll in a Plan F. This means that going forward, anyone newly aging into Medicare will not be able to apply for a Plan F. That isn’t too bad, though. In fact, there are other high coverage plan options available with much more affordable premiums!
Medicare Supplement Plan G
With Plan F out of the running for anyone knew to Medicare, don’t worry, there is a fantastic option! Plan G is exactly the same as Plan F except for a small annual deductible, known as the Part B deductible. In 2021, the Part B deductible is $203, and the deductible is projected to be at $217 for 2022. Once you have met the Part B deductible, your Plan G turns into a Plan F. That means, no other out-of-pocket! So in the worst year, if you get hit by a bus and you’re on Plan G, you’re going to be out of pocket 217 total! Medicare is going to pay the rest of your medical expenses for the year. Each January it’s going to reset, so you’re going to be on the hook for another $217, but that’s it!
In most cases and in most areas of the country, Plan G is the best value for benefits and premium. There are some places, however, where Plan G is priced just a little to high, and in those states we move on the Plan N.
Medicare Supplement Plan N
Plan N is the third of the three best Medicare Supplement plans. It also offers terrific coverage with very low out-of-pocket, but also comes at a lower premium.
The main differences between Plan N and Plan G (or Plan F) is that Plan N does have a small amount more out-of-pocket. Similar to Plan G, you will have to pay the Part B deductible on Plan N. In addition to the Part B deductible, Plan N has copayments and possible excess charges.
The copayments on Plan N are simple. Whenever you have an office visit, regardless of whether it is your primary care doctor or a specialist, you will have a copay of $20. $20 is the maximum copayment for an office visit, never anything more. The other copayment with Plan N happens if you go to the emergency room and you are not admitted. If you are assessed in the ER but not admitted as an inpatient, you might pay a maximum copayment of $50. That’s it! Those are the copayments on Plan N, not too bad for how much you save on the monthly premium.
The little bit of grey area on Plan N comes with the possibility of an excess charge. Doctors who accept Medicare are given the option to also accept Medicare Assignment. Most doctors (around 97%) do accept Medicare Assignment and do not charge excess charges. However, if the doctor does not accept Medicare Assignment, you may be responsible for an excess charge with Plan N. An excess charge can be up to 15% of the Medicare approved amount for the service. Since most doctors accept Medicare Assignment, excess charges are not common, but they are possible with Plan N.
High Deductible Medicare Supplement Plans
Finally we have the Plan G High Deductible and F High Deductible. These plans are basically Plans G and F, but with a high deductible attached. In 2021, the deductible is $2,370, and will likely increase in 2022. Although these plans comes with a large deductible, they also come with a much smaller premium than the traditional Plans G and F. In certain states with year-round open enrollment, like New York or Connecticut, these plans are great options.
Best Medigap Plan 2022- Review
Overall, although it is easy to narrow down the Medicare Supplement plans to 3 viable options, choosing a plan is based on individual needs. It is important to personalize the process so that you really understand all the aspects of coverage and we make the right choice for you. My goal is to put you in the right place going in to Medicare so you won’t have any problems going forward. Give us a call at 877-885-3484 to speak to a very experience agent who will walk you through all three of these options to help make the best choice for your needs!