Learn the difference between Medicare Supplement Plan G and Plan G HDHP

With the exit of the popular Medicare Supplement Plans C and F as part of the government implementation of MACRA, those eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020, are looking to the next best option. For most, that option is Plan G.

The only difference is with Plan G beneficiaries are responsible for paying the Part B deductible ($198 in 2020). It offers great value for beneficiaries after paying the small annual Part B deductible. After that, Plan G provides full coverage for all of the gaps in Medicare. It pays your hospital deductible, copays and coinsurance. It also covers the 20 percent that Part B does not cover.

It helps pay for inpatient hospital costs, such as blood transfusions, skilled nursing and hospice care. It also covers outpatient medical services like doctor visits, lab work, diabetes supplies, x-rays, ambulance and surgeries.

Original Medicare Part A and Part B pay first, then Plan G pays the remaining amount after you pay the Part B deductible.

For many, the appeal of Plan G is the benefits you receive. The benefits include:

  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergency coverage (up to plan limits)
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
  • The first 3 pints of blood
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Durable Medical Equipment like wheelchairs and walkers

See the Medicare Supplement Outline of Coverage for a full explanation, 2020 premiums and exclusions.

High Deductible Health Plan G

Starting in 2020, High Deductible Health Plan G is an option for current and new Medicare beneficiaries. Plan G HDHP has the same coverage as Plan G, but the beneficiary must pay a $2,340 (2020) deductible –which includes the Medicare Part B deductible – before the plan begins to pay. The appeal of the Plan G HDHP is the monthly premium is generally lower.

Meet Stan! Stan has Original Medicare with Medigap Plan G

Stan was diagnosed with diabetes which requires him to visit his primary care doctor annually and his endocrinologist three or four times a year. Stan has Original Medicare Part A and Part B and added Medicare Supplement Plan G to help cover the gaps. Stan visits his doctor in February. The doctor sends the bills to Medicare which pays the 80 percent share of the bill except for the Part B outpatient deductible of $198 which is billed to Stan. The remainder of the bill is covered by Stan’s Medicare Supplement Plan G. For the rest of the year, Stan will not owe any out of pocket costs for covered Part A and Part B services as his supplement plan covers the rest. If Stan needed to have surgery, Medicare would cover 80 percent and his Plan G would cover 20%.

Doctor charges: $12,500   Medicare pays: $10,000   Medicare Supplement pays: $2,500Stan pays:   $198 Medicare Part B deductible    Total Stan pays:   $198     *Stan’s deductible for Medicare Part B is met for the year

Meet Kate! Kate has Original Medicare with Medigap Plan G HDHP

In February Kate was diagnosed with an illness that required hospitalization for seven days. Her Medicare Part A covered all but $1,408 dollars. After she was released, she needed a walker and physical therapy for six weeks. Her Medicare Part B paid 80% of her physical therapy bill and 80% of her walker cost. That’s when her Medicare Supplement Plan G HDHP kicked in. She paid the $2,340 Plan G HDHP deductible which includes the Part B deductible and her Plan G paid the $1,408 uncovered hospital cost, the 20% remainder of the physical therapy bill and the 20% remainder of the walker cost. Her deductible was met for the remainder of the year so when she was hospitalized for a short time in March, she paid $0 out-of-pocket for her stay and follow up doctor visit.

Hospital Charge: $25,000   Medicare pays: $23,592   Medicare Supplement pays: $1,408Kate pays:   Medicare Supplement Plan G HDHP deductible: $2,340    Doctor/physical therapy charge plus walker cost: $12,500   Medicare pays: $10,000   Medicare Supplement pays: $2,500Total Kate pays:   $2,340     *Kate’s deductibles for both Medicare Part B and her MedSup Plan G HDHP are met for the year

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or Federal Medicare Program. e_905 1/20

2 Replies to “Learn the difference between Medicare Supplement Plan G and Plan G HDHP”

  1. It would be nice to see what the annual cost comparison to purchase Plan G VS Plan G HDHP for these two different supplemental insurance options, not just what the examples of the out-of-pocket cost for two fictional characters who used the coverage. Without those numbers, someone trying to decide which is the best option does not have the information they need to make a reasoned decision.

    1. Hi Kathy. If you live in Kansas and are shopping for a plan in our service area, you can compare plans and cost information for your situation by visiting our website at: https://www.bcbsks.com/medicare/

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