Medicare Supplement Plans Comparison

Choosing between FEHB and Medicare Supplement

Right now for Federal Employees, we have several answers in regard to your FEHB plan.  First one to consider is do you have a younger spouse on your plan or children that are on the plan.  If that is a yes, then Yes, you will want to stay on that plan so that they don’t lose the coverage they have as well, but if not, then it’s a tough decision.

When you turn 65 you have the option to go Medicare and keeping your FEHB plan or going with Medicare with Medicare Supplement coverage.  Either way both will most likely become 100% coverage if you go with plan F or G.  Obamacare isn’t really affecting your premiums today, but it’s being looked at very closely by the Trump administration.  With that in mind, if premiums start to jump then a Medicare supplement might be the way to go in the future.

medicare supplement plans - FEHB vs Medicare Comparison - Medicare Supplement Benefits Cost Differences

Choosing Plan G vs Plan F with Supplement

Medigap Plan G is a high-benefit plan that is commonly overlooked for the more-popular Plan F. However, Plan G is very similar to Plan F and may be cheaper in some cases.

According to 2014 enrollment data, Plan F is almost 10 times as popular as Plan G even though the two provide nearly identical coverage. The only benefit Plan F includes that Plan G does not include is the $166 annual Medicare Part B deductible (in 2016).

If you’re getting a quote for Plan F, it may be smart to also get a quote for Plan G. If the Plan F monthly premium is at least $14 higher than the Plan G monthly premium, you would be overpaying for the Part B deductible benefit, and Plan G may be the better deal.

Comparing benefits and cost

When comparing Medigap plans, benefits and premiums are two of the most important deciding factors. Keep reading to compare these factors for Plan F vs. Plan G.

Benefit differences

Both Plan G and Plan F provide high levels of coverage. Plan F includes all 9 Medigap benefits. Plan G has the same coverage except it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible, which is $166 in 2016.

The following chart compares benefits for the two plans.

Medicare Supplement benefits F G
Part A hospital care co-insurance & costs
Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment
Part B co-insurance or co-payment
First 3 pints of blood
Part A deductible
Part A skilled nursing care co-insurance
Part B deductible
Part B excess charges
Foreign travel emergency

 

This small difference in benefits between Plan G and Plan F makes a huge impact when consumers choose a Medigap plan.

When Medicare beneficiaries review the benefits chart in the guide to choosing a policy from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, they clearly see that Plan F is the only plan that offers full coverage and as a result tend to choose Plan F.

“F has a check mark in every box,” she said. “They want the one that covers all of them.”

Most medicare beneficiaries want to visit their doctors without worrying about any unexpected costs, however large or small. Plan F provides this freedom.

People don’t want to worry about paying a deductible they don’t want to worry about any bills coming in the mail.”

Cost differences

Plan F usually comes with a higher cost than Plan G.

Plan G and Plan F monthly premiums can differ by $30 or more in most states,  the cost difference between the two plans has led many  clients to choose Plan G over Plan F.

When you do the math, you can understand why. If you pay $30 more a month to have Plan F instead of Plan G, you’d be paying an extra $360 a year for an extra $166 in coverage.

We can see the financial incentive in going with Plan G

However, the price gap between Plan F and Plan G may not always be so large. The prices you are quoted will differ depending on the insurance company and your personal details.

On a national scale, Plan G is still less expensive than Plan F, but only by about $12 a month, according to a 2010 statistical report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Premiums can vary widely depending on the insurance company and the state in which you live.

Medigap plan competition

Despite the fact that Plan G can potentially save Medicare beneficiaries hundreds of dollars per year, nearly 10 times more people choose Plan F compared to Plan G.

Plan F was the most popular Medigap plan in 2014, with over 6 million enrollees, according to a report from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). In contrast, about 698,000 had Plan G.

Plan F’s popularity creates a snowball effect that further increases its enrollment. Some clients follow other family members’ suggestions. If one family member has Plan F, the other family member will enroll in Plan F as well.  That’s part of the reason why it continues to be the most popular.

FEHB vs Medicare Supplement Plans – Benefits & Cost Differences