Almost 60 million Americans were enrolled in Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans as of 2018. Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap plans, are popular because they pay the portions of your medical bills that Original Medicare doesn’t pay, such as copays or deductibles for Part A or Part B. Now, Plan G—a new option for new Medicare enrollees beginning January 1, 2020—offers the closest available coverage to what was Plan F. Medicare Supplement Plan G covers most of the out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare does not pay for with one exception: your Medicare Plan B deductible. In 2020, this is $198.
The most popular Supplemental Plan was Plan F, but as of January 1, 2020, Plan F is closed to new enrollees. However, if you were eligible to sign up for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you can still enroll in a Supplement Plan F.
Many seniors choose Medicare Supplement Plan G insurance because of its cost-effectiveness and overall coverage. But the entire process of finding a provider can be confusing and overwhelming, so we’re here to help. We’ve gathered the best Medicare Plan G companies and compared them to give you the most comprehensive idea of your possible coverage as you move through the Medicare journey. Each plan covers at least 40 states, and they’ve been further examined based on price, ease of use, educational information, and more.
Best Medicare Supplement Plan G Plans of 2021
Humana: Best in Extra Benefits
Humana has a string of extra benefits for those who enroll in Medicare Plan G, whether it's the regular or the high-deductible option. The regular plan has premiums that vary with location and benefits. While the high-deductible plan will be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, you have to first pay your deductible to get benefits ($2,340 in 2020). With a wellness plan called SilverSneakers, discounts on vision and prescriptions, and with a 24-hour nurse hotline, you won’t find better extras than with Humana.
Choose between the standard and high-deductible plan by determining whether you have currently have significant health care needs. If you do, then paying a higher monthly cost with no deductible may make more sense.
Covers Medicare Plan A & Plan B coinsurance and skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
Easy-to-use website with clearly explained information
Many extra benefits such as the wellness program
Doesn’t cover Medicare Part B deductible
Some extra benefits may not be necessary for everyone (e.g. vision and hearing care discounts)
No messaging customer service via the customer account portal
You can buy Medicare supplement insurance from many providers in your state, but a Humana policy includes some perks other providers don’t offer, including a 24-hour nurse phone line, Silver Sneakers wellness program, and even access to Humana Transplant Centers, which helps you navigate the complex world of transplant care and make informed decisions. It also offers a personalized savings program for eye exams, over-the-counter medications, and massage therapy and weight-loss programs.
If you are looking for a more personalized experience and a concierge-like service throughout your Medicare Supplement program experience, Humana is worth checking out.
AARP: Best for Comparison Shopping
AARP offers the easiest way to compare prices. Just enter your ZIP code, date of birth, and gender, and you’ll be redirected to a page where you can view all the plans available to you—and that means all of them, whether it's Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Supplemental Medicare Plans like Plan G, without having to re-enter your information every time.
Information collected in one place, without being overwhelming
Offers rates for various locations
Difficult to get customer service on the phone
No added benefits
Insurance is an important decision, and AARP strives to help you in making those choices, so it breaks down each different area of Medicare, allowing you to select precisely the coverage you want. AARP is not itself an insurance company, but is a great resource and offers its plans through insurance giant United Healthcare.
Aetna: Best in Pricing
Pricing can be challenging to estimate since everyone has a different personal situation, and costs may vary from state to state. Aetna offers very competitive pricing when compared to other providers. As with other plans, there is both a standard option and a high-deductible option. Your monthly premium will be affected by your choice, but Aetna’s prices are still considerably lower, starting at $135 per month (other plans can be upwards of $200+).
All-inclusive premiums starting at $135 per month
Plans are easy to compare
Only requires basic personal information to be entered once
Household discount available
Limited educational information available on the page
No way to select and purchase a plan directly from the comparison page; a phone call is required
No extra benefits
Aetna could be easier to navigate, but once you find the information you’re looking for, you’ll see some of the lowest prices for Plan G offerings (around $100/month, or less with a household discount). The high-deductible plan can be found for as low as $60 per month but comes with the stipulation of first paying the deductible ($2,340). While quotes are available online, the option to continue the process from there is not; you will need to create an account or call a representative to move forward with the coverage process.
Aside from the household discount, there aren’t any extra benefits included with this plan. It only fills in the federal government’s gaps for Medicare Part A and B coverage (20% of the remainder of Medicare-approved costs). If you need more discounts or extra support, it may be better to pay a bit more to get the exact coverage you need.
Cigna: Best Detailed Plan Descriptions
Cigna’s Medicare Supplemental Plan G options each have their own page, which breaks down the coverage into a lot of detail with plenty of explanation. You don’t have to enter your ZIP code or any other personal information.
Smooth, clean website with a lot of educational information about the plan options
Offers a Health Information Line staffed by nurses 24 hours a day
Educational information about Plan G and Medicare available on website
Household discount may be available
No quotes or comparisons without entering personal contact information
No other extra benefits
Household discount not available in eight states, and is only available to spouses for residents in the state of Washington
Cigna gives potential customers plenty of information, providing lots of detail and background information for each of its plans and the coverage available with each benefit. While this helps to compare coverage, Cigna does not offer the ability to get a free quote. Or at least, not without entering personal information (such as age, gender, Plans A and B start date, and your current insurance situation. You must also provide your email address and phone number, which then allows Cigna to contact you to discuss your plan options.
If you’re fairly confident in Cigna as one of your final options, this is a fair request, since most providers need that information at some point during the enrollment process. However, you may find it disquieting to provide that much information to Cigna if you’re still undecided on which plan to choose.
Household discounts are not available in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Vermont.
Mutual of Omaha: Best for Easy Application
Mutual of Omaha’s application process couldn’t be simpler. The front page details each different Medicare Supplemental Plan it has available, and it never navigates away from that page during the comparison process.
Easy, clean website with reviews available on the same page
Simple comparison process that only requires gender, date of birth, and ZIP code
Household discount available
No high-deductible plans offered
Multi-step process to pay online
Limited extra benefits other than the household discount
Mutual of Omaha prides itself on simplicity. It offers an easy-to-read chart for services covered under Medicare Supplement Plan G. It also allows you to create an account or apply as a guest, which allows for faster comparisons. Applying with either type of account requires information from your Medicare card, your social security number, and your medications, to allow for an accurate estimate. You can also save your application and return to it later, even when applying without an account.
With all this ease, you’d almost expect the price tag to be higher for it, but that’s not the case: for Plan G, Mutual of Omaha’s baseline estimate is just over $100 (or just under $100 with the discount), which is on the low end of the average range for Plan G ($100 to 250).
How We Chose the Best Medicare Supplement Plan G Companies
When we set out to select the five best Medicare Supplement Plan G providers, the first thing we looked at was geographical coverage. We made sure that the plans we mention here cover at least 40 states to allow for the most possible coverage for as many people as possible. From there, we determined the five best plans by studying pricing, ease of website use and application, educational information, extra benefits, and more.
How to Shop & Compare Medicare Supplement Plan G
Medicare enrollment eligibility begins three months before you turn 65 and extends for the three months after unless you’re eligible earlier due to disability. Otherwise, you can enroll during Open Enrollment, which in 2020 runs from September 7 through October 15. After that, there’s no ability to enroll, only the option to adjust coverage you are already enrolled in. Changes in coverage begin in January. Every provider we look at has an eligibility check when providing you estimates, which will tell you if you’re eligible to enroll or not.
Step 2: Decide If You Want to Enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, or a Medicare Advantage Plan
You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B before you are eligible to enroll in any Medicare Supplement Plan. If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you cannot enroll in a Supplement Plan.
Step 3: Find Out What Medicare Supplement Plan G Plans Are Available in Your Area
Not every provider offers every Supplement plan, and not every provider has plans available in every location. Most Supplementary Medical Insurance providers will ask for your ZIP code when you’re preparing your personalized estimate, which will let you know immediately if the provider covers your area.
Just because a plan covers your state doesn’t mean it covers your area, so make sure you enter your ZIP code correctly to see the plans available in your county.
Step 4: Determine If You Would Like a Regular or a High-Deductible Plan G
As you might have guessed, a high deductible Plan G comes with a higher out-of-pocket payment than regular Plan G, but with lower monthly premiums. It’s important to do your homework; the trade-off here is that with a high-deductible Plan G, there is a potential to have to pay an additional amount ($2,340 in 2020) before receiving the benefits of Plan G. You’ll need to determine the best choice for your budget, and if paying a higher monthly premium is worth it to you, to not have to pay out-of-pocket costs throughout the year.
Step 5: Check Plan Pricing and Coverage
Cost is often a determining factor in many purchases. Fortunately, we’ve taken the guesswork out of pricing comparison, so you can be assured that the plans offered here have been measured for their cost and efficiency. Different providers may have different costs for the same care, while some may go above and beyond the basic level of care required by law.
The federal government mandates all Medicare Supplement Plan G coverage. All plans will cover the same basics: nursing home care, extended hospital care, blood transfusions, etc. Some providers may offer more, but the cost may be higher with those plans.
Step 5: Get An Expert Opinion
An insurance broker or consultant can be a valuable asset. Not only do they have more access and knowledge than what the average person might, but they sometimes can negotiate better prices, or at the very least provide additional guidance throughout the insurance-buying process. Plus, using a broker or consultant is entirely free for you, since they get paid by the insurance companies. Furthermore, an insurance broker has stringent rules set by the government to make sure the process is handled easily and fairly for you, the customer.
Step 6: Sign Up for Coverage
Once you have decided which Supplement Plan G is right for you, you can register directly with the insurance provider, usually online or by telephone. Remember: during Medicare Open Enrollment, which in 2020 extends from September 7 through October 15, anyone eligible may enroll in Medicare and pick any supplemental insurance they may need.
What Is Included in Medicare Supplemental Plan G?
Medicare Plan G covers almost everything Original Medicare does not. It doesn’t extend the scope of care, just the amount of coverage included. Plan G coverage includes excess charges that are left over from the 80% that Original Medicare does not cover, including Part A and Part B copays and Part A’s deductible. The other big difference: Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible, which needs to be met. However, that payment does count toward the Plan G deductible as well.
The Plan B deductible for 2020 is $198, so you’ll have to pay at least this much, but that means you can subtract that amount from your expected Plan G deductible as well.
What Is the Difference Between Plan F and Plan G for Medicare Supplement Plans?
With Medicare Supplement companies, there are some differences between Plan F and Plan G. Plan F covers the Plan B deductible and Plan G does not, but Plan F was phased out as of January 1, 2020. Plan F is now only available to those who were eligible for Medicare before that date. Plan G is a popular replacement because, aside from the Plan B deductible coverage, both offer identical benefits.
You can switch Medicare Supplement plans at any time by submitting a new application. In most states, you will have to answer medical questions to be approved. Call your provider to find out whether you need to fill out a medical health questionnaire to switch.
Is Medicare Plan G Going Away?
Not any time in the foreseeable future. Plan F was phased out as of January 1, 2020, but Plan G is intended to replace it.
Is Plan G the Best Medicare Supplement Plan?
It really depends on what you want. Suppose you’re looking for a comprehensive basic Medicare Supplement plan. In that case, for coverage that fills in gaps not provided by Original Medicare, Plan G is a good option, especially if you recently became eligible for Medicare and can’t sign up for Plan F. However, if you want more bundled coverage or dental or vision coverage, or don’t think you’ll need the benefits Plan G offers (such as an extended hospital or hospice care), another Medicare Plan might be better for you.
What Is the Average Cost for Medicare Plan G?
Plan G plans start at about $100 per month and can go up to about $200, but the cost depends on your situation, location, health history, and the carrier you choose.
Does Plan G Cover Dental?
No. Some providers may offer dental discounts, but there is no dental coverage included in Plan G.
Can I Keep My Plan G If I Move to Another State or Country?
If you move to another state and your plan’s Supplement Plan G is available in your new location, you can keep your plan. If it's not available in your new location, you may need to switch plans or providers if other companies offer Plan G coverage in your new area. You can keep your Medicare Plan G coverage if you move to another country, although it wouldn’t cover care other than hospital visits—and that’s after a $250 deductible. If you plan to move back to the United States, it may be worth keeping Medicare Plans A and B, though Plan B may incur higher premiums. It depends on how long you plan to be gone and other insurance options for you in your new home country.
What Is the Difference Between Plan G and Plan G With a High Deductible?
The difference between a regular Plan G plan and a High Deductible Plan G plan comes down to the deductible amount and coverage timing. With a standard Supplement Plan G, you’re covered immediately and are only responsible for the $198 Part B deductible, plus your monthly premium. With a high-deductible Plan G, your coverage begins once you pay your $2,340 deductible, which then covers all future out-of-pocket costs. Determining which one is best for you depends on your situation, and if you need the coverage Plan G provides immediately or if it makes more sense to pay the lower premiums until that higher deductible is met.
kff.org."Sources of Supplemental Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries in 2016." Accessed November 11, 2020.