What Is Medicare Supplement Plan G?

Plan G is one of 10 Medicare Supplement plans that help fill the "gaps" left by Original Medicare.

It's the most popular option for people new to Medicare Supplement plans, likely because its coverage is so good. Plan G is more expensive than some other Medigap plans, costing an average of $148 per month. But the extra cost can be worth it since Plan G will pay for nearly all of your medical costs, except your Part B deductible.

What is Medicare Plan G?

Plan G is a type of Medicare Supplement plan that has the best coverage for people new to Medicare.

Sometimes called Medigap Plan G, it fills most of the coverage gaps left by Original Medicare. For example, if you are hospitalized, you have to pay a $1,632 Medicare Part A deductible. Plan G pays the deductible so you don't have to pay it yourself.

There are 10 Medicare Supplement plans. Each plan is represented by a letter. Plan G is the second most popular plan overall, behind Plan F. However, you can only get Plan F if you were eligible for Medicare before 2020. Plan G is the most popular plan for new enrollees, and it will likely grow in popularity as time goes on and fewer people can sign up for Plan F.

To buy Medicare Plan G, you have to have Original Medicare, which refers to Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. However, you can't buy any Medigap plan, including Plan G, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.


How does Medicare Plan G work?

When you go to the doctor or the hospital, Original Medicare will pay its share of the bill. But you may still have some costs to pay yourself. Medicare Plan G helps with those costs. After Medicare Part A or B has paid its portion of your medical bills, Plan G pays some or all of the rest.

Example: Plan G coverage for a hospital stay

Imagine you get sick with a bad case of the flu, and you have to be admitted to the hospital. Without Medigap Plan G, you pay your $1,632 Part A deductible. And if you are hospitalized for more than 60 days, you pay $408 per day in coinsurance.

But if you have Medicare Supplement Plan G, you wouldn't pay anything yourself. Plan G pays for your deductible and Part A coinsurance. Not only does this eliminate your share of the medical bills, it could also free you up from the worry about how to pay.

Remember that Plan G is a supplemental insurance plan. It's not your primary insurance coverage. While Medigap plans reduce or eliminate what you have to pay, Original Medicare still pays for the majority of your medical costs.

Medicare Plan G coverage

Plan G has the same coverage no matter which company you buy it from. That's because Medigap plans are standardized, which means coverage doesn't vary between companies.

Medicare Plan G benefits
Coverage
Medicare Part A coinsurance
Medicare Part B coinsurance
Blood (three pints)
Part A hospice care coinsurance
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
Part A deductible
Part B deductible
Part B excess charges
Foreign travel emergency80%

Medicare Plan G does not cover your Medicare Part B deductible, which is $240 for 2024. Each year, you have to pay for doctor visits and other non-hospital medical services until you have reached the deductible. Then Medicare will cover about 80% of your outpatient health care costs. Plan G then covers the remaining 20% of the bills, so you don't have to pay anything but the $240 yourself each year.

There is a high-deductible version of Plan G available. With this plan, you have to pay $2,800 of your medical costs before the plan will start paying.


Medicare Plan G pros and cons

Pros

  • Covers nearly all of your medical costs
  • Available from most insurance companies
  • High-deductible version available at a lower rate

Cons

  • More expensive than other Medigap plans
  • Not the best deal if you're in good health

How much does Medicare Supplement Plan G cost?

Medicare Plan G costs $148 per month on average for a 65-year-old woman who does not smoke. You'll often see a range of prices for Medicare Supplement policies because each insurance company uses a different pricing method for plans. Your exact price for Plan G will also be determined by your location, health, age and gender.

The high-deductible version of Plan G costs an average of $48 per month. Remember: with this plan, you have to pay the first $2,800 of your medical costs before the plan starts paying.

Plan G costs by company

When you shop for Medicare Plan G, you should compare rates from different companies so you can get the best price. Because the coverage is the same no matter which company you choose, comparing rates, customer satisfaction ratings and extra perks is the best way to choose a Medigap company. AARP/UnitedHealthcare and Cigna have some of the cheapest rates for Plan G.

Average cost of Medigap Plan G from different companies

AARP/UnitedHealthcare is one of the most popular companies for Medicare Supplement plans, and it tends to have low rates for Plan G. However, Plan G from Humana costs an average of 11% more per month compared to the national average.

Average cost of Plan G from different insurance companies

Company
Plan G rate
AARP/UHC$142
Cigna$148
Aetna$152
Blue Cross Blue Shield$155
Humana$165

Average monthly rates are for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke.


How to buy Medigap Plan G

Medigap Plan G is sold by private health insurance companies, so you have to work directly with a company to sign up.

However, not all insurance providers offer Plan G. Shopping around and comparing rates can be helpful to find the best Plan G for you.

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Getting Original Medicare is the first step to getting Plan G. Starting three months before you turn 65, you have seven months to enroll in Medicare. This is called your initial enrollment period. If you're retired and getting Social Security, you'll automatically be enrolled in Medicare. Remember, you have to have Parts A and B to buy a Medigap plan. You have to sign up for Medicare before you can sign up for Medigap.

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You can get a Medicare Supplement plan starting in the first month that your Medicare Part B coverage is active. You have six months to sign up. This is called Medigap open enrollment, and it's the best time to buy a Medigap policy, since you will get the lowest rates and can't be denied coverage.

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If you miss your first window, your Medigap options might be more limited and you could pay more. After your Medigap open enrollment, health insurance companies might charge you more based on your health status. You might be denied coverage entirely. And there's no guarantee that a company will sell you a Medigap policy if you miss your Medigap open enrollment window.

It's best to buy Plan G when you are first eligible for Medicare so you get the best rates. That's because insurance companies aren't allowed to charge you higher rates due to health issues or refuse to sell you a policy because of preexisting conditions during this time.


Medicare Plan G vs. Plan N

Plan N has cheaper rates than Plan G. Plan N costs on average $111 per month, which is 33% less than Plan G.

However, Plan G provides slightly more coverage than Plan N. Plan G pays for Medicare Part B excess charges, and Plan N does not. Part B excess charges aren't common, but if you are hit with one and you have Plan N, you have to pay out of pocket.

Neither Plan N nor Plan G covers the Medicare Part B deductible.

Medicare Plan G vs. Plan F

Plan F covers the Medicare Part B deductible, and Plan G does not. But you can only buy Plan F if you were eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020. Plan G's coverage is nearly as good as Plan F, though, which is why it is the most popular plan for those new to Medicare Supplement coverage.


Frequently asked questions

Is Medicare Plan G worth it?

Plan G is usually worth it if you have moderate to high medical costs. In this case, you'll usually save enough money on your medical bills to outweigh the monthly cost for Plan G. But if you don't need much medical care, it might make more sense to just have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, which combines your Medicare coverage into one policy.

What doesn't Plan G cover?

Plan G doesn't cover your Part B deductible, which is $240 in 2024. It also only covers 80% of the costs for medical care outside of the United States. Medigap plans don't cover prescription drugs, long-term care, or vision and dental needs.

What is the difference between Plan G and a Medicare Advantage plan?

Plan G is a Medicare Supplement plan that works with Original Medicare Parts A and B to pay the bulk of your medical bills. A Medicare Advantage plan works as your primary insurance. It bundles Parts A and B together and usually includes coverage for prescription drugs.


Methodology

ValuePenguin uses actuarial data for all private insurance companies to calculate average Medicare Supplement rates. Rates are for a 65-year-old woman who doesn't smoke, doesn't qualify for a household discount and signed up during her initial enrollment when medical status can't be used as a rating factor. Average rates exclude Select plans and plans in states that have their own Medigap systems.

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Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a subsidiary of QuoteWizard.com, LLC ("QuoteWizard"), a LendingTree subsidiary, or through its designated agents, only where licensed and appointed. Licensing information for QWIS can be found here. QWIS is a non-government licensed health insurance agency. Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.

Callers to QWIS will be directed to a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Supplement insurance and/or Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations. Calls to QWIS will be routed to a licensed agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more third-party partners of QWIS. Each of the organizations they represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

Availability of benefits and plans varies by carrier and location and may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. QWIS does not offer every plan available in your area. Any information provided is limited to those plans offered in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Deductibles, copays, coinsurance, limitations, and exclusions may apply.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained on this website. Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system every year.

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