How to Compare Medigap Plans in Connecticut
Please read how to how to compare CT Medicare Supplemental insurance plans (the first post in this series) if you haven’t already. This series contains information you need to compare Medigap plans offered in Connecticut. The previous post covers Medigap Plans A through D. This post starts with Plan F. (Plan E is no longer offered).
The focus of this series is to help you compare CT Medicare Supplement insurance plans with each other. It won’t give you the information to compare Medicare Advantage Plans with Supplement plans with any depth.
However, the main differences between these two categories are premiums and doctor network restrictions. Supplement or Medigap plans cost more than advantage plans.
Are Medicare Supplement plans worth it? You may feel the higher cost of Medicare Supplement Plan F, when compared to that of an Advantage plan is justified by the freedom to see any doctor who accepts Medicare.
How to Compare CT Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans (continued)
Medigap Plan F
This is the best of the best Medigap Plans if we judge plans by how comprehensive they are. Many other agents recommend it more often than any other plan. It makes my list of top 3 Medicare Supplements, but because of its cost, I recommend other ct medigap plans more often.
It has all the benefits as Medigap Plan C plus one additional benefit. But carriers charge more for the plan with lower benefits.
(Why is the better plan of the two more expensive? Plan C was very popular twenty years ago and was priced well then. Now a disproportionate number of Plan C policyholders are in their 80s and more claims need to be paid for Plan C policies even though the contract covers less.)
When you compare Medicare supplemental insurance policies on a benefit by benefit basis, you will find that Plan F covers each medical service as well or better than any other policy offered in Connecticut.
You are not likely to have any costs for hospital stays, even If you are in the hospital over a year. So long as you have Medicare Part A in place, between Medicare and this Medigap plan you will be will covered in any hospital that accepts Medicare.
No CT Medicare Supplement plan covers nursing home coverage nearly as well as a typical long-term care policy, but when you compare Medigap F with the other supplemental policy, you will find none of the others cover these expenses any better.
You are not likely to have any costs for doctors or other providers you see outside of the hospital either. Plan F is the only plan that covers the annual Part B (doctor’s visit) deductible, the 20% of physician’s office charges that Medicare Part B does not cover and “excess charges” when doctors charge more than the Medicare approved amount.
It also covers foreign travel emergencies.
It is the most comprehensive plan, but it is also one of the more expensive plans. Without a doubt, it is a good buy for anyone and the best buy for some. However, I usually recommend a plan that is almost as comprehensive but cost a lot less.
In 2017, I recommend Medigap Plan K and Medigap Plan N over Plan F most of the time.
Medigap Plan F (high deductible)
This plan probably covers the least of all options because of its high deductible. However, it has excellent catastrophic coverage and is very well priced.
I do recommend this plan for people who are healthy, want to keep their monthly costs down and are willing to pay for their small to medium expenses if they have a bad year medically.
This plan has the lowest price of all Medigap options, but is the only one with a $2,200 deductible. (There are several Medicare Advantage Plans with $0 monthly premiums, but a high deductible Plan F will have a lower premium than any other Medicare Supplement Plan.)
This plan covers all the benefits of Plan F, but after a $2,200 deductible.
There are two things to bear in mind when you compare Medigap F (high deductible) with other plans.
The deductible only applies to the supplemental benefits, not the core benefits provided by Medicare Part A or Part B.
For example, Medicare Part B will pay 80% of most doctor bills after a $183 deductible in 2017. The high deductible on this plan does not prevent Medicare from paying the 80% cost share. Medicare will pay the 80% after you meet the Medicare Part B deductible.
A Medigap Plan F high deductible plan won’t pay the 20% unless you meet the Supplement’s deductible.
You can switch from this policy to a different Medicare Supplement at any time during the year regardless of your medical history. So long as you have Medicare Part A and B and are a Connecticut resident. Your new policy can go into effect as early as the first of the month following your application date.
You can switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan during any Annual Enrollment Period. However, you may not be able to switch to an Advantage plan if you have end stage renal disease. (You will have to meet other criteria including residency criteria.)
Medigap Plan G
Plan G is a good plan; it is the second most comprehensive plan. It covers all benefits Plan F does except for the annual doctor’s deductible. But since it only costs a little less than Plan F, I rarely recommend it.
My clients tend to either want to pay a little bit more and get the best plan or get a little bit less coverage and pay a lot less. This plan doesn’t make my top 5 Medicare Supplement plans.
Compare Medicare Supplemental Insurance with Medicare Advantage Plans…
…before making a final decision. If we can find a lower-cost network based plan that has all your doctors in their network you may find you prefer one of the $0 premium Advantage plans.
Compare Medigap Plans the Easy Way
You will find a benefit chart of Medicare supplement plans on Medicare.gov that may make it easier to compare Medigap plans or request CT Medicare insurance recommendations from me. I will email your recommendations and the information you need to compare Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans offered in Connecticut.