By Daniel Petkevich
Nov 2, 2022
The decision about your Medicare plan is not one that we take lightly.
At Fair Square Medicare, we take pride in finding the best plans for each one of our clients. Not just for new Medicare beneficiaries shopping for their first plan but also for people who have already put their trust in us to find the best plan year after year. Often, this involves having complex conversations about money, health, and what could go wrong.
Generally speaking, we believe that most Medicare beneficiaries should be on Medicare Supplement Plan G. The network which allows you to see every doctor that accepts Medicare (over 90% of doctors nationwide) can't be beat, and your costs are limited to your monthly premium and the Part B deductible of $233 ($226 in 2023). If you're on Plan G, don't give up the ship.
Other brokers might urge you to jump onto a rescue boat, like a Medicare Advantage plan, to save money on monthly premiums. This might be tempting with a potential looming recession on the horizon. Sometimes, Medicare Advantage can be the right fit. In many cases, this decision could be short-sighted. The monthly premiums are higher on Plan G than on most Medicare Advantage plans, but you are opening yourself to substantial out-of-pocket costs in the long term. Rather than only paying the monthly premium and the Part D deductible, you have to worry about deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, all leading towards your out-of-pocket maximum. Plus, your HMO/PPO network on a Medicare Advantage plan is more limited than on a Medicare Supplement plan. It might be cheaper on a monthly basis, but a big wave could sink you as you try to make it out of the storm without the same level of protection as your Plan G.
The money that you "save" when switching from Plan G to a Medicare Advantage plan does not compare to the money Plan G saves you when receiving treatment. One slip, and a broken hip later, the higher cost on the monthly premium for Plan G will feel like money well spent.
What's the maximum potential cost on Plan G?
Monthly Premium ($170.10 + $115) × 24 = $6,842.40
Annual Part B Deductible of $233 × 2 = $466
What's the maximum potential cost on Medicare Advantage?
Monthly Premium of $170.10 × 24 = $4,082.40
A worst-case scenario will see them hit Max. Out-of-Pocket Cost of $5,500 per year × 2 = $11,000
Total = $15,082.40
For a more in-depth look at how your costs can pile up, check out our article here.
In the Annual Enrollment Period, you might be overwhelmed with messaging trying to convince you that now is the time to switch to Medicare Advantage. They might try to sell you the extra benefits included in some Medicare Advantage plans like dental, vision, or hearing. You might have seen some plans with flashy perks like a Flex Card offering free groceries (although fact-checkers would dispute this claim) and money back on your social security checks. In fact, many of the claims made by people peddling Medicare Advantage plans are dubious at best. Complaints about marketing of Medicare Advantage plans have skyrocketed in recent years according to Axios.
The out-of-pocket expenses are typically lower on Plan G than in Medicare Advantage plans, simple as that. The Medicare Supplement plans also allow freedom of movement and don't limit which health services you can receive.
Economic anxiety is totally reasonable with the uncertainty of this day and age. With budgets getting tighter and a dollar not going as far as it used to, it might seem like a good idea to cut costs on Medicare. Studies have shown that the cost of healthcare might rise sharply as a result of inflation coupled with the challenges of COVID on the healthcare system. With Plan G, you just have to worry about your monthly premium and the Annual Part B deductible.
If you were to jump ship, you might not be able to get back into your old Plan G. Medical Underwriting is often necessary to enroll in Plan G after your Initial Enrollment Period is up. Your health records might face scrutiny, which could raise your monthly rate on Plan G, or potentially keep you from enrolling at all.
Trust our experts, the cost of Medicare Supplement Plan G is worth it, and will likely save you money in the long run. If you have any questions about your Medicare plan, don't hesitate to reach out. Our experts are ready to talk you through your options, give us a call at 1-888-376-2028.
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Virgil Insurance Agency, LLC (DBA Fair Square Medicare) and www.fairsquaremedicare.com are privately owned and operated by Help Button Inc. Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. This is a solicitation of insurance. A licensed agent/producer may contact you. Medicare Supplement insurance is available to those age 65 and older enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and, in some states, to those under age 65 eligible for Medicare due to disability or End-Stage Renal disease. Virgil Insurance Agency is a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations and stand-alone PDP prescription drug plans. Each of the organizations we represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal. The plans we represent do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov. © 2022 Help Button Inc
We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.