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Medicare is Changing for 2020: Introducing Plan G

4 minute read

By Heather Fishel

Have you been paying attention to the latest Medicare news? There’s a big change coming for 2020, and older adults need to know what’s happening. During open enrollment, Medicare often changes from year to year. But for 2020, one of the biggest changes to happen to Medicare is taking place – and anyone who’s enrolling or changing their plan during 2019’s open enrollment period needs to be aware.

Whether you’re a new or current Medicare subscriber, the Medicare changes taking place in 2020 might affect your coverage, your supplement plan options, and your healthcare costs. That’s why it’s so important to know what changes are happening, and how they’ll directly impact you.

And during the 2019 open enrollment period, the biggest change is happening to Medicare Supplement plans. 

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Understanding Medicare isn’t easy. And one of the most important – but most complicated – pieces of Medicare is supplement insurance.

Medicare Supplement insurance, or Medigap plans as they’re also known, are insurance policies sold by private companies. Although Medicare covers the bulk of seniors’ healthcare costs, it often doesn’t meet every need, which can leave subscribers paying expensive bills. That’s why many choose to purchase Medicare Supplement insurance, which offers additional coverage beyond basic Medicare.

Each year during open enrollment, Medicare subscribers can make changes to and shop around for Medicare Supplement plans. Different supplement plans offer different costs and different levels of coverage, which is why it’s so important to reevaluate any Medigap plan annually.

How Are Medicare Supplement Plans Changing in 2020?

For 2020, there are big changes coming to Medicare Supplement insurance. The available supplement options will be changing – and new Medicare subscribers will be limited in what they can choose.

Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medicare Supplement Plan F High-Deductible, and Medicare Supplement Plan C have been staples of Medicare for years. However, thanks to changes legislated by Congress, these three supplement insurance options are disappearing.

Plan F, Plan F High-Deductible, and Plan C will no longer be offered to new Medicare subscribers. If you’re eligible for Medicare starting January 1, 2020 or any date after January 1, you won’t be able to purchase these supplemental plans. 

But there is good news for new Medicare subscribers who will become eligible on January 1. Medicare will introduce a brand-new supplement option in 2020: Plan G.

What is Plan G?

Medicare Plan G – or, as it’s officially known, Medicare Supplement Plan G High-Deductible – will be introduced on January 1, 2020. 

Plan G is meant to replace the supplement plans that are disappearing in 2020. But it isn’t exactly the same as Plan F, Plan F High-Deductible, or Plan C. 

If you choose to add Medicare Plan G High-Deductible to your health insurance coverage, you’ll wind up with a supplement that’s very similar to the current Plan F. For a small annual deductible, you’ll get full coverage for all of the gaps currently present in Medicare’s coverage.

Plan G covers everything that Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) covers. This means it cover inpatient hospital stays and care and outpatient medical services. Your Original Medicare coverage will initially pay for any medical care you need. Then Plan G will kick in and pay the rest of the bill, once your annual deductible is met. And for 2019, that deductible is just $185.

Are You Eligible for Plan G?

With the disappearance of Medicare Supplement Plan F, Plan F High-Deductible, and Plan C, many Medicare subscribers worry their coverage will change. However, you just need to know whether you’re eligible for Plan G – or if you may be able to keep your current Medigap plan.

If you’re already a Medicare subscriber, your plan can stay the same if you’d like. Anyone who’s enrolled in Medicare Part A by December 31, 2019 and currently has Plan F, Plan F High-Deductible, or Plan C can keep their supplemental insurance.

If you aren’t eligible for Medicare until January 1, 2020 or a later date, you won’t be able to sign up for Medicare Plan F, Plan F High-Deductible, or Plan C. But you will be eligible for Plan G.

To put it simply, only new Medicare subscribers will be able to get Medicare Supplement Plan G High-Deductible. But if you’re already a Medigap subscriber, you can actually still change your coverage. You can shop around during open enrollment and consider other options under Plan F and Plan C. This means every senior on Medicare should do their research and check their options. You never know how your coverage can change – or if you could save money by adjusting your Medicare Supplement insurance.

zimmytws / Shutterstock

Heather Fishel



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