Ron Bliss: Medicare price war going on for G plans; F plans going out

In all the my years selling Medicare supplements, the F plan has been the “Cadillac” of plans you could choose.

The F plan basically covers all expenses that are not covered by Parts A and B of Medicare and that is what has made it so attractive.

This year, however, those companies that sell Medicare supplements have been engaging in a “price war” to better be able to sell the plan that will replace Plan F when it is phased out on Jan. 1, 2020. Those who have F plans will be able to keep them, but they will no longer be offered for sale, after that date. That will shrink the pool and make the rates on them go up since as people age, they become more prone to needing medical treatment and the pool will be less healthy.

G plans are the same as F plans, with one exception. With the G plan, you have to pay the Part B deductible — which this year is the first $166.

Companies such as Transamerica, Aetna and Americo, in particular, have dropped their rates for Plan Gs in the last 6-8 months and that has made the Plan G the best value in the Medicare market.

If you divide the $166 deductible by 12, it comes out to $13.83 per month. When you add that to the G plan premium, for most companies, it is as much as $30-40 per month less. One very important part of the G plan is that it covers “Excess Charges,’’ which the amount a doctor can get above what Medicare offers for a certain procedure. Only the F and G plans pay 100 percent on excess charges. If you have another plan, you are on the hook for the difference. If Medicare pays $60,000 for a certain procedure, a doctor can charge 15 percent above that amount — or get $69,000 for the procedure. That leaves the patient paying the extra $9,000. Ouch!

Most companies now offer G plans, which tend to increase in price at a slower rate since those who qualify for guaranteed issue cannot get a G plan and that keeps the pool healthier. Affordable Healthcare Pros can give you a choice of 10 different companies and the lowest prices on the market for Northern Nevada.

If you are turning 65 or want to switch to a G plan, come by our office at 2307 N. Carson St. in Carson City or call our office at 775-883-3414.

You can also see us at the Senior Celebration at the Carson City Community Center from 8 a.m., to 12 noon on Thursday, May 19.

If you want the best for less, call on us.

We also continue to assist those with Qualifying Life Events (QLEs) get health insurance. Anyone who needs coverage — be it from Medicaid, a job change, a death or a birth in the family, a child turning 26, change in marital status or moving from state to state — has 60 days from the time they lost their coverage to get new coverage. We can help you both on the Federal Marketplace or off the exchange. We do insurance for individuals in both Nevada and California.

If you have a QLE, call us at 775-224-7169, 775-450-6769 or 775-338-3647 or at the above office number.

Ron Bliss is a former long-time sports writer who has been doing health insurance since 2009. He is certified on both Covered California and the Nevada Health Link and can sell products on and off both exchanges. Affordable Healthcare Pros also offers both term and whole life insurance, a variety of dental plans to include dental-vision-hearing plans in both states, as well as a wide variety of Medicare supplements and other health supplemental products to include critical illness, short-term care, disability, plans to cover in-home or nursing home costs, accidents and hospital indemnity policies.


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