The Lexus of the Medicare Supplement Line: Plan F Versus Plan G

If you were to purchase a brand new car, what would be more important to you? The brand or the actual quality of the car? Let’s say you really admire Lexus as a luxury brand (this is my personal preference). But what about the Toyota? It has the same features, quality, stability; the only difference is the brand. What would you do? Which car would you select?

Now, I know that purchasing a car is not the same as purchasing a Medicare Supplement, but bear with my analogy for the time being.

There are 10 Medicare Supplement plans, along with a high-deductible version of Plan F. However, the original Plan F has become the official champion of the Medicare Supplement world, leaving all other plans in the dust.

Plan F has been marketed as the best of the best, the luxury automobile of the Medicare Supplement line. However, many consumers are never officially introduced to Plan G. There are a few reasons this seemingly identical plan has been kicked to the curb during sales presentations.

1. It costs less, therefore agents will make a smaller commission… meaning Plan G is not as lucrative as selling the costly Plan F

2. Agents market this plan as a “hassle” compared to Plan F; meaning consumers are scared into thinking Plan G would require more effort on their part.

Let’s discuss the first reason. The average difference in price between Plan F and Plan G is about $20-$30 (not actual average, but rather my own personal assessment). This comes to roughly $300/year in savings, or as an agent would see it, $60 less than a Plan F would garner in commissions. This may not sound worthwhile to an agent’s agenda, but if you’re selling 100 policies every 6 months that’s about $6,000 down the drain. Sound worthwhile now?

However, if the agent is truly finding you the best policy to fit your situation, they will not steer you away from a Plan G. I always inform my leads of Plan G, which brings me to the second reason:

You, the consumer.

It’s difficult to sway your opinion on Plan F. Many of you feel that Plan F is the only plan worth your money. The only difference between Plans F and G is a little, tiny thing called the Part B Deductible. This deductible costs $147/year, and must be used up completely before Medicare or your carrier will cover anything. Let’s do some more math. If Switching to a Plan G could save you $25/month, you would still be saving $153/year even with paying the $147/year Part B Deductible.

It’s a conundrum, but some people forego paying that $147/year out-of-pocket (it’s a deductible, you don’t have to send a bill anywhere) in order to spend about $20-$30 more a month on the Lexus of Medicare Supplements.

Sure, all your friends might have the shiny, new Plan F, but you could get the same coverage for less and become the Medicare Supplement guru of the group. If my leads are comfortable, I attempt to steer them towards Plan G. I’m not always successful, but I hope Plan G will become more popular in the future.

If I had to choose between a Lexus and Toyota, I would probably choose the Toyota. Not because Lexus is unreliable, but because I know I would be just as satisfied with a Toyota overall as I would with a Lexus, and they are much cheaper.

If this article interests you, perhaps you’ll want to check out my website at [] or []. If you’re interested in contacting me regarding Medicare Supplements, you can find my contact info on my sites. Be advised, I am a Texas-only agent.

Medicare Part D: Advice for Those Who Forgot to Enroll, Again

Open Enrollment ended December 7th, this past Saturday, and unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you cannot enroll in Part D until next October. I have received calls from Medicare beneficiaries this week who are flabbergasted, no, violent. I have been yelled at, hung up on, and cussed at.

Frankly, this does not faze me, but it did make me want to write a blog to help people understand their options if they have missed out on Part D Enrollment. Below are a few ideas on how to ease the pain of paying for your prescriptions out-of-pocket. Enjoy!


Search the keywords “Prescription Coupons” in your search engine and hundreds of pages pop-up offering coupons on every drug imaginable. You can also research your specific drug by typing “‘Drug Name’ Coupons” into your search engine.

Another approach is to contact the company that sells your drug and ask if they have any coupons they can mail to you. Most companies have coupons or good deals available on their websites, as well. It may seem too easy, but sometimes it’s the easiest solutions that work.

Prescription Assistance Programs

There are a variety of programs like these, some being state specific. These programs are not insurance, but they do help with the costs of prescription drugs.

You have to apply and be eligible to qualify for an assistance program. Once you are in, you will typically receive a membership discount card that you can use to receive discounts at pharmacies.

The one tricky thing concerning these programs is that you may not qualify for Part D after you enroll in an assistance program. These programs are truly for those in desperate need who cannot afford their prescription drugs or afford Part D deductibles or premiums. There are also senior specific programs, as well as programs that only people under 65 can enroll in, so it is important that you check before applying.

One program I found after a mere ten minutes of research is RXassist.

Pharmacy Programs

Big grocery stores such as HEB and Walmart offer pharmacy discount programs (I live in Central Texas, so we have HEB-but I am sure there are competitive grocery stores in other states as well). By enrolling in these programs, you can get some (not all) of the prescription drugs you use at highly discounted prices. There are small, initial fees that you have to pay to enroll in these programs, but you will be able to receive prescription drugs for extremely discounted prices ($5 for a 30 day supply at HEB). Walmart also has a competitive program with some drugs listed for $4.

As you can see, there are options. Of course my first advice would be to not yell at your agent or hang up before they have a chance to help you. You might not even understand your situation. There is a chance you could qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Qualifying circumstances are usually things such as moving out of a service area, involuntarily being dropped from your Medicare Advantage Plan, or other extraneous circumstances that are out of your control.

While I wish I could magically wave my wand and fix the situation, it is what it is. Several analogies are: not filling your voter registration card out in time for an election, applying for a scholarship or grant after the due date, or submitting a work project late. There are reasons for deadlines, and it’s pointless to blame yourself, your agent, or the government. Mistakes happen, but luckily there are the above mentioned resources for Medicare beneficiaries to lean on when they forget to enroll in Part D.

Just to be clear, I am not a Part D agent. So, if you want more details on Part D, get in contact with an agent authorized to sell Part D.

Annual Disenrollment and What It Means For You

Even though Open Enrollment just ended, this doesn’t mean you are completely out of time. The Annual Disenrollment Period exists for those whom wish to leave their Medicare Advantage and/or Part D plans. The industry joke is that beneficiaries have until Valentine’s Day to break up with their current plans.

While confusing as Open Enrollment just ended, the purpose of the Disenrollment period is to give beneficiaries a chance to leave Part C and/or D completely, whereas Open Enrollment allows beneficiaries to switch plans and carriers once a year. You are also allowed to leave during Open Enrollment, but January 1 through February 14th gives you one more opportunity to say goodbye to Part C and/or Part D.

There are three scenarios in which you are able to switch: The first is for those who have an Advantage plan that includes a drug plan. These folks can decide to purchase a stand alone Part D plan or just wing it with Original Medicare (I don’t support the latter). The second scenario is for those who own Private Fee-For-Service plans (these don’t include prescription coverage). If this is you, unfortunately you won’t be able to purchase Part D until next October, however you are able to revert back to Original Medicare. Now, let’s say you only own a Part D policy, as with the scenario above, you will not be able to switch carriers/plans until next year, however, you are able to say goodbye to Part D if you so desire. Bottom line, you can dis-enroll from your Part C and D and revert back to Original Medicare.

You may be asking yourself, well, what happens after I dis-enroll? Luckily, you will be able to either stick with Original Medicare or do the smart thing and purchase a Medicare Supplement policy. Be advised, prior to dis-enrolling, you will want to make sure that you qualify medically for a Medicare Supplement. You can speak with a Medicare Supplement agent about whether or not you qualify.

For those who own a Medicare Supplement and want to switch plans/carriers, you don’t have to wait for any “special” period! One of the reasons Medicare Supplements are flexible. If you are unhappy with your plan/carrier, and you qualify medically (no major conditions, ailments, or surgeries pending), you can switch any day of the year! There are no deadlines regarding this Medigap coverage. Many people are shocked when I first tell them “well, actually, you can apply after December 7th, there is no enrollment deadline for Medigap.”

The only Medicare supplemental coverage that contain restrictions are Parts C and D; beneficiaries of these plans must adhere to Open Enrollment and Disenrollment restrictions.