Comparing High and Low Deductible Medicare Supplemental Plans

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The long-standing debate: Are high-deductible or low-deductible Medicare supplemental plans better?

If you came to this article looking for a definitive answer, you won’t find one. The concept of which is “better” depends on the individual. You could argue that high-deductible plans are better because the monthly premium is lower, so your fixed expenses are lower and you only pay for the care you use.

But that has some caveats. If you sign up for a high-deductible plan but use the healthcare system often, you end up paying for a large portion of your care out-of-pocket. Conversely, if you use a low-deductible plan but rarely use healthcare services, you’re wasting money on high monthly premiums. That’s why the question, “Which is better?” is so difficult to answer; it depends on the individual and their needs.

The question is difficult to answer, but not impossible. Let’s ignore the concept of healthcare utilization and simply look at dollars. Let’s look at the average annual premium for Medicare Plan G and the annual deductible for Part B, and the average annual premium and deductible for high-deductible plan G*.

Average Annual Premium Cost for Plan G: $1,643.88
2022’s deductible for Part B: $233
Total Annual Out-of-Pocket Cost: $1,876.88

Average Annual Premium Cost for HDPG: $480-$1,080
2022’s deductible for HDPG: $2,490
Total Annual Out-of-Pocket Cost: $2,970-3,570