In the past few years, several insurance companies launched Medigap plans with additional or “extra” benefits. These plans not only offer the traditional core benefits required by Medigap plans, but also add ancillary coverage not included in Medigap plans such as, vision, dental, and hearing benefits. The trend of offering extra benefits seems to be growing, so we created this tool to help you track plans in your state.

Extra benefits can provide you with more coverage
Now some Medigap plans come with extra benefits such as vision and hearing

Medigap “Extras” Background

As you may know, Medigap is highly regulated, so every plan must offer the same core benefits and provide access to the same doctor network. This makes it easy to compare plans based on price because the benefits and networks are identical on all plans.

Anthem Blue Cross of California was the first to start offering Medigap Innovative plans. These plans were the first to bundle hearing and vision benefits with a standard Medigap Plan F. They became wildly popular because someone was finally offering extra benefits that people really wanted. Soon, competitors followed suit, and added new “Innovative” or “Extra” plans that included additional benefits ranging from OTC (Over-the-Counter) discounts to acupuncture.

You will find that plans that now offer the extra benefits are improved versions of either Medigap Plan F or Plan G. Why those plans? Well, they are the ones that offer the most coverage and are, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the most popular Medigap plans by a large margin.

Another important fact, is that these plans usually do not cost more than their original counterparts. This is largely in part due to the plans being newer, they have a pool of younger members enrolled, which helps to keep claim costs down.

Medigap with Extra Benefits in California

California was the first to offer Extra benefits, so let’s check out the full comparison between these plans below.

Benefits Health Net Innovative F Health Net Innovative G Blue Shield F Extra Blue Shield G Extra Anthem Blue Cross Innovative F
Standard Benefits Plan F Plan G Plan F Plan G Plan F
Access to Medicare’s largest network of doctors Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vision
Routine Eye Exam (every 12 months) You pay $10 You pay $10 You pay $20 You pay $20 You pay $25*
Glass Frames (every 24 months) $250 Allowance $250 Allowance $100 Allowance $100 Allowance $100 Allowance*
Glass Lenses (every 12 months) $250 Allowance $250 Allowance You pay $25 You pay $25 You pay $25*
Contacts (every 12 months) $250 Allowance $250 Allowance You pay $0 You pay $25 $100 Allowance*
Hearing
Hearing Exam (every 12 months) You pay $0 You pay $0 You pay $0 You pay $0 You pay $0
Hearing Aids (every 12 months) 4 levels of technology: from $0 to $1,580 4 levels of technology: from $0 to $1,580 $499 for Vista 610 model and $799 for Vista 810 model $499 for Vista 610 model and $799 for Vista 810 model $750 Allowance
Other Benefits
Chiropractic/Acupuncture No 20 visits combined, you pay $0 No No No
Over-the-Counter Benefits No No No $100 quarterly No
Gym Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
New to Medicare Discount $30 $30 $25 $25 $20
Household Discount Yes Yes 7% 7% 5%
Autopay Discount Yes Yes $3 $3 $2
Enrollment Quote and Enroll Quote and Enroll Enroll Enroll Enroll

*Only Blue View Vision Access network

To sum it all up:

  • Both Health Net and Blue Shield offer not only a Plan F but also a Plan G version with additional benefits.
  • Health Net’s Innovative F and G plans have the most generous hearing and vision benefits and also include Silver&Fit, an exercise program similar to Silver Sneakers.
  • Blue Shield’s Medigap Plan F and G Extra also have vision coverage and Silver Sneakers, but limit you to one provider to choose from, when it comes to hearing benefits.
  • If you are looking for chiropractic or acupuncture, Health Net is the way to go. If you love Over-the-Counter benefits, then Blue Shield might be your best choice.
  • Blue Shield G Inspire (not in chart) has the exact same benefits as G Extra but also offers AAA Roadside Assistance.

Medigap with Extra Benefits in Nevada

You definitely don’t need to live in California to get additional Medigap benefits with Plan F or Plan G. Nevada is another state that now offers extra benefits.

Benefits Anthem Blue Cross Innovative F Anthem Blue Cross Innovative G
Standard Benefits Plan F Plan G
Access to Medicare’s largest network of doctors Yes Yes
Vision
Routine Eye Exam (every 12 months) You pay $25* You pay $25*
Glass Frames (every 24 months) $100 Allowance* $100 Allowance*
Glass Lenses (every 12 months) You pay $25* You pay $25*
Contacts (every 12 months) $100 Allowance* $100 Allowance*
Hearing
Hearing Exam (every 12 months) You pay $0 You pay $0
Hearing Aids $750 Allowance (every 12 months) $750 Allowance (every 12 months)
Other Benefits
Gym Yes Yes
New to Medicare Discount $20 $20
Household Discount 5% 5%
Autopay Discount $2 $2
Enrollment Enroll Enroll

*Only Blue View Vision Access network

As you can see, both plans offer great hearing and vision coverage and are practically identical.

The difference is the Part B Deductible. Plan F covers it, while Plan G does not. Nevertheless, since Plan F is usually somewhat more expensive, you could actually save up by getting Plan G.

Medigap with Extra Benefits in Illinois

Illinois is the final state to round off our list. Blue Shield of IL launched its Medigap Plan G PLUS not only with hearing and vision coverage, but also with dental. As of now, no other Medigap plan in the country includes dental coverage.

Benefits Blue Shield G PLUS
Standard Benefits Plan G
Access to Medicare’s largest network of doctors Yes
Vision
Routine Eye Exam (every 12 months) You pay $0
Eye Glasses or Contacts $130 allowance
Hearing
Hearing Exam (every 12 months) You pay $0
Advanced Hearing Aid Member Fee with recharge $699/per aid
Premium Hearing Aid Member Fee with recharge $999/per aid
Dental
2 Cleanings per calendar year You pay $0
Two Oral Exams per calendar year You pay $0
1 Dental X-Ray per calendar year You pay $0
1 Oral Cancer Screening per calendar year You pay $0
Unlimited Extractions per calendar year You pay 25%
1 Restorative Filling per tooth per calendar year You pay 50%
Other Benefits
Gym Yes
Household Discount 7%

As you can see, Blue Shield is the only one currently offering Medigap Plan G Plus in Illinois.

Conclusion

There are currently three states with companies that offer Medigap plans with additional benefits: California, Nevada, and Illinois. We expect more states will offer these in the future. If you become aware of new offerings, please add them to the comments below.

Call us at 800-930-7956 if you have any questions or are looking to enroll. You can also enroll online.