When you enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) you have the option of increasing coverage by purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan (also called Medigap). These plans cover additional expenses that are not included in Parts A and B, like copayments, coinsurance, and yearly deductibles. For every state except Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Medigap has ten types of policies – A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Plans C and F are the most inclusive and in turn, the most popular, but both will be disappearing from the market. Now that Plan F is going away, we can tell you what your options are for keeping or enrolling in Plan F.
Make sure you do not confuse Medigap Plan A with Medicare Part A – they are two very different things!
Plan F Benefits
Plan F has been a top-seller in many states for years and is the most comprehensive Medigap plan. According to Medicare.gov, Medigap Plan F covers:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Part B coinsurance/copayments
- The first three pints of blood
- Part A hospice care coinsurance/copayments
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- The Part A deductible
- The Part B deductible and excess charge
- Foreign travel exchange up to 80%
There is no out-of-pocket maximum for Plan F.
Why is Plan F going away?
Back in 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. According to the act, starting on January 1, 2020, Medicare Supplement plans can no longer cover the Part B deductible, something that only Medigap Plans F and C currently cover.
Congress supports this law because they worry that all-inclusive plans may encourage people to access medical attention more often, even when it’s not necessary. Congress hopes that requiring individuals to pay for their Part B deductible will stop people from taking advantage of their coverage.
Can I keep my Plan F after it’s discontinued?
If you currently have Medicare Supplement Plan F, don’t fret! This policy change only affects new beneficiaries. While your rates may increase (as they technically can every year), you will not lose your current coverage. However, if you leave your Medigap Plan F for whatever reason, you will not be able to go back to it later after 2020. If you do not have Plan F but you would like to, you can lock yourself in by enrolling NOW. You must enroll before January 1, 2020, to receive Plan F coverage.
Due to this change, Plan F beneficiaries will be given the chance to compare rates and switch to a new policy. If you decide you may want to switch, you can start by using our Medicare Plan Finder tool to decide what plan option (other than F) is best for you. If you still need help, click here to request a call from a local and licensed agent!
What is a good alternative to Plan F?
Many seniors and Medicare eligibles who already have Plan F are deciding to drop Plan F altogether and switch to Plan G.
Plan F vs. Plan G
Great news! Plan G is almost identical to Plan F! The only difference is that Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible (which is less than $200 for most people). In reality, by switching to Plan G you will not be losing much at all. However, keep in mind that you can still keep your Plan F after January 1, 2020, if you are already enrolled.
Use Medicare Plan Finder
Medicare coverage and plan options can be confusing and stressful. Policies are constantly changing and healthcare will continue to evolve. Medicare Plan Finder agents can explain your coverage options and help you find a plan that best fits your needs and budget. If you are interested in arranging a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with an agent, complete this form or give us a call today at 833-438-3676.