Is Medicare Plan F going away? Yes, but it’s not going away for everyone.
Have you been hearing rumors that Medicare Supplement Plan F (also known as Medigap Plan F) is going away? It’s true, but not for all Medicare beneficiaries. Anyone who currently has Medigap Plan F (or Hi-Deductible Plan F) will be allowed to keep it. If you currently don’t have Plan F, it’s possible that you may be eligible to enroll sometime in the future.
In this article we’ll discuss:
When is medigap plan f going away?
Beginning on January 1st, 2020, Medicare Supplement plans F and C will no longer be available and sold to anyone who is newly eligible to Medicare. These changes to these plans is part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), also known as the .
why is plan f being discontinued?
It boils down to something called “first dollar coverage.”
First dollar coverage refers to a type of insurance policy that does not require a deductible payment when an insurable event occurs. The insurer is on the hook for that payment. Medicare Supplement Plan F covers 100% of your Part B deductible which makes it “first dollar coverage.”
The purpose of discontinuing Plan F is to make sure that all Medicare beneficiaries are responsible for some out-of-pocket expenses when they are provided healthcare services.
Plan F is costly
The theory is this: If Medigap Plan F provides coverage for all of your out-of-pocket spending, then you may be more likely to go to your doctor for any minor health issue. Every appointment will cost money that Medicare and the government will have to cover and pay.
Medicare Supplement Plan F Benefits
Every lettered Medigap plan has a specific set of benefits. In the chart below, you’ll be able to see what Medicare Supplement Plan F can cover:
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||Plan F Covers?|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance & hospital costs (up to additional 365 days after medicare benefits are used||Yes|
|Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment||Yes|
|Blood (first 3 pints) 3||Yes|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||Yes|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||Yes|
|Part A deductible||Yes|
|Part B deductible||Yes|
|Part B excess charges||Yes|
|Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits)||Yes|
Can you Keep your Medicare Supplement Plan F?
Is Plan F going away for those who have it already? No, it is not.
If you are Medicare eligible and your Part A started before January 1, 2020, then you will be able to keep your Medigap Plan F. You will not need to renew or re-enroll in your plan each year, but you must pay your Plan F premiums on time to continue coverage.
You also have the opportunity to change to another Medigap insurance company that sells Plan F in the future. This is great if another insurer sells their plan at a lower rate.
Who can keep Plan F?
What Options are available If I Can’t buy Medigap Plan F?
Don’t panic if you’re not be able to purchase a Medigap Plan F. There are some great options available such as Medicare Supplement Plan G and N.
Plan G and Plan F are almost identical in coverage. In fact many people choose to buy it even when Plan F is available.
Medicare Supplement Plan G provides beneficiaries almost the exact same benefits as Medigap Plan F.
There is one difference when comparing benefits between Plan G and Plan F. With Plan G , your Medicare Part B deductible is not covered under the plan.
Here is how it works: Once you meet and pay your deductible, Medigap Plan G works exactly the same as a Plan F. The benefits of these plans include protection from copays, coinsurance and the typical 20% gap in Medicare coverage.
Plan G Savings
With Plan G, you don't just get similar coverage as Plan F. The cost of a Plan G are frequently less expensive than what you'll pay for Plan F. The overall cost savings occur even when you factor in the deductible amount that you're responsible for with Plan G. Anyone eligible for Medigap Plan F should look into Plan G and see if it will save them money.
Here are some of the most popular plans available. This table will allow you to compare Medigap Plan F benefits with Medigap Plan N, G and D.
|Benefits||Plan F||Plan G||Plan D||Plan N|
|Part A deductible||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Part A skilled|
nursing facility coinsurance
|Part A hospice coinsurance and copays||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Part B deductible||100%||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Part B coinsurance and copays||100%||100%||100%||100% (except some copays)|
|Part B excess charges||100%||100%||N/A||N/A|
|Blood (first three pints)||100%||100%||100%||100%|
Medigap Plan F FAQ
Premium increases are always concerning. Some Plan F beneficiaries are worried about their premium prices increasing in the future. It is definitely possible. Rates often increase with inflation and some companies raise premiums while others remain more stable.
High Deductible Plan F will no longer be available after 2020 along with Medicare Supplement Plan F and C. Since Plan F is discontinued and Hi-deductible Plan F is connected to Plan F benefits, it is also being discontinued.