What is Medicare Plan F?
You may have heard, but there have been changes with who can get what Medicare Supplement Plans (aka Medigap Plans) now. Plan F and Plan C are not available to people turning 65 on or after 2020. So, you might be wondering, what is Medicare Plan F?
In this quick article, let’s look at what are Medicare Supplements and then specifically, what is Medicare Supplement Plan F.
Medicare Supplement Plans Explained
Medicare Supplement plans are supplemental policies that people can purchase to cover the costs that Original Medicare does not pick up.
There are many different plans to choose from, and they are all labeled with a Plan Letter. In addition, there are many different insurance companies that offer these plans, but they all over the exact same services as what is listed in the letter plan benefits. The only difference from private insurance company to company is the price they can offer in each specific market (area of the country).
Here is a Chart of What Supplement Letter Covers What Services
Why People Like Supplements (Medigap)
People like Medicare Supplement Plans because of their flexibility and their routine costs. First, these plans offer flexibility because they allow beneficiaries to see any providers that accept Medicare in the whole country. Second, Medigap Plans have the same premium charged each month, and plans like F, have no costs other than that for covered services. As a result, Medigap Plans are good for budgeting and knowing what your costs are going to be each month.
Remember, the other option for supplementing Original Medicare covered services is a Medicare Advantage Plan. That is a plan you have INSTEAD OF a supplement (Medigap) plan.
- To start, you can read more about Medicare Advantage Plans here.
- Then, you can read more about Medigap vs Medicare Advantage.
- Or, you can read how to choose the right plan for you, here.
Who is Eligible for a Supplement?
Anyone with Medicare Benefits can apply for a supplement. When you first age into Medicare, you have a window of “Guaranteed Enrollment Eligibility” to get the supplement of your choosing. After that, you will either need a special enrollment option to get into another one, or go through medical underwriting to get a supplement.
You can read more about Medicare Supplements here.
Medicare Supplement Plan F Explained
Medigap Plan F (aka Medicare Supplement Plan F) covers the most amount of services out of all the supplemental plans. So, this means if you have Plan F, you pay your monthly plan premium for the supplement, and then you pay no other costs for Medicare covered services.
For example, Medicare Supplement Plan F is one of only two Medigap plans that covers Part B Excess Charges (read more about this here.)
As a result, it has been one of the most popular plans. If you take a look at the Medigap Plan chart above, you will see that…
Plan F Covers:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used
- Part B coinsurance or copayment
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits – 80%)
People like Plan F for its full coverage and it’s travel coverage both in the states and internationally.
Since every private insurance company offers the same coverage for each letter plan, it is important to understand and compare pricing. To learn how insurance companies price plans, read this article.
Who Can get Medicare Plan F and Who Cannot?
A while back., the U.S. government passed MACRA bill, or “The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015”, that made changes to who could sign-up for Medicare Supplement Policies that covered the Medicare Part B Deductible. These plans are not “going away,” but not everyone can get them as of January 1, 2020.
Here is who CAN get Plan F still:
- You CAN get Medicare Supplement Plan F (or keep Plan F) is you turn 65 before January 1, 2020. (Same applies to Plan C.)
- In addition, you CAN get Medicare Plan F (or C) if you turn 65 on or after January 1 2020, BUT ALSO you have a Medicare Part A Effective Date that started before the year 2020. (One example of this might be someone who was on Medicare prior to turning 65 because of a disability.)
- You can KEEP your Plan F if you are already on one. It is not going away. However, there might be reasons for you to switch to a Plan G, or another plan that does not have the Part B Deductible covered. The main reason people switch is because the plans that can accept younger people into their pool, often have lower cost increases over time. You can read more about switching to a Plan G here.
Who CANNOT Get Plan F Now:
- If you turn 65 on or after January 1, 2020, you cannot get Medigap Plan F or C. (Unless you fall into the Medicare Part A Effective Date Category explained above.)
Now, if you are someone who turns 65 after the cut-off, don’t fear. Plan G is the same as Plan F with only one difference: Plan G does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible.
In summary, Medicare Plan F is a robust, comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plan (aka Medigap Plan) that picks up all of the extra costs that Original Medicare does not cover.
Plan F is only available to people who already turned 65 before January 1, 2020. However, this plan is not going away at this time. It is still a popular plan and will continue offer full coverage and service flexibility to its beneficiaries.
- If you need help in choosing a Medicare Supplement, including Plan F vs. Plan G, please contact us here if you live in NE or IA.
- If you live in any other state, please click here to find an agent near you.
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