The Medicare Supplement Plan F is generally considered the most comprehensive plan of the 10 Medigap insurance (Medigap) plans available in most states. Its extensive coverage makes it a popular plan for beneficiaries who want to decrease their own out-of-pocket costs in Original Medicare. However, this also means that premiums can be more expensive. Since Plan F covers most hospital and medical expenses remaining after Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) has paid their share, beneficiaries can use this plan to have minimal hospital and medical costs.
Medicare supplemental insurance plans are sold by private insurance companies that don’t have to offer the 10 types of Medigap insurance plans offered in most states. However, they must offer Plan A at least if they offer a Medigap insurance policy and also have to offer plan C or F if they offer Medigap insurance plans other than plan A. Due to their popularity, many insurance companies offer plan F. Plan availability varies by location. Therefore, always research and compare plan options for your specific zip code and county.
Please note that the Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F is expected to expire. If you didn’t qualify for Medicare until January 1, 2020, or later, you won’t be able to purchase plan F. This change applies to Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans that include the annual Medicare Part B deductible (Plan F and Plan C). If you qualified for Medicare Insurance before January 1, 2020, you may still be able to purchase Plan F. If you already have plan F, you can usually keep it. The same goes for Plan C.
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What benefits are covered under Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F?
The basic benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan F are standardized in most states. This means that regardless of where you live or which insurance company you purchase from, you get exactly the same basic benefits for a Plan F plan sold anywhere in your state (note that: even though basic benefits are the same, premiums may vary).
Below is a list of costs and benefits covered by Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F:
- Part A hospital and coinsurance costs up to an additional 356 days after Medicare insurance benefits are exhausted
- Medicare Insurance Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance
- Medicare Insurance Part B coinsurance
- Medicare Insurance Part B excess charges
- Medicare Insurance Part A deductible
- Medicare Insurance Part B deductible
- First three pints of blood used in an approved medical procedure (annually)
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Foreign travel emergency coverage (80%, up to plan limits)
Although Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F offers the broadest coverage of any of the 10 standard Medigap Insurance plans available in most states, it doesn’t cover all of the costs you may have in Original Medicare. For example, you’ll still need to keep paying your Medicare Part B premium payments each month. If you haven’t worked enough quarters to qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A Insurance (typically at least 10 years, or 40 quarters), you may owe a premium for Part A as well. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F doesn’t cover these out-of-pocket costs.
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What are the costs associated with Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F?
Insurance Plan F costs vary depending on the county you live in and the insurance companies selling Medicare Supplement Insurance at your location.
There is also a highly deductible Plan F option for beneficiaries who don’t mind paying for out-of-pocket costs upfront. This is a variation in the standard Plan F, in which beneficiaries have to pay all out-of-pocket expenses up to the deductible, which is $2,370 in 2021. After the deductible is reached, the plan starts to pay for Medicare-covered costs.
Remember that the high-deductible Plan F option does not differ from the standard Plan F when it comes to basic benefits. Instead, the high deductible Plan F might have lower premium costs than the standard Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F; this is offset by the fact that your out-of-pocket costs may be higher until you’ve reached the deductible.
Is there an alternative to Plan F?
As mentioned earlier, plan F (including highly deductible F) will be phased out. However, you may be able to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan G or a highly deductible G plan. Plan G has the same basic benefits as Plan F, except that it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible.
As a Medicare beneficiary, you might find other lower premium Medigap insurance plans. However, if you visit your doctor frequently, require a lot of health-care services, or are facing mounting out-of-pocket expenses, the comprehensive plan F coverage usually provides the most help with your Original Medicare costs.
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Why is Medigap Plan F being discontinued?
Plan F (and Plan C) are being phased out as a result of new legislation that prohibits Medicare Supplement insurance plans from covering Part B deductibles. Private insurance firms can no longer provide Plan F and Plan C to new Medicare subscribers since they pay the deductible.
What is the average cost of Medicare Part F?
The price for Medicare Part F, which is the most comprehensive Medigap policy, can be rather high. For a 65-year-old, these typically vary from $120 to $140 each month.
Is Medicare Plan F being discontinued?
Is Plan F of Medicare being phased out? No, Medicare Plan F is not being phased out, but it is no longer available to new Medicare beneficiaries. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 made it illegal for Medicare Supplement plans (particularly F and C) to cover Part B deductibles.
Should I switch from Plan F to Plan G?
There are two compelling reasons to convert from Plan F to Plan G.
Plan G is usually much less expensive than Plan F. Moving from F to G will often save you $50 each month. Even though you’ll have to pay a one-time $233 deductible for Medigap G’s Part B deductible, the monthly savings will be worth it in the long term.
Who is eligible for Plan F?
Only Plan F is available if you become Medicare eligible before January 1, 2020. (which means your 65th birthday occurred before January 1, 2020). Or you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, due to a disability.
Does Plan F cover drugs?
Prescription medicines are not covered by Medicare Supplement Plan F. Prescription drug expenditures are not covered by Medicare Supplement plans by law. Prescription drug coverage is often available to Medicare enrollees in one of two ways: Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that provides prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part C).
Who is eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan F?
Who is eligible to enroll in Plan F? Plan F is available to any Medicare member who was eligible prior to January 1, 2020. Under the guarantee issue period, you can enroll in Plan F if you are within the first six months of having registered in Medicare Part B.
Will Plan F be grandfathered?
If you signed up for Plan F before 2020, you’ll be “grandfathered” in. This provides you the option of continuing the plan after 2020.
Can I keep my plan F after 2020?
You will be able to keep your Medicare Supplement Plan F if you started Medicare Part A before January 1, 2020. You don’t have to renew or re-enroll every year to keep your Plan F. Your coverage will continue as long as you pay your premiums on time.
What is Medicare Supplement Plan A?
Medicare Supplement Plan A refers to coverage that helps pay for Medicare Part A and Part B out-of-pocket payments. Plan A is needed by law for health insurance providers selling Medicare Supplement insurance policies.