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Medicare Plan F is Going Away – What You Need to Know

One in four Medicare recipients is underinsured, according to The Commonwealth Fund. The underinsured can experience high out-of-pocket costs that can reach $10,000 or more. High out-of-pocket costs can be avoided by purchasing a Medigap plan such as Medicare Plan F. Medicare Plan F is going away, though, leaving many scrambling to determine how to cover costs.

What Is Medicare Supplement Plan F?

Many people ask, “What is Medicare Plan F?” It is one of the ten Medigap plans currently available. These plans provide supplemental health insurance that covers various expenses, such as coinsurance, copayments, deductibles, and other costs.

What Does Medicare Plan F Cover?

Forbes refers to Medicare Plan F as the “Cadillac of Medigap plans” due to the coverage it offers. The plan covers:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs for a full year after Medicare benefits are depleted.
  • Part B copayment or coinsurance.
  • First three pints of blood.
  • Part A hospital care copayment or coinsurance.
  • Nursing facility care coinsurance.
  • Part A deductible.
  • Part B deductible.
  • Part B excess charge.
  • 80% of foreign travel.

The coverage is available as a standard or high-deductible plan, and neither program includes an out-of-pocket limit.

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act – The Reason Medicare Plan F Is Going Away

Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act in 2015. This act will stop the sale of Medigap plans that cover the deductible for Medicare Part B. Out of the ten Medigap plans offered, only Medicare Plan F and Medicare Plan C cover the deductible, so these are the only plans the government is phasing out.

Those who have one of those plans before Jan. 1, 2020, can continue to hold onto the policy. Also, those who were eligible for Medicare before the date but have yet to enroll Medicare Part F might be able to get the coverage.

Medicare Part G – An Alternative to Medicare Part F

Medicare Part F is being phased out, but there are other plans available. Many who cannot get Medicare Part F are expected to sign up for Medicare Part G. This plan covers everything that Medicare Part F does, with the exception of the Medicare Part B deductible. Medicare Part G premiums are lower than premiums for Medicare Part F as well, making it a solid value for those who need supplemental insurance.

To understand the value, one must look at the numbers. The deductible for Medicare Part B was $183 in 2018, while the average premium for Medicare Plan F was $2,204 the same year. The average premium for Medicare Plan G was $1,786.

Choosing Medigap Coverage

Medicare Plan F is going away, but that does not mean people lack coverage options. With eight Medigap plans available after Medicare Plan F is phased out, including the popular Medicare Plan G, interested parties can find a plan that offers the coverage they need.

A licensed insurance agent can help you select the necessary Medicare coverage. Call 844-236-0228 to speak to an agent or compare policies online.