You may have heard that Medigap Plan F is going away. While this is true, there are a few caveats to be aware of. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the upcoming changes to Plan F. Learn more below, and schedule an agent call for assistance clarifying how the changes may impact you specifically.
What are the Changes to Plan F?
Under a law passed in 2015, any Medigap plan that covers the Medicare Part B deductible will be phased out for patients enrolling starting in 2020. That means Medigap plans F and C will no longer be available for individuals who are NEWLY eligible for Medicare AFTER January 1, 2020.
What’s the Part B deductible?
The Medicare Part B deductible covers general medical and outpatient care. At $185 annually in 2019, it’s one of the lower-costing expenses associated with Medicare. Medicare Part A, on the other hand, includes all hospital expenses and the hospital deductible, which alone can be over $1300.
Which Medigap Plans are affected by this change?
Medigap plans F and C will be affected, as both cover Medicare Part B costs. Under the law going into effect January 1, 2020, people who turn 65 on December 31, 2019 will be the last group eligible to enroll in Medigap Plans F and C.
What is Medigap Plan F?
The most popular Medigap choice, Plan F covers all gaps in Medicare Parts A and B. This includes both hospital and outpatient deductibles, 80% of foreign emergency care and the 20% that Part B doesn’t cover. Providing complete coverage, Medigap Plan F offers no out-of-pocket costs at the doctor’s office in exchange for a high monthly premium. It’s a good option for people who want to predictably account for their finances and have security that they will be covered in any health circumstance.
I’m already enrolled. Will I be affected?
No. The law only affects new enrollees. If you’re already enrolled in Plan F or C, you can keep that plan.
However, if you switch plans, you may not be able to switch back. Keep that in mind if you’re considering making a change.
I am affected by the change. What should I do?
If you’re eligible to enroll in Medicare AFTER January 1, 2020, you will not be eligible to enroll in plans F or C. While these plans may be the most-selected supplement plans, Medigap plan G is becoming an increasingly popular plan due to its similar level of coverage. If you’ll be affected by the upcoming changes to Plan F, you may consider Plan G as a viable alternative.
As one of the more comprehensive plans, Medigap Plan G covers all gaps in Medicare Part A, including hospital deductibles, coinsurance and copayments; 80% of foreign emergency care; and the 20% of expenses that Part B doesn’t cover. It essentially has the same coverage as Plan F, except for the outpatient (Plan B) deductible, which in 2019 was only $185.
Medicare Part G covers all but that $185, which you will pay for the first time that you have outpatient care that year. After the $185 is hit, Medicare will pay 80% of remaining outpatient costs and Part G will pay the other 20%. Most importantly, Plan G covers all Medicare Part A expenses, which include all hospital expenses and the hospital deductible, which alone can be over $1300.
Other Medigap Plans
As you may know, Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies to cover any “gaps” remaining after your Medicare coverage applies. Right now, 10 different plans are available, each covering different sets of costs. Higher-coverage plans cover most remaining expenses, meaning little to no out of pocket costs for you in exchange for higher monthly premiums. Lower-coverage plans shelter you from most major gaps in coverage, but with lower monthly premiums, they usually leave you with higher out-of-pocket costs. Choosing the right Medigap plan for you depends on a variety of factors, including your general health, your financial situation and the plans available in your area.