by Russell Noga | Updated September 7th, 2023
Medicare supplement plans offer seniors enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A & B a way to cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with medical and hospital care and treatments.
There are ten plan options available from leading private healthcare insurers across America.
The most popular Medigap plan is Plan F, with 44% of all Medigap policyholders choosing this plan for their supplemental insurance.
Is Medicare supplement Plan F going away? If you’re newly eligible for Medigap plans, you’ll find you can’t enroll in Plan F; why?
What is Medicare Supplement Plan F?
Medigap Plan F is one of the most sought-after Medigap plans in 2024 due to the comprehensive coverage it offers beneficiaries.
Medigap Plan F is comprehensive because it’s the only one in the range of plans covering the Part B deductible of $226, leaving you with no out-of-pocket costs.
This kind of coverage is also known as “first dollar coverage,” meaning you don’t have any expenses for hospital and medical services other than your monthly premium.
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Am I Still Eligible for Plan F?
If you were eligible for Medicare before the cut-off date of January 1, 2020, you can still apply for Plan F with a Medigap provider.
For instance, if you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but you had an employer or union healthcare plan, you can apply for Medigap Plan F when you leave your other coverage ends.
If you were eligible for Medicare before this date but didn’t apply and had no other healthcare coverage, you’ll have to undergo “medical underwriting.” This process involves answering a questionnaire from the insurer regarding your health status.
If you have pre-existing chronic health conditions, like high blood pressure or diabetes, you’ll have to notify the insurer. They use this information to build your risk profile.
If you’re a high risk to the company, they’ll charge you above-average premiums or institute a waiting period. At worst, they could deny your application for a Plan F policy or join their Medigap scheme.
Do Plan F Premiums Increase?
Plan F premiums can increase, depending on the model the provider uses to assess your risk profile when joining their Medigap scheme. Typically, the insurer uses one of three models to adjust your plan premium to your age profile.
- Issue age-rated – The insurers base your premium on your age at the date of application. The younger you are, the lower the premium. This premium remains constant and doesn’t increase as you age.
- Attained age-rated – The premium is based on your age when applying for a Medigap plan. The rate increases as you get older. These premiums often start lower but get more costly as you age.
- Community-rated – All policyholders, regardless of age, receive the same monthly premium.
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Is there a Replacement for Medigap Plan F?
There is no replacement for Plan F. However, many people who aren’t eligible for Plan F choose a Plan G policy.
Plan G offers the same coverage as Plan F but doesn’t cover the Part B deductible, making it compliant with the MACRA of 2015.
Call Us to See If You’re Eligible for Medigap Plan F
Contact our team to find out if you’re eligible for plan F. We offer a free consultation to discuss your eligibility or recommend the best alternative for Plan F in the Medigap range.
Our fully licensed agents are available at 1-888-891-0229. Or leave your details on our contact form, and we’ll get a Medigap expert to call you back.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Medicare Supplement Plan F going away?
No, Medicare Supplement Plan F is not going away entirely. However, it is no longer available to new Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
Why is Medicare Supplement Plan F no longer available for new beneficiaries?
The discontinuation of Medicare Supplement Plan F for new beneficiaries is a result of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. MACRA aims to phase out plans that cover the Part B deductible, such as Plan F, in order to reduce overutilization of healthcare services.
Can existing Medicare beneficiaries keep their Plan F?
Yes, if you were already enrolled in Medicare and had Plan F before January 1, 2020, you can keep your coverage. Existing beneficiaries are not affected by the discontinuation of Plan F.
What other Medicare Supplement plans are available for new beneficiaries?
New beneficiaries can choose from other Medicare Supplement plans, such as Plan G and Plan N. These plans offer similar coverage to Plan F, with slight differences in benefits and out-of-pocket costs.
How does Plan G compare to Plan F?
Plan G is very similar to Plan F, with the main difference being that it does not cover the Part B deductible. However, Plan G often has lower premiums compared to Plan F, making it an attractive alternative for many beneficiaries.
What does Plan N cover?
Plan N covers a range of benefits, including Part A coinsurance and hospital costs, Part B coinsurance or copayment, blood transfusions, and skilled nursing facility care coinsurance. However, it does not cover the Part B deductible or excess charges.
Can beneficiaries switch from Plan F to another plan?
Existing Plan F beneficiaries have the option to switch to another Medicare Supplement plan if they wish. However, they may need to go through medical underwriting, which could impact eligibility or result in higher premiums based on their health status.
Are there any plans that still cover the Part B deductible?
While Plan F and Plan C (also discontinued for new beneficiaries) covered the Part B deductible, no plans currently available to new beneficiaries offer this coverage. Plan G is the most comprehensive plan after the discontinuation of Plan F.
Will existing Plan F premiums increase due to the discontinuation?
It’s possible that existing Plan F premiums may increase over time, as the risk pool for this plan may shrink with no new enrollees joining. However, the exact impact on premiums can vary depending on various factors and should be discussed with the insurance provider.
Can beneficiaries receive assistance in understanding their Medicare Supplement options?
Yes, beneficiaries can seek guidance from State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) or licensed insurance agents specializing in Medicare. These resources can provide personalized assistance and help beneficiaries make informed decisions about their coverage options.
Find the Right Medicare Plan for You
Finding the right Medicare plan doesn’t have to be confusing. Whether it’s a Medigap plan or you have questions about Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D, we can help.
Call today at 1-888-891-0229 and one of our knowledgeable, licensed insurance agents will be happy to assist you!
Russell Noga is the CEO and Medicare editor of Medisupps.com. His 15 years of experience in the Medicare insurance market includes being a licensed Medicare insurance broker in all 50 states. He is frequently featured as a featured as a keynote Medicare event speaker, has authored hundreds of Medicare content pages, and hosts the very popular Medisupps.com Medicare Youtube channel. His expertise includes Medicare, Medigap insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Part D.