Is Medicare Supplement Plan F being discontinued?

Plan F covers more costs than any other Medigap policy and is the most comprehensive of the standardized Medicare Supplement plans available in most states. But these plans might not be sold after 2020…

Medicare Supplement Plan F is a specific type of Medicare Supplement (also called Medigap) plan. This type of insurance can help pay for out-of-pocket costs of Medicare Part A and Part B. These costs might be coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles.

Plan F covers more Medicare expenses than any other supplement plan. Medicare Part A and Part B make up the federal government’s Original Medicare program. Medicare Supplement plans are also named with letters, such as Plan F, but they are not the same thing.

Plan F: Who is it for?

  • People on a fixed income: When your deductibles and most cost-sharing expenses are covered, your out-of-pocket costs may be more predictable.
  • International travelers: Plan F may cover most of your health care costs while traveling abroad.
  • People expecting high health care costs: Plan F’s higher premiums may be worth it for those with a lot of medical expenses to cover.

Here’s what Medicare Supplement Plan F may cover:

  • Inpatient hospital costs and coinsurance under Medicare Part A for an additional 365 days after Medicare coverage runs out
  • Coinsurance for skilled nursing care facilities
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance/copayments
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Limited emergency medical care overseas (80% up to plan limits)
  • Hospice care coinsurance/copayments under Part A
  • First three pints of blood
  • Part B excess charges (the amount a doctor is legally allowed to charge beyond the Medicare-approved amount for a medical service)

Is Medicare Supplement Plan F being discontinued?

Apparently so, for some people. According to congress.gov, starting in 2020, Medicare Supplement plans that pay the Medicare Part B deductible will no longer be sold to those newly eligible.

  • If you already have Medicare Supplement Plan F (or Plan C, which also covers the Part B deductible), you can generally keep it.
  • If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you may be able to buy Medicare Supplement Plan F or Plan C.
  • If you qualify for Medicare on January 1, 2020 or later, you may not be able to buy Medicare Supplement Plan F or Plan C.

Is there another Medicare Supplement plan that may be comparable?

Plan F offers the most comprehensive Medigap coverage available, so it’s not a surprise that it’s the most popular plan nationwide. Lately, however, Plan G has been giving F a run for its money—especially since Plan F will soon be phased out. The only thing F covers that G doesn’t is the Part B deductible ($185 in 2019), but Plan G’s lower premiums may make up the difference.

If you become eligible for Medicare in 2020 or later, although you may not be able to buy Medicare Supplement Plan F or Plan C, you may be able to buy a very similar plan. Medicare Supplement Plan G generally has the same basic benefits as Plan F, except for the Part B deductible. So, you might want to look into Plan G.

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