Im Currently On Plan F Should I Switch To Another Plan
It depends. If you dont currently have guaranteed issue rights , you may be subject to medical underwriting if you try to switch to another plan. Medical underwriting means that insurance companies can use your health information to charge more for coverage, enforce a waiting period before a policy goes into effect, or even deny you a policy. You can learn more about guaranteed issue rights and medical underwriting here.
So, for instance, if you bought Plan F but have medical issues, it may be best for you to stay on your current plan to avoid medical underwriting. But in light of Plan F being phased out, your state may have passed laws giving increased protections to those who switch Medigap plans. To find out if these protections apply to you, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program .
Its impossible to give absolute recommendations without knowing everything about your situationwhere you live, whether you have a condition that may be considered pre-existing, etc. To get personalized help and answers specific to you, call an experienced agent today.
Is Plan G The Best Medicare Supplement Plan
It really depends on what you want. Suppose youre looking for a comprehensive basic Medicare Supplement plan. In that case, for coverage that fills in gaps not provided by Original Medicare, Plan G is a good option, especially if you recently became eligible for Medicare and cant sign up for Plan F.
However, if you want more bundled coverage, dental or vision coverage, or dont think youll need the benefits Plan G offers , another Medicare Plan might be better for you.
What Is Medicare Plan F
- Plan F is one of several types of Medicare Supplement insurance plans. These plans help pay for out-of-pocket costs like coinsurance and copays that Medicare Part A and Part B can charge.
- What makes Plan F stand out is how it covers the Medicare Part B deductible. In return for a higher monthly premium up front, Plan F covers the Medicare Part B deductible AND the remaining 80% of costs that Original Medicare doesnt cover.
- This type of coverage, also known as first dollar coverage, means that you have no expenses for covered medical services beyond your monthly premium.
- As a result, Plan F has been the most popular Medicare Supplement option for many years. In fact, 55% of enrollees that chose Medicare Supplement plans in 2019 chose Plan F.
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What Is The Difference Between Plan G And Plan G With A High Deductible
The difference between a regular Plan G plan and a High Deductible Plan G plan is the deductible amount and coverage timing. With a standard Supplement Plan G, youre covered immediately and are responsible only for the $233 Part B deductible, plus your monthly premium. With a high-deductible Plan G, your coverage begins once you pay your $2,490 deductible, which then covers all future out-of-pocket costs.
Determining which one is best for you depends on your situation and if you need the coverage Plan G provides immediately or if it makes more sense to pay the lower premiums until that higher deductible is met.
What Does Plan G Cover
If you choose Medicare Supplement Plan G from Erie Family Life, you wont incur any out-of-pocket costs for expenses such as:
- Part A deductible
- Part B excess physician charges
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Foreign emergency care
Medicare Supplement Plan G will still be a great option for those becoming newly eligible for Medicare. Plan G continues to allow you to choose any physician for your care, including specialists, while eliminating many out-of-pocket expenses associated with that care. Instead of paying copays and deductibles, youll pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Supplement plan.
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What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance
If youre new to supplement plans, then some additional explanation is in order. Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap plans, are insurance plans offered by private health insurance companies. These plans dont directly pay for medical care. Rather, they pay for out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare insurance.
This means that whereas most health insurance plans cover actual medical services, Medicare Supplement plans cover things like your Medicare Part B deductible, Part B coinsurance and copays, and so on. There are a variety of fee categories that Medigap plans will cover, and several plans to choose from. The variety of plans ensures that youre able to find a plan that covers exactly what you need, whether you want comprehensive coverage or just a few categories.
Medigap plans are referred to by letter names, so youll often hear about Plan FPlan C and so on. Its important to note that these dont correspond to any Part of Medicare. Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C have nothing to do with Part A, Part B, or Part C of Medicare. Medigap isnt a part of Medicare at all, but simply a supplemental type of insurance.
Medigap plans are offered by private insurance companies, so the cost will vary depending on your location and which plan you buy. However, coverage is standardized, so every plan will cover the exact same things no matter which state you are in.
Can I Keep My Medicare Supplement Plan F
If you took Medicare Part A before January 1, 2020, you will be able to keep your Medicare Supplement Plan F. In order to keep your Plan F, you dont need to renew or re-enroll every year. As long as you pay your premiums on time, your coverage will continue. You can also switch to another carrier that offers Plan F in the future, if another company offers a better rate that you would like to apply for.
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What Can Medicare Enrollees Do
Most people who turn 65 before January 1, 2020 will still be able to purchase a Plan F after 2020, if they qualify medically. Those who will quality after that date can no longer buy the plan.
If you are already enrolled in Plan F, you need not worry about it because youre still covered by it for as long as you want. Phasing out Plan F wont change a thing on your coverage.
However, some advisers think after 2020 you might find an increase in the rates. This is because no new healthy 65-year-old will be allowed to join a Plan F.
For example, before 2010, there were Plans H, I, and J. After they pulled it out from the market, we saw some abrupt price increases on these plans.
But these plans arent available anymore, whereas 60 million people still have Plan F. Youll still be able to change to a Plan F if you are eligible for Medicare prior to January 1, 2020. But you must qualify for it.
Meaning insurance companies can use your health information to exclude you from getting the coverage or to charge you more for it. They also can enforce a waiting period before a policy goes into effect.
What Can Be an Alternative to Plan F?
For people eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020, there are other plans available for you.
Plans D, G and High-Deductible Plan G will still be available to Medicare beneficiaries after January 1, 2020. Among the three, Plan G is the most popular because its almost a match in coverage, except for Part B Deductible.
Medicare Part D Plan Eligibility And Enrollment
You can enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan if youre enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Part B, or a Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service Plan that doesnt offer prescription drug coverage. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
It pays to enroll in prescription drug coverage during your initial enrollment period, even if you dont take prescription medications. If you dont enroll during this period and have no creditable drug coverage, youll have a 1% penalty for each month you dont enroll, which will be added to your Part D monthly premium.
Part D enrollment is available during specific enrollment periods:
|Medicare Part D Enrollment Periods|
|Enroll in a new plan, disenroll, or make a one-time switch from one plan to another.|
|Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment||Switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan with or without drug coverage. Go back to Original Medicare and enroll in a Part D plan.|
There are multiple ways to enroll in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans:
- Enroll on the Medicare Plan Finder or on the plans website.
- Complete a paper enrollment form.
When you join a Medicare drug plan, youll give your Medicare Number and the date your Part A and/or Part B coverage started. This information is on your Medicare card.
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Why Is Medicare Plan F No Longer An Option For Most People
In short, Medicare Plan F is being phased out because of the first dollar coverage that made it so popular. As federal lawmakers saw it, that kind of coverage has the potential to be overused at the expense of the Medicare program. By requiring a deductible, the insured has a stake in making sure their visit to the doctor justifies the cost.
So, as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the limited offering of Plan F was set into motion on Jan. 1, 2020. But just because the clock is ticking doesnt necessarily mean that you cant join either Plan F or another Medicare Supplement plan.
When You Can Leave Plan F
Its a little-known fact that you can switch Medicare Supplement plans at any time.
Your best course of action is to compare local Medicare plans for a Plan F replacement. Look around, see whats out there.
Medicare Advantage open enrollment begins on October 15 each year, but you can sign up for Medicare Supplement plans at any time.
Is Plan F Still Available For Me
It depends on when you became eligible to enroll in Medicare:
Yes you can stay in your plan. You will continue to have coverage of the Part B deductible.
Yes you can still enroll in Plan F. You were eligible before the cutoff date, so youre OK to enroll.
Yes you can still enroll in Plan F.
All of this doesnt take into account if your state allows you to change plans without medical underwriting. If not, pre-existing conditions might result in higher premiums or an application denial. Before you go too far in looking at plans, talk to a broker or health insurance expert that specializes in Medicare.
So, if you made the cutoff, it may sound like its smooth sailing from here on out. However, just because a first dollar coverage plan like Plan F may be available, it might not make sense in the coming years.
Is Medicare Supplement Plan F Going Away
Medicare Supplement Plan F is still available if you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
Ron Elledge is a seasoned Medicare consultant and author of Medicare Made Easy. As a Medicare expert, he regularly consults beneficiaries on Medicare rules, regulations, and strategies.
Kelly Blackwell is a Certified Senior Advisor ®. She has been a healthcare professional for over 30 years, with experience working as a bedside nurse and as a Clinical Manager. She has a passion for educating, assisting and advising seniors throughout the healthcare process.
Medicare Supplement Plan F was originally designed to be the most comprehensive of the 10 standardized Medigap supplemental insurance plans. Plan F is still available for people who were eligible for Medicare before January 1st, 2020. However, anyone who became eligible for Medicare on or after Jan 1, 2020 can no longer enroll in Plan F.
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Do The Plans Have Different Costs
A person will pay a premium for the Medigap plan and a premium for Medicare Part B. Many people do not pay a premium for Medicare Part A.
- the name and contact information of the companies offering the plan
- a link to the company website
- an explanation of how they determine premiums
Although Medigap policies are standardized, companies may charge different amounts for the same or similar policies. People can learn more about Medigap costs using this information.
Can You Keep Your Medicare Supplement Plan F
Is Plan F going away for those who have it already? No, it is not.
If you are Medicare eligible and your Part A started before January 1, 2020, then you will be able to keep your Medigap Plan F. You will not need to renew or re-enroll in your plan each year, but you must pay your Plan F premiums on time to continue coverage.
You also have the opportunity to change to another Medigap insurance company that sells Plan F in the future. This is great if another insurer sells their plan at a lower rate.
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Is Plan F Going Away
You may have heard rumors about Medicare Supplement Plan F and Plan C disappearing, but that is not necessarily the case for all Medicare beneficiaries. If you currently have Medicare Supplement Plan F, Plan F High Deductible, or Plan C, you will be able to keep it. Even if you dont currently have either, you may be eligible to enroll in one of these plans in the future.
What If I Currently Have A Plan F
If you currently have a Plan F, you can keep your policy for as long as you like.
While Plan F is going away, the fact that there are over 60 million people who can still get it means that itâll be a long and gradual phase-out.
Many individuals who currently have a Plan F are asking us if they should keep it or switch to a different plan.
This depends on the individual. We always do whatâs best for each individual client, which means weâd need to learn more about what company you have and how much you pay each month. It could save you money to switch to a different Plan F company or even a different plan altogether.
We wonât know until you contact us for help.
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Rates For Medicare Supplement Plan F
While the benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan F remain the same regardless of your insurance company , in some states the premium you pay may vary according to a number of factors, including age, location, gender, and overall health.
Cigna offers competitive rates and, in some states, a 7% household premium discount5 may be available for qualified applicants.
What Are Medicare Supplements Anyway
When you enroll in Original Medicare , you have the option of increasing coverage by purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan . These plans work alongside Original Medicare and add financial benefits .
Every state has ten different types of plans. Each plan is represented by a different letter . Plan F and Plan C are the most inclusive, and in turn, are the most popular. But did you know both plans are going away in 2020?
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So Why Is Plan F Going Away
Medicare Supplement Plan F is being phased out as a result of The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, also known as MACRA. As a result of MACRA, anybody who becomes eligible for Medicare in 2020 will not be able to purchase Plan F.
This means that if you turn 65 on January 1st, 2020, or after, you will not be able to purchase Plan F under any circumstances. However, if you turned 65 at any time before this date, you will still be able to buy Plan F. This is the case even if you didnt have Plan F before, and even if you didnt have any Medicare Supplement plan before. If you have had Medicare coverage for 20 years and never had a Medigap plan, youll still be able to buy Plan F if you were eligible before January 1st, 2020.
If you are a new enrollee in Medicare, but have been eligible since before 2020, you can still buy Plan F.
In this way, Plan F is going to be slowly phased out, rather than disappearing immediately.
I Live In Minnesota/wisconsin/massachusetts Does This Still Affect Me
Definitely these three states have their own plans that are similar to the standardized plans offered in other states but with different plan names. If you live in one of these three states, your Medigap coverage options also changed.
For instance, in Minnesota, two Medicare Supplement plan options offer coverage for the Part B deductible. For the Extended Basic plan, this coverage is included for certain enrollees. For the Basic plan, the Part B deductible coverage is available through an optional rider.
Now, with the passage of MACRA, the Part B deductible coverage is only available depending on your eligibility take a look at the next section for more information.