When it comes to Medicare Supplement plans, Plan F is the gold standard. This plan offers the maximum level of coverage that is possible, and its high demand means that it often goes for a competitive price.
Plan F fully covers every out-of-pocket category that Medicare Supplement plans can cover, along with 80% foreign travel. This plan has recently undergone some changes with regards to availability, and these can be confusing to understand at first.
We’ll run through exactly what it is that Plan F covers, how it compares to other plans, and how to find out if it will be available to you.
How Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Work?
Before we look at the details, it’s important to understand the basics of Medicare Supplement coverage. Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, are a type of insurance plan offered by private insurance companies, not the federal government.
These plans do not function as traditional health insurance plans, but rather pay for your out-of-pocket costs. As the name states, they supplement your Medicare benefits.
When you purchase a Medigap policy, you will pay a monthly premium as usual. When you have to pay out-of-pocket costs for your Original Medicare coverage, they will be paid by your Medigap plan instead.
The categories that Medigap plans cover include things like your Part A coinsurance, Part A deductible, Part B coinsurance, and so on. Each plan covers a different set of out-of-pocket costs from a pre-defined set. The full list of costs is:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copay
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Part B Excess Charges
- Foreign travel exchange
There are many plan options to choose from, whether you want extensive coverage or something lighter. Medicare.gov contains more detailed information about every plan available.
Plan F Benefits
Some plans, like Plan A, only cover a few of these categories while not covering others at all. Plan F covers every single category listed, more than any other plan. Plan F and Plan C are currently the only plans that cover the Part B deductible.
When you incur the relevant charges, you will not have to pay them at all. Instead, you will just pay the premium each month for your Medigap plan, and your plan will then pay your out-of-pocket expenses.
Plan F policies also come in what is known as a “high deductible” version. As the name states, high-deductible Plan F offers the same coverage but has a higher deductible. In 2021, this deductible can come to $2,370. Plan F pays for covered services only once the deductible is reached. With these plans, your monthly premium will be significantly lower.
Is Plan F Going Away?
As of 2020, Plan F is starting to be phased out. Plan F is still available to the majority of Medicare beneficiaries right now, and the phase-out plan will take some time. However, it’s important to understand the details if you are interested in Plan F.
The change to Plan F is the result of a 2015 act known as MACRA, or the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. Due to this act, you can only buy a Medigap Plan that covers the Part B deductible if you became eligible before January 1, 2020.
This applies to Plan C as well as Plan F. According to the act, the only metric that matters is eligibility. If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but did not purchase Medicare until much later, you can still buy Plan F. Even if you didn’t have a Medigap plan at all, the only thing that matters is your eligibility date.
How Much Does Plan F Cost?
As is usual with plans from private insurance companies, the cost of Plan F can vary widely. The monthly premiums for Plan F will vary depending on your age, health condition, and location in the country. However, the average cost for Plan F will come to around $120-140 per month.
Make sure that you get a quote from a plan that you are looking at specifically, because you may end up finding a lower or higher costing plan in your area.
You can request a free quote from us here.
Top Medigap Plan F Providers
When you choose to buy a Medigap plan, there are many providers to choose from. Some won’t be available in every state, and you should make sure to get several quotes and examine which policies work best for your unique situation.
Medicare Supplement Plan F vs G, Which is Better?
Due to their similarities, you’ll often see Plan F compared to Plan G. Which plan is better depends on what you are looking for, and both are great plans to choose from and offer a lot of coverage.
In general, if you want Plan F but aren’t eligible to purchase it, then purchasing Plan G instead can be a good choice. Plan G offers the most coverage aside from Plan F. It also may end up being cheaper for you than Plan F.
The only difference between Plan F and Plan G is that Plan F covers the Part B deductible. This comes out to $203 in 2021. If you want to compare the cost of these plans overall, the way to do this is simple. Just take the annual premium amount for Plan G, and add $203. If this is still less than the Plan F annual premium amount, then Plan G will be cheaper for you.
Like Plan F, Plan G also comes in a high-deductible version. In 2021, the deductible can amount to $2,370. Before you pay this amount in out-of-pocket costs, your Medigap plan won’t offer any coverage.
Medicare Supplement Plan J vs Plan F
Another plan that is often compared to Plan F is Medigap Plan J. However, you may not be hearing as much about Plan J these days, because it is also being phased out. Plan J started being phased out in 2010.
Like Plan F, Plan J offers very comprehensive coverage for your out-of-pocket costs. Plan J covers even more than Plan F does, notably in one category. While Plan F covers 80% of the foreign travel exchange, Plan J covers 100%.
Plan J is not available due to it being phased out over a decade ago.
Plan F and Medicare Advantage
If you have Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, then you won’t be able to purchase a Medigap plan. The reason for this is that Medigap plans only cover out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare.
Although you can have a Part D prescription drug plan along with a Medigap plan, the Medigap plan won’t pay anything towards your Part D plan. Medicare Supplement plans only apply to out-of-pocket costs related to Original Medicare.
If you are interested in changing from a Medigap plan to a Medicare Advantage plan contact us at 800-208-4974, we offer Advantage plans as well.
Yes, Plan F is still available for those who became eligible for Medicare Part A prior to January 1st, 2020. These people can always buy a Plan F.
Medicare Advantage plans are private insurance plans that cover the same things as Original Medicare. You cannot have a Medicare Supplement plan while you have Medicare Advantage. If you want a Medicare Supplement plan, you will have to switch to Original Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Plan F does not cover any prescription drugs. If you have Medicare and want prescription drug coverage, you’ll need to seek out a Part D prescription drug plan.
Medicare Supplement Plan F does cover out-of-pocket costs that you may incur while in a skilled nursing facility. However, coverage of the actual medical care will come from your Original Medicare coverage. Part A will also cover skilled nursing facility care most of the time.
Our Expert Advice
Plan F is one of the most popular Medigap plans for a reason. If you are interested in comprehensive Medigap coverage, then you should keep it at the top of your list. Although it may not end up being the plan that you choose, nobody who wants comprehensive coverage should overlook Plan F.
When you start researching plans in your area, feel free to reach out to us for more information. Our insurance agents are completely independent and able to put your needs first. Call us at 800-208-4974