The End of Medigap Plan F in 2020
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Original Medicare won’t pay for all the costs of seniors’ medical care. Still, you might have supplemental coverage, called a Medigap plan (or Medicare Supplement) that will help you cover these costs. One of the most-comprehensive Medigap plans is Medigap Plan F. However, Plan F won’t be around forever.
For assistance with your Medigap Plan F, contact Senior Market Agents Network at 877-209-4949. We’re ready to help you get the coverage that’s right for you.
What is Medigap Plan F?
Medigap insurance plans are privately-offered policies that help cover the gaps left by Original Medicare. They supplement many of the costs you’d pay out-of-pocket if you had Original Medicare alone. Think of this coverage as a way to reduce your medical bills.
To qualify for Medigap plans, you must carry Original Medicare (Parts A&B). Original Medicare is the standard protection offered by the government’s Medicare program. It contains two types of coverage.
- Medicare Part A will pay for hospitalizations, surgeries and other inpatient costs.
- Medicare Part B covers outpatient costs like physician visits, lab testing, x-rays and day surgery.
Still, Original Medicare will not cover every cost of medical care. You might face copayments, coinsurance, deductibles and more. Medigap plans can step in to supplement many of these costs. They can also cover certain care not provided by Original Medicare. However, Medigap plans do not offer Part D prescription drug coverage, nor do they cover things like dental, vision or hearing aid services.
Getting Medigap Plan F
Medigap Plan F is one of multiple Medigap plans out there. The are differentiated by different letters (A, B, C and so on). However, some plans are not available in all areas. To get a Medigap plan:
- You must have Original Medicare Parts A & B
- You cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan
- You must buy one of the plans offered in your local area.
Please note: Insurers that sell more than one Medigap plan must offer either Medigap Part C or Medigap Plan F. Therefore, you will likely have a choice of policies. If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin, these states structure their Medigap systems differently. However, all plans must offer the same basic benefits.
How does Medigap Plan F work and what does it cover?
Like all other Medigap policies, Plan F will only cover certain costs. These include:
- Part A hospital and coinsurance costs up to an additional 356 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
- Medicare Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance
- Medicare Part B coinsurance
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B deductible
- The first three pints of blood used in an approved medical procedure (annually)
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Foreign travel emergency coverage (80%, up to the plan’s limits)
Is Medigap Plan F ending in 2020?
Due to changes in Medicare law, after 2020, Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible will no longer be sold. As of now, Medigap Plan F (and Medigap Plan C) cover the deductible. Therefore, if you qualify for Medicare after January 1, 2020 then you will not be able to get Plan F.
However, depending on your current Medicare qualifications, you might still be able to get Plan F in 2020 or longer.
- If you already have Plan F before 2020, then you can keep your plan. You can also continue to renew it. The law only restricts the sale of new plans.
- If you qualify for Original Medicare before January 1, 2020, you might be able to still buy Plan F. However, you should enroll in and buy the plan as soon as possible before Jan. 1, 2020.
- If you qualify for Medicare before January 1, 2020 but delay enrollment (such as if you have existing health insurance), you can still buy Plan F when you decide to enroll.
You still have the chance to buy a Medigap Plan F today. If you qualify, don’t wait to enroll.
If you need help deciding or enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Plan contact Senior Market Agents Network. Call us a 877-209-4949 or request an online quote for more information.
When can I enroll in a Medicare Supplement?
Since you can only get Medigap Plan F if you qualify for Medicare before 2020, then you might wonder when you can enroll. Generally, you must meet the following qualifications:
- If you qualify for Medicare Part B, you can enroll in a Medigap plan up to six months after the first day of the month you turn 65 years old.
- If you don’t have Part B, you’ll first have to enroll in that coverage. Then, you’ll have six months after the signup date for Part B to enroll in a Medigap plan. If you don’t enroll during these periods, then you might not qualify for Medigap plans, or pay more for coverage.
- After age 65, you must enroll in Original Medicare Parts A & B to qualify for a Medigap plan.
- Certain Medigap plans cover those under age 65. However, this option is not available everywhere. Applicants under 65 must still qualify for Original Medicare.
- You must remain enrolled in Original Medicare if you want to keep the Medigap coverage.
- If you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, you do not qualify for Medigap coverage. You cannot switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage and keep your Medigap plan.
- Most people who have Medicaid cannot get a Medigap plan.
Remember, you will have to pay a monthly premium for Medigap coverage. That will vary based on different factors. We’ll help you determine how to keep costs within an affordable line.
If you have any questions or concerns about the changes that might appear in the Medigap Plan F phase-out, contact Senior Market Agents Network. Call us a 877-209-4949 or request an online quote for more information.