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Senior couple discussing Medicare Part F options with a medical professional across a desk in an office setting, appearing engaged and attentive.

Is Medicare Part F Plan Going Away?

Starting your Medicare journey can feel like solving a tough puzzle, especially when you’re trying to figure out all the different plans. A common question many people have is whether Medicare Supplement Plan F, also called “Medicare Part F,” is being phased out. This plan is known for providing some of the best coverage in Medicare supplement insurance, and it has been very important for many people who want to feel secure in their healthcare. However, as healthcare changes, so do the choices and rules about Medicare. That’s why it’s really important to talk to a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare the different supplement plans

At The Medicare Family, we make Medicare easy to understand. We have over 40 years of experience helping thousands of people in all 50 states. Our experts offer personalized advice and can connect you with the best Medicare plans from over 30 top insurance companies. Whether you’re looking to understand your Medicare options or find out about changes to Medicare Supplement plans, we’re here to help you make choices confidently.

Are you unsure about Medicare? Schedule your free call with The Medicare Family for free today. Get expert advice and find out about the best Medicare plans near you. With our help, figuring out Medicare can be easy and empowering.

What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, helps cover the costs that Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t fully pay for. This includes the out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred by beneficiaries, including deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance.

Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies. These plans make it easier to know how much you’ll spend on healthcare and can also pay for services that Original Medicare coverage doesn’t, like getting medical care when you’re traveling outside the United States. There are several Medigap plans available, each offering various benefits. However, what’s available can differ from state to state.

It’s important for people with Medicare to think about their health needs and budget when picking a Medigap plan. These plans don’t cover prescription drugs, so if you need help with drug costs, you’ll have to join a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).

Who Provides Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Medicare Supplement Insurance is provided by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. These companies must adhere to federal and state laws designed to protect consumers, making sure that plans offer standardized benefits that allow beneficiaries to compare plans easily across different companies. Even though every plan from A to N offers similar coverage, the prices can be different due to the medical underwriting process. Each company might have its own way of setting prices based on health checks. You can pick the company that fits best with what you need in terms of coverage, how they handle customer service, and their prices. Choosing the right company for your Medicare supplement insurance is important for managing your health care costs and coverage when you retire.

Understanding Medicare: Is It Medicare Part F or Plan F for Supplemental Insurance?

In the world of Medicare, it’s important to know the different terms so you can choose the best health care coverage for yourself. People often get mixed up between “Medicare Part F” and “Medicare Plan F.” The correct term is “Plan F,” and it’s a type of extra insurance that helps with costs that regular Medicare doesn’t fully cover.

Medicare itself is divided into parts—Parts A, B, C, and D—each covering different health services. Supplemental plans, like Plan F, offer additional coverage to help fill the gaps in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and are subject to contract renewal with Medicare.

What Is Medicare Plan F?

Three smiling elderly women sitting at wooden desk, making notes in notepad, listening to lecturer speaker in office.

Medicare Supplement Plan F is one of the best choices for extra insurance because it covers almost everything. This plan helps pay for the costs that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover, like certain fees you have to pay when you get healthcare services.

One of the best parts about Plan F is that it pays for the Part B deductible. This means you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket for this deductible, making it easier if you need a lot of medical care. Plan F also takes care of Part B excess charges. These are extra costs that come up if your doctor charges more than what Medicare thinks is reasonable, and they don’t accept the usual Medicare payment as full payment.

Plan F is also great for people who travel because it includes coverage for emergencies when you’re in other countries. With all these benefits, it’s clear why Plan F is a favorite for people who want strong health insurance that covers more than the basics.

How does Medicare Supplement Plan F work?

Medicare Supplement Plan F, known for its comprehensive coverage, operates alongside Original Medicare (Parts A and B) to fill the gaps in Medicare coverage. It covers:

  • Hospital and skilled nursing facility coinsurance: This covers the costs Medicare Part A doesn’t fully cover after hospital stays or skilled nursing care.
  • Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles: It pays for the yearly deductibles you’d otherwise pay out-of-pocket before Medicare starts to cover its share.
  • Part B excess charges: If a doctor charges more than Medicare’s standard rate, Plan F covers the difference.
  • Foreign Travel Emergency Care: For those who travel, it provides crucial coverage for emergencies outside the U.S.
  • Blood transfusions: In medical procedures requiring blood, Medicare doesn’t cover the first three pints, but Plan F does.

Plan F is favored by those seeking minimal out-of-pocket expenses, as it offers the broadest coverage among Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans.

What Is Not Covered by Medicare Supplement Plan F?

Medicare Supplement Plan F is often celebrated for its comprehensive coverage, yet there are specific areas it does not cover. Notably, Plan F does not pay for services that Original Medicare does not approve, such as cosmetic surgery. This includes but is not limited to:

  • long-term care (such as custodial care), 
  • vision or dental care, 
  • hearing aids, 
  • eyeglasses, or 
  • private-duty nursing. 

Additionally, Plan F does not cover prescription drugs; these are covered under Medicare Part D, not Medicare Supplement plans. It’s also important to mention that Plan F does not cover non-emergency healthcare services received outside the United States, which are also not covered by Original Medicare.

Who Is Eligible for Medicare Plan F?

To be eligible for Medicare Plan F, you first need to have Medicare Part A and Part B. Part A generally covers hospital stays, while Part B covers doctor visits and other outpatient services. Once you have both of these parts, you can think about getting Plan F.

However, there’s an important rule to know. As of January 1, 2020, Medicare Plan F is not available to people who are new to Medicare. This means if you were eligible for Medicare before 2020 and you already have Plan F, you can keep it. But if you are new to Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you can’t choose Plan F. Instead, you might consider other Medigap plans like Plan G or Plan N, which offer similar benefits.

Is Medicare Supplement Plan F Still Available in 2024?

The options for Medicare Supplement plans are changing. This affects Medicare Supplement Plan F. Starting from January 1, 2020, new people signing up for Medicare can’t choose Plan F policy. This decision follows the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which was created to help reduce how much the government spends on healthcare. One of the rules from this law says that new Medicare plans can’t pay for the Part B deductible, a yearly fee that Medicare members need to pay. Since Plan F policy used to cover this deductible, it’s no longer an option for anyone who became eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020.

However, if someone was eligible for Medicare before 2020 and already has Plan F, they can keep their plan. Also, those who were eligible before 2020 but didn’t get Plan F at that time might still be able to buy it, depending on the rules in their state and what the insurance companies decide to offer.

Alternatives to Medicare Plan F

There is a stethoscope on the table, the doctor holds a notebook in his ha

Medicare Plan G

Medicare Plan G is becoming a popular choice for new people signing up for Medicare. Plan G is a lot like Plan F, but there’s one main difference: Plan G doesn’t pay for the Medicare Part B deductible. After you pay this deductible, Plan G will cover all of the Part B coinsurance, which means it can cover a lot of your costs if you need a lot of care. For many individuals, Plan G may be the better deal since Plan F isn’t available to them anymore.

Here’s what Medicare Plan G helps pay for:

  • The deductible and coinsurance for Medicare Part A (that’s for hospital costs).
  • Extra charges from Medicare Part B, which can happen if a doctor charges more than Medicare will pay.
  • Emergency health care when you’re traveling outside the country, but only up to a certain amount.

One of the big reasons people like Plan G is that it can be cheaper than Plan F. As more people choose Plan G, it might even keep its prices stable over time. Another important thing about Plan G is that it covers excess charges from Part B. This is really helpful in some states where doctors are allowed to charge more than what Medicare pays.

Medicare Plan N

As we explore alternatives to Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medicare Plan N stands out as a noteworthy option for those seeking comprehensive coverage with some cost-sharing responsibilities. Plan N is designed for beneficiaries who prefer a lower premium while accepting some out-of-pocket expenses for their healthcare services.

Medicare Plan N covers the core benefits of Medicare Supplement insurance, including Part A hospital coinsurance, Part B coinsurance for medical services (with exceptions for certain office visit and emergency room co-payments), blood transfusions, Part A hospice care coinsurance, and skilled care in a nursing facility. Additionally, it provides coverage for the Part A deductible, which is a significant expense.

One of the distinguishing features of Plan N is its approach to Part B coverage. While it covers the bulk of Part B coinsurance costs, Plan N introduces a co-payment structure for some doctor visits and emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission. These co-payments are typically modest but are an important consideration for beneficiaries when comparing plans.

Another critical aspect of Plan N is that it does not cover the Part B deductible or Part B excess charges. Part B excess charges occur when doctors charge more than what Medicare approves, but these are not common in all areas or among all providers.

For Medicare beneficiaries who are comfortable with a slight increase in out-of-pocket costs for lower monthly premiums and who do not frequently incur Part B excess charges, Plan N offers a balance between comprehensive coverage and cost-saving. It’s particularly appealing for those who value the core benefits of Medicare Supplement insurance but are looking to manage their healthcare budget more actively.

Make Your Medicare Choices with Confidence

Understanding Medicare Plan F is really important, especially now that new people can’t sign up for it anymore. With healthcare always changing, it’s key for anyone with Medicare to keep up with what choices they have. Knowing all about your options helps you pick the best one for your health needs and get the most out of Medicare’s benefits.

The Medicare Family is here to help you find your way through all these options. We’ve been doing this for over 40 years and are all about giving you the advice you need. Let us make things simple for you. Schedule your FREE call with The Medicare Family today to receive unbiased expert advice and access to the top choices where you live.

FAQ

Is Medicare Plan F worth keeping?

Absolutely, Medicare Plan F is good to keep if you already have it and want complete coverage. It pays for all the deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for Part A and Part B, which makes it one of the best choices out there. But, it’s not open to people who joined Medicare after January 1, 2020. If you can get it and you like having very low healthcare costs to pay on your own, Plan F can really help you and give you peace of mind.

What Medicare plan is closest to Plan F?

Medicare Supplement Plan G is a lot like Plan F. It covers almost everything Plan F does, but there’s one main difference: Plan G doesn’t pay for the Part B deductible, the yearly fee you pay before Medicare starts to pay its share. Many people think Plan G is the next best choice if you want really good coverage, similar to what Plan F offered.

What does Plan F cover that Plan G does not?

The big difference between Medicare Plan F and Plan G is that Plan F pays for the Medicare Part B deductible, but Plan G does not. However, both plans cover most other costs like coinsurance, copayments, and extra charges.

Sylvia Gordon, aka Medicare Mama®, is an expert on all things Medicare and Social Security. She is the 2nd Generation here at The Medicare Family and has served on the advisory boards of major insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare®, Cigna, and Anthem. In her free time, she can be found taking care of her animals (dogs, goats, peacocks, chickens), and reading a good book. Learn More.
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