Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are sold by private insurance companies, which aren’t required to offer all 10 of the Medigap plan types offered in most states. However, they must offer at least Plan A if they offer any Medigap policy, and must also offer Plan C or Plan F, if they offer any Medigap plans other than Plan A. Because of its popularity, many insurance companies offer Plan F. Plan availability varies by location, so always research and compare plan options for your specific zip code and county.
Please note: Medicare Supplement Plan F will be phased out. If you don’t qualify for Medicare until January 1, 2020 or later, you won’t be able to buy Plan F. This change applies to Medicare Supplement plans that cover the Medicare Part B annual deductible (Plan F and Plan C). If you qualify for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you may still be able to buy Plan F. If you already have Plan F, you can generally keep it. The same applies to Plan C.
What benefits are covered under Medicare Supplement Plan F?
Plan F basic benefits, like other Medigap plans, are standardized in most states. This means that regardless of where you live or which insurance company you purchase from, you’ll get the exact same basic benefits for a Plan F sold anywhere in your state (note that there is also a high-deductible version of Plan F discussed below). However, keep in mind that even though basic benefits are the same, premiums may vary.
Below is a list of costs and benefits covered by Medicare Supplement Plan F:
- 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
- First three pints of blood used in an approved medical procedure (annually)
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Foreign travel emergency coverage (80%, up to plan limits)
Even though Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the broadest coverage of any of the 10 Medigap plans, it doesn’t cover all of the costs you may have in Original Medicare. For example, you’ll still need to keep paying your Medicare Part B premium payments each month. If you haven’t worked enough quarters to qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A (typically at least 10 years, or 40 quarters), you may owe a premium for Part A as well. Medicare Supplement Plan F doesn’t cover these out-of-pocket costs.
What are the costs associated with Plan F?
Plan F costs will vary, depending on the county you live in and the insurance companies that sell Medicare Supplement insurance in your location.
For beneficiaries who don’t mind paying for out-of-pocket costs up front, there is also a high deductible Plan F option. This is a variation on the standard Plan F that requires beneficiaries to pay all out-of-pocket expenses up to the deductible, which is $2,300 in 2019. After meeting the deductible, the plan begins to pay for Medicare-covered costs.
Keep in mind that the high-deductible Plan F option doesn’t vary from the standard Plan F when it comes to basic benefits. Instead, the high-deductible Plan F may have lower premium costs than the standard Plan F; this is offset by the fact that your out-of-pocket costs may be higher until you’ve reached the deductible.
As noted above, Plan F (including high-deductible Plan F) will be gradually phased out. A high-deductible Plan G might become available in 2020, according to Oregon.gov.
As a Medicare beneficiary, you may be able to find other Medigap plans with lower premiums. However, if you see the doctor frequently, require a lot of health-care services, or are facing mounting out-of-pocket expenses, the comprehensive coverage of Plan F generally offers the most help with your Original Medicare costs.
This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on the website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.
The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these eHealth web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.