Is Medicare Supplement Plan F Going Away?

Tamera Jackson by Tamera Jackson | Licensed since 2007
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This article was updated on: 09/16/2018

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What is Medicare Supplement Plan F?

After enrolling in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) many Americans choose to also enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan (also called Medigap) to help cover Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs such as coinsurance, copayments and deductibles. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), about one-fifth of 65-year old Medicare beneficiaries purchased a Medicare Supplement policy in 2010.

Of the 500,000 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Supplement in 2010, more than half (53%) had Plan C or Plan F, reports KFF. Of the ten Medicare Supplement plans available in most states (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N), Plan C and Plan F are the only two Medicare Supplement plans that cover the Medicare Part B deductible. Plan F is one of the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plans available. As well as the Part B deductible, it also covers:

  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Part A hospital and coinsurance costs up to an additional 356 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • First three pints of blood used in an approved medical procedure (annually)
  • Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency medical care (80% up to plan limits)

Among the standardized Medicare Supplement plans, Plan F may leave you with the fewest Medicare out-of-pocket costs to pay and perhaps the easiest way to budget your health-care spending.

Is Medicare Supplement Plan F being discontinued?

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) passed by Congress and signed into law on April 16, 2015 changed the law on various aspects of health care, including some Medicare Supplement plans. The new law states that on or after January 1, 2020, a Medicare Supplement policy that provides coverage of the Part B deductible may not be sold or issued to a newly eligible Medicare beneficiary.  You can read more here. That means that people whose birthday is December 31, 1954 (turning 65 on December 31, 2019) may be the last group able to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F. After January 1, 2020, you will not be able to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan C, one of the closest alternatives to Plan F, either, since it also covers the Part B deductible.  If you already have Plan F, you can keep it. The law only affects new enrollees.

The good news for enrollees buying a Medicare Supplement plan after January 1, 2020 is that the Part B deductible, which will not be covered in your plan, is not one of the biggest health-care costs under Medicare. In 2018 the Part B deductible is $183 per year. The Part A deductible is more than seven times that amount. Almost all the standardized Medicare Supplement plans available in most states (except Medicare Supplement Plan A) still may cover at least 50% of the Medicare Part A deductible, which in 2018 is $1,340 for each benefit period.

If you are unable to enroll in Plan F or Plan C, you may consider buying Medicare Supplement Plan G, which generally covers everything Plan F covers except the Part B deductible. Plan G may cover:

  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Part A hospital and coinsurance costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • First three pints of blood used in an approved medical procedure (annually)
  • Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency medical care (80% up to plan limits)

If you still have questions about Medicare Supplement Plan F going away, I am happy to provide more clarification. If you prefer, you can schedule a phone call or request an email by clicking on the buttons below. You can also find out about plan options in your area by clicking the Compare Plans button.

The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these Medicare.com 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.

Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the Federal Medicare program.

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