Medicare Supplement Plan F To Be Phased Out in 2019

man holding megaphone with text reading last chance medigap plan f; medicare supplement plan f being phased out

If you want to purchase Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan F, you have until December 7, 2019 to do so. As of 2020, it will no longer be available for purchase. However, if you have purchased a plan by January 1, 2020, you get to keep it. 

What are Medicare Supplement plans?

While Medicare covers most of your healthcare needs, it doesn’t cover everything. You may have to pay out of pocket for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. If you have chronic conditions or have frequent doctor visits, these charges can rack up. Medigap plans can fill these “gaps” in your coverage so you pay less out of pocket in exchange for a low monthly premium. 

Why is Medicare Supplement Plan F so popular?

Medicare Supplement Plan F is by far Medicare’s most popular supplemental plan with 57 percent of enrollees purchasing this plan. Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage for the price, which is generally between $120-140 per month. 

infographic showing benefits of Medicare supplement Plan F

Why is it being phased out?

As part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible will no longer be sold to new enrollees. The Part B deductible for 2019 is $185; the 2020 Part B deductible has not been announced at the time of this publication. 

If you will not be eligible for Part F before it is phased out, Plan G is nearly identical. Plan G offers the same benefits as Plan F without covering the Part B deductible. 

Important notes

  • Medigap plans are sold by private insurers, so prices may vary depending on your location, health history, and other factors. 
  • Plans are standard across all states with the exception of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, which have their own standard plans.  
  • You may only purchase a Medigap plan if you have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). It is illegal for an insurance broker to sell you a Medigap plan if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan. 
  • Medigap plans do not cover routine dental, vision, or hearing care. However, many Medicare Advantage plans do. 
  • Plan C will also be phased out as it covers the Part B deductible. 
  • Plan F also has a high-deductible version, which requires beneficiaries to pay $2,300 in out-of-pocket costs before coverage kicks in. 

For free assistance assessing Medigap plans, you can call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). 

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