If you’ve been keeping up with Medicare news, you might have heard the announcement that Medigap Plan F is going to going away. For anyone with a Medicare Supplemental Plan F, that is a scary announcement. We’ve gotten a lot of questions about how those changes and how it’s going to impact applicants’ coverage.
The first thing that you should take note of is that you won’t be losing your coverage. If you already have a Plan F policy, then you aren’t going to have to supplemental protection stripped away. The next thing that you should know is that Plan F is not going away immediately. This article is going to explore all the specific details of Plan F and what you should be aware going forward.
Why is Plan F Disappearing?
If you’ve paid any attention to the news in the past decade, you know that health care laws are always changing. Congress is always making tweaks to health care standards and laws, and one of the recent ones is the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act, which passed in 2015. More than likely, you’ve heard it called the “doc fix” law, and it’s had a significant impact on Medicare and health care coverage for seniors.
The problem was that doctors felt like they were not being reimbursed for providing medical services to Medicare enrollees. There were previous laws that restricted the amount that doctors would be paid, and it was decreasing every year. Because they thought that they weren’t getting enough payments, a lot of doctors stopped accepting Medicare payments. To fix the problem, they would need to start reimbursing physicians for their services, and the solution that they came up with would cost around $200 billion over the next ten years.
What are the Changes?
The “doc fix” bill required where every Medicare enrollee must be subject to deductibles. Both Medicare Parts A and B charge deductibles for their coverage. The problem is that Medigap Plan F covers the Part B deductible, which according to the new change is illegal. The goal is to require Medicare enrollees to pay the deductible into the Medicare program, instead of paying premiums to the private insurance companies.
Medigap plans will still be able to pay the Medicare Part A deductible, but in 2020, no plan will be able to cover the Part B deductible. Instead, enrollees are going to have to pay for those expenses themselves. For anyone with a Medicare Supplemental Plan F, they have “first dollar” coverage. That means that from the moment they enroll in the plan, their Plan F is going to pay for deductibles and everything that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Government officials are afraid that if enrollees continue to buy Supplemental Plan F that covers all of the gaps and enrollees are not putting more money back into the program, that it’s going to go bankrupt and doctors are not going to get the reimbursement that they need. That’s going to lead to more doctors pulling out of the program and giving seniors fewer options for their health care.
Another reason that the government has decided to cut Part B deductible coverage is to cut back any unnecessary expenses. The thought is, if enrollees are responsible for paying for their deductibles out of pocket, people won’t be going to the doctor as much for minor things, which is draining their savings pool. They are trying to keep enrollees from going to the doctor every time that they have a runny nose, but we don’t know if this is going to work. In fact, some health care professionals assume that this will not work at all.
Can I get Medicare Supplemental Plan F Coverage?
If you want to get Medigap Plan F insurance, you can do that as long as you enroll before 2020. If you want to switch plans, don’t wait any longer to get your coverage. If you want to long, you will won’t be able to purchase a Plan F.
Plan F is one of the most popular options for supplemental coverage that’s offered. The plan pays for everything that original Medicare doesn’t, and that’s including the Part B deductible, and it’s the only policy that does that.
If you’re already enrolled in a Plan F, you won’t be kicked out of your coverage, and you will be able to keep your plan. Your policy is going to operate as it always has, and nothing is going to change for you. If you’re eligible for Medicare AFTER 2020, then you won’t be able to purchase one of these plans, and you will have to pick a different option that doesn’t cover Part B deductible.
Other Supplemental Insurance Options
Luckily, there are plenty of other affordable options for Medicare Supplemental coverage that you can choose from. The two most popular options (behind Plan F), are Plan G and Plan N, which are very similar to a Plan F policy, just without the Part B deductible coverage.
If you decide that you don’t want the comprehensive coverage that Plan F offers, then you can get a more basic policy that leaves behind more gaps in your health care. These plans don’t offer as much protection, but they have much smaller premiums. These are an excellent way to save money while still getting additional insurance coverage.
It’s confusing on who can and can’t get the Plan F as 2020 gets near. Don’t keep the questions to yourself; we’re available to answer them at any time.
If you have decided that you want to enroll in Medicare Supplemental Plan F before 2020, then please contact one of our experienced agents today. We can connect you with the best company and plan to meet your needs. Your health is important, but meeting your desired coverage level shouldn’t break your bank.