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Medicare Plan F – Medicare Supplement Plan F

Medicare Plan F is a Medigap policy available for people who have the Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Like other Medigap plans, Medigap Plan F covers some of the costs that are not covered by the Original Medicare. Medicare Plan F coverage is the most comprehensive of the 10 Medigap plans, making it a popular choice for seniors. Learn more about this plan.

What Is Medicare Plan F?

Medicare Supplement Plan F covers 100 percent of:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs for 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
  • Part B coinsurance and copayment
  • First three pints of blood
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance and copayment
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Part A Deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charge

It also covers 80 percent of foreign travel exchange.

There are two Medicare Plan F plans available. Medicare Plan F is available as a standard or a high-deductible plan. If you choose a high-deductible plan, you will have to pay a deductible of $2,300 before coverage kicks in.

Premiums for Medigap Plan F

Medigap Plan F offers the most coverage of all the Medigap plans, so it is also the most expensive. In 2016, the lowest average monthly premium for a 65-year-old male was $159, and the highest was $236. That is a 39 percent difference and illustrates the importance of comparison shopping.

Who Can Get Medicare Plan F Coverage?

In the past, everyone who had the Original Medicare could get Medicare Part F coverage. However, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 has changed that. The legislation is phasing out Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible. Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, people who are new to Medicare will not be able to purchase Medicare Plan F. That does not mean the plan is completely going away though.

If you already have Medicare Plan F, you can keep it. Also, if you were eligible but did not enroll in Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020, you might be able to get a plan. It is important to speak to a licensed insurance agent about your eligibility.

Is Medicare Plan G Better Than Plan F?

Many people want to know if Medicare Plan G is better than Plan F. These plans are very similar. Medicare Plan G offers the same coverage as Medicare Plan F, with one exception. It does not cover the Part B deductible.

With Medicare Plan F being phased out, Plan G will be a good alternative for those who want Medigap coverage.

How to Enroll in Medigap Plan F

Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies. However, the federal government regulates these plans. Medigap Plan F plans offer the same benefits, regardless of the state or insurance company. Insurance companies can set their own rates, though.

If you want to enroll in Medicare Plan F or another Medigap plan, it is wise to do so during the Open Enrollment Period. Insurance companies cannot use medical underwriting as long as you enroll during the open enrollment period. If you miss the period and try to get Medigap Plan F or any other Medigap plan, you will go through the underwriting process. You can be denied coverage based on medical conditions. If you are approved for coverage, you can be charged more based on your health. However, during the open enrollment period, these policies are guaranteed-issue, and you cannot be charged more based on your health.

Your open enrollment period depends on your situation.

Open Enrollment for People Turning 65

This is the most common open enrollment period for Medigap plans. This begins the first day of the month that you turn 65, as long as you have Medicare Part B. This open enrollment period lasts for a full six months. For example, if you turn 65 on June 15, you will be eligible to enroll in both Medicare and Medicare Part F on June 1. Your enrollment period will run through November.

Open Enrollment Period for People 65 and Over

If you are 65 or older, your open enrollment period will begin as soon as you enroll in Part B as long as that enrollment cannot be repeated or changed. Keep in mind that you should sign up for Medicare Part B as soon as you are eligible to avoid a late fee. The late enrollment penalty is 10 percent of the standard premium and charged for each year that you were eligible or Part B but did not enroll. The fee is waived for people who have circumstances that allow them to sign up during a Special Enrollment Period.

Open Enrollment for People Under the Age of 65

Some people get Medicare before they are 65 years old. To be eligible, people need to have a disability or certain health conditions, such as kidney failure. Even if you are eligible for Medicare, you might not be able to get Medigap. Federal and state governments oversee Medigap policies, and federal law requires that these policies are made available only to people 65 and over. However, some states have enacted laws that require insurance companies to offer policies to all Medicare recipients, regardless of age. If you are in a state where you can get a policy, you will likely pay more if you are under the age of 65.

Open Enrollment for People With Group Health Coverage

If you have a group health insurance policy, you likely won’t need to enroll in Medicare Part B or Medigap coverage.

However, when that policy ends, you will be ready for coverage. Your open enrollment period will start as soon as you lose your group health coverage. You can get Medicare Part B and Medicare Plan F without worrying about medical underwriting if you get it during this period.

Is Medicare Supplement Plan F the Right Choice for You?

If you are tired of paying the high out-of-pocket costs associated with the Original Medicare, a Medigap plan might be the right choice. You might be eligible for Medicare Part F. If not, though, you can consider Medigap Plan G and other options.

A licensed insurance agent will walk you through all of your options. You will learn what kind of coverage you can expect and how much you will pay each month. Speak to an insurance agent, so you make the right choice.

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