Is Medicare Supplement Plan F Going Away?

Fact Checked

Medicare Supplement Plan F was originally designed to be the most comprehensive of the 10 standardized Medigap supplemental insurance plans. Plan F is still available for people who were eligible for Medicare before January 1st, 2020. However, anyone who became eligible for Medicare on or after Jan 1, 2020 can no longer enroll in Plan F.

Understanding Medicare Supplement Plan F Changes:

  • Medicare Plan F has not been discontinued, but it is only available for people who were eligible for Medicare before Jan 1, 2020.
  • If you are currently enrolled in Plan F, your enrollment remains active unless you choose a different plan or fail to pay your premiums.
  • You can still enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F if you were newly eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
  • There are two types of Plan F coverage available for those who are eligible: standard and high-deductible.

Is Medicare Supplement Plan F Being Phased Out?

Plan F is one of the 10 standardized Medicare supplemental insurance plans available. It is the most comprehensive plan, covering 100% of the available benefits included in the plans. As of 2015, Medicare Supplement Plan F is no longer available to anyone who became eligible for Medicare after January 1st, 2020. However, Plan F is still available for anyone enrolled in the plan previously.If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1st, 2020, but elected to delay coverage, you may still be able to enroll in Plan F.

As the National Association of Insurance Commissioners explains, the changes to Medicare Supplement Plan F result from the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which was made law in 2015. Although the law didn’t directly change Plan F, it did prohibit the sale of any Medigap policies that covered Part B deductibles for newly eligible individuals after January 1, 2020. This part of the law affected both Medicare Supplement Plans C and F, because they are the only two plans out of the 10 available Medicare supplement plans that cover the Part B deductible.

Who is Still Eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan F?

If you became newly eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020 and are already enrolled in a Medicare supplement Plan F, you can continue to keep your plan.

Once you are in a Medicare supplement plan, you have guaranteed renewable coverage as long as you continue to pay your premium. You cannot be disenrolled from a plan unless you choose to change plans or fail to pay your premiums.

If you became newly eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020 and chose to delay coverage, you are still eligible to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan F. However, you may be subject to late enrollment penalties for Part A and Part B that you must pay in addition to your plan’s premium. You must be enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A and B to join a Medicare Supplement Plan.

Can You Still Get Medicare Plan F?

You cannot enroll in Medicare Plan F if you were newly eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. However, if you were newly eligible for Medicare before that date, you can still choose to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F. You can also keep your Plan F coverage if you were already enrolled in the plan and continue to pay your monthly premiums.

Are Medicare Plan F Rates Changing?

There are two types of Plan F coverage options: a standard option that requires a monthly premium, just like any other Medicare supplement insurance plan. The other option is a high-deductible plan with a lower monthly premium. With the high-deductible Plan F option, you must pay your entire deductible amount before the plan will cover any associated healthcare costs.

The deductible for the high-deductible Plan F goes up every year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services explains that the exact amount the deductible increases is determined by the Social Security Act. That amount from 2020 to 2021 was 2.5%, which makes the 2022 deductible for Plans F, G, and J $2,490.

For the standard Plan F , monthly premium rates are set by the individual private insurance companies. Costs vary based on your age, gender, tobacco use, state of residence, and how the plan is rated.

Both the standard and high-deductible plans include a $250 annual deductible for foreign travel emergency healthcare coverage.

What Will Replace Medicare Plan F?

No plan completely replaces Medicare Part F, but the closest available is Medicare Supplement Plan G. Like Plan F, Plan G covers 100% of many benefits, including:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part B copays/coinsurance (not deductibles)
  • Three initial pints of blood
  • Part A hospice
  • Skilled nursing facility
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B excess charges

Plan G also covers 80% of foreign travel emergency healthcare after you meet a $250 yearly deductible. The only difference between Plan F and Plan G is that Plan G does not cover a Part B deductible.

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Medicare consultant and expert, seniors advocate, and author

Ron Elledge is an accomplished Medicare agent, planner, and author. Elledge earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible theology from International Seminary and spent 30 years in pastoral ministry. He began his current career in insurance with a specialty in Medicare in 2008 and has since authored “Medicare Made Easy: What Expats, Frequent Travelers and You Need to Know” and is often a featured speaker at the International Living conferences. Elledge is a contributor to International Living, supporting Medicare beneficiaries with articles, podcasts, and Q&As.

“A licensed seniors market insurance agent in Arizona and New Mexico, Elledge has helped thousands decipher the intricacies of Medicare rules and regulations, enabling them to make educated selections for their health care needs. As a world traveler with his wife, Shelli, Elledge specializes in Medicare for expats and frequent travelers. He’s up to date with Medicare regulations, coverage options, and enrollment protocols and is fervent in his resolve to present trustworthy data on this confusing and often maligned program.

“By obtaining dependable details on how to read their Medicare options, recipients can plan for it correctly and make the best choices,” says Elledge. “These choices often make a huge financial and emotional difference in their futures. When Medicare is correctly utilized, it becomes a powerful financial and medical tool for all who qualify.”

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