Medicare is a vital healthcare program in the United States, serving as a lifeline for many seniors and persons with disabilities. Though it is a crucial component of healthcare for millions of Americans, it doesn’t cover all healthcare expenses, prompting many individuals to seek additional coverage through Medicare Supplement Plans, commonly called Medigap.
Plan F is a unique Medicare Supplement because it is only one of two plans that covers 100% of Medicare Part B excess charges.
Medicare Supplement Plan F provides 100% coverage for almost all benefits except for foreign travel, which is covered at 80%.
The national average Medicare Supplement Plan F premium is $183.49 per month in 2023.
The high deductible option under Plan F is great for those who want to keep their monthly premium costs at a minimum.
Currently, there are 10 Medigap plans, and in this article, we will focus on breaking down Medicare Supplement Plan F.
What is Medicare Supplement Plan F?
The Medigap Plans are offered in 10 plans labeled with a letter of the alphabet: Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each plan offers different benefits and levels of coverage to suit the various healthcare needs of beneficiaries. Medigap Plan F is only available to those who enrolled in Medicare before January 1, 2020.
Many beneficiaries with multiple healthcare needs are frequently drawn to Medicare Supplement Plan F because of its comprehensive coverage. The services and payments this plan covers provide financial relief and peace of mind to those who use it.
Coverage and benefits of Plan F
Plan F is a unique Medicare Supplement Plan because it is only one of two plans that covers 100% of Medicare Part B excess charges. It also covers an array of out-of-pocket expenses, detailed below in the chart. Please note that coverage for these services kicks in only after your plan premiums and deductibles have been paid.
|Medigap benefit||Plan F|
|Plan A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an addition 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up||100%|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||100%|
|Blood (first three pints)||100%|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||100%|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||100%|
|Part A deductible||100%|
|Part B deductible||100%|
|Part B excess charge||100%|
|Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits)||80%|
As seen in the chart above, Plan F provides 100% coverage for almost all benefits except for foreign travel, which is covered at 80%. The only other Medicare Supplement plan that comes close to this level of coverage is Plan G. Though Plan F sounds like a great option, especially for those with extensive medical needs, it is essential to be aware of the costs of this type of coverage.
How much will Plan F cost me?
Looking at available coverage and benefits under Medicare Supplement Plan F, it is not a mystery why one would consider this plan. Naturally, people ask, “How much will this plan cost?”. It is essential to assess the costs of the monthly premium, the deductible, and any copayments. Please note that this plan is only available to those who have been enrolled in Medicare before January 1, 2020. If you became enrolled in Medicare after this date, you will not be eligible to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F.
The national average Medicare Supplement Plan F premium is $183.49 per month in 2023. Each health plan policy decides how to set the price of its premiums but within specific parameters set forth by the federal government. Currently, most Medigap plan premiums categorize their premium rates in the following three ways:
- Community rated. This rate applies the same premium charge to every participant of the Medigap plan, regardless of age. This means that even if you and your neighbor have a 10-year age difference, you will still pay the same premium if you have the same Medigap plan.
- Issue age-rated. Some health plans have a specific premium fee schedule based on the beneficiary's age when they first bought the policy. The younger a beneficiary is during the initial enrollment period, the lower their premium will be with these rates.
- Attained age-rated. The attained-age rate basically means that a monthly premium will go up as the beneficiary gets older. The rate of increase is not significant but can still cause financial stress for those who live on a fixed income.
Enrolling in Medicare Supplement Plan F
There are certain requirements an individual must meet to qualify for Medicare Supplement Plan F. These requirements include the following:
- The individual must already be a recipient of Medicare Parts A and B .
- The Medicare beneficiary must have been eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
The best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins on the first day of the month that you are 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, insurers cannot deny coverage or charge higher premiums due to preexisting conditions.
How to choose a different Medigap plan?
The beauty of Medigap plans is that they do not have an open enrollment period, allowing beneficiaries to change their selected plan if they wish to do so. Beneficiaries can switch between Medigap plans at any time of the year, as required by their healthcare needs.
Once a beneficiary has determined that their current plan isn’t suitable for their needs, they can research and select different options. When the application for their new Medigap plan is accepted, they can contact the insurance provider of their current plan and cancel the policy.
Selecting the right Medicare Supplement Plan is a critical decision impacting your healthcare coverage and finances. As you approach this decision, we encourage you to carefully explore all your options and decide to best suit your needs without breaking the bank. Take advantage of the open enrollment periods to secure the most optimal premium rates and coverage options for all your needs.
Is Plan F still available in 2023?
Plan F is not available for new Medicare enrollees. It is available only to those enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B before January 1, 2020.
Is Plan F being discontinued?
Yes. The reason for this is because the first-dollar coverage made it very popular among Medicare beneficiaries and the federal government foresaw it as being overused. This can lead to high expenses for the Medicare program overall.
Why is Plan F so expensive?
Plan F is more expensive than other Medigap plans because it offers coverage for most benefits. Though the premiums and deductibles may be high, those who truly use all those benefits will see it as a cost-effective solution in the long run.
- Medicare.gov. Cost of Medigap Policies.
- Medicare.gov Compare Medigap Plan Benefits.
- Humana. Medicare Plan F.
- Medicare Supplement. What is the Average Cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F?