If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and would like to have most of the federal program’s out-of-pocket costs covered, Medicare Supplement Plan F may be a good option. Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans may help with certain out-of-pocket health-care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t pay for, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Of the 10 standardized plans that may be available in most states, Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage.
Please note that Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have their own standardized Medicare Supplement plans. Medicare Supplement Plan F isn’t available in those states.
Here’s an overview of what Medicare Supplement Plan F may cover and what your costs may be, as well as details on important changes related to this plan.
Medicare Supplement Plan F benefits
As mentioned, Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the broadest coverage of all of the standardized Medigap plan offerings (Plans A-N; Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer sold).
Medigap Plan F may cover:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs for an extra 365 days beyond what Medicare covers
- Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance costs
- Part A deductible
- Part B copayment or coinsurance costs
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charges
- First three pints of blood
- Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care coinsurance costs
- Limited overseas emergency travel coverage, up to plan limits*
* May be covered if your foreign travel emergency care starts during the first 60 days after leaving the United States and Medicare doesn’t otherwise cover the care.
Medicare Supplement Plan F costs
Because Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage of the standardized lettered plans offered in most states, premium costs tend to be higher than other plans. Costs may vary by plan, company, and location, so check with the specific insurance company if you’re interested in this plan.
Medicare Supplement Plan F also has a high-deductible version. This option generally covers the same benefits as the standard Medigap Plan F, but it means you’ll pay for all Medicare-covered costs out of pocket until you reach Plan F’s deductible amount. In 2017, the deductible is $2,200 (note that this amount may change from year to year). After you’ve reached the deductible, your Medigap Plan F will start to pay for the covered benefits listed above.
Keep in mind that Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurance companies, and these companies aren’t required to sell every plan. Always make sure to research plan options in your specific zip code.
Changes to Medicare Supplement Plan F
It’s worth noting that Medicare Supplement Plan F may not be available in a few years. Starting in 2020, Medicare Supplement plans might not include the Part B deductible as a covered benefit. Since Medicare Supplement Plan F currently covers this benefit, it’s possible that (at least in its current form) Medigap Plan F may be discontinued.
If you’re currently enrolled in Medicare Supplement Plan F and want to keep this coverage, talk to your insurance company about how these upcoming changes may affect you. In the meantime, it’s important to continue to pay your plan premiums, and keep in mind that if you decide to disenroll from your Medicare Supplement Plan F, you might not be able to get it back. Without guaranteed-issue rights, you might not be able to enroll in Medicare Supplement coverage after your Medigap Open Enrollment Period has passed. This is the six-month period that starts the first month when you’re enrolled in Part B and age 65 or older; during this period, you typically have a guaranteed right to enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan of your choice without medical underwriting.
Would you like to learn more about Medicare Supplement Plan F? I can answer any questions you may have or show you other plans that may help with your out-of-pocket costs. To get started, use the links below to set up a phone appointment or have me email you some personalized Medicare plan options. If you’d rather browse on your own, simply click the Compare Plans button on this page to see plan options in your zip code.