Medicare Changes Seniors Need To Know

Many seniors are aware that the Medicare program has undergone some significant changes since last year.  

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Medicare is a health insurance program for older adults aged 65 and above, as well as those under 65 with disabilities.  It’s funded by the government and about 15 percent of Americans take part in the program.

Despite so many people using this health insurance program, sometimes it’s difficult to understand it. And it doesn’t help that the rules of this program often change from year to year. 

In this guide, we’ve discussed the most important changes happening to Medicare Supplement plans. The open enrollment period for Medicare runs from October 15 through December 7, so it’s important for seniors to learn about the new Medicare Supplement plans now so that they can choose the best plan that suits their needs.

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap Plan)

Medicare Supplement insurance is arguably one of the most complicated Medicare topics to understand. We’ve tried explaining it in a simple format in this section. It’s important to know that a Medicare Supplement plan is the same as a Medigap plan. These terms are used interchangeably but they mean the same thing.

Medigap plans are insurance plans you purchase from private companies. While Medicare health insurance covers most of an adult’s healthcare costs, it cannot be relied on to meet 100% of the needs of subscribers. Sometimes, Medicare members can end up paying expensive healthcare bills if they don’t have a supplemental insurance plan in addition to Medicare.

For this reason, many subscribers consider purchasing Medicare Supplements. These supplements can often offset the cost of deductibles and premiums for your basic Medicare coverage.

Medicare open enrollment happens every year and during this time period Medicare subscribes can change and enroll in new supplement plans.  Every supplement plan comes at a different cost and offers a diverse range of coverage. That’s why it’s essential to re-evaluate your Medigap plan yearly.

2020 Changes in Medicare Supplement Insurance

2020 brought fresh changes to Medigap.

Seniors need to know that Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medicare Supplement Plan F High-Deductible, and Medicare Supplement Plan C will not be available to individuals who were not qualified for Medicare before January 1, 2020.

Thankfully, new Medicare members who are eligible for Medicare on and after January 1, 2020 will be able to purchase a  new supplement plan called Medicare Supplement Plan G.

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What is Plan G?

Medicare Supplement Plan G High-Deductible or Medicare Plan G introduced replaced the Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medicare Supplement Plan F High-Deductible and Medicare Supplement Plan C, which disappeared early in January.

When you decide to add Plan G to your Medicare health insurance cover, you’ll receive a supplement plan similar to the previous Plan F.

The only difference is that you’ll get full cover for all the gaps that currently exist in Medicare’s health insurance coverage.

This new plan covers Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B deductibles, meaning it covers inpatient and outpatient healthcare costs.

Your Medicare health insurance will pay for the medical service you need. Your Supplement Plan G will then cover the remaining bills once you’ve met your yearly deductible. For 2019, the deductible was only $185.

Am I Eligible for Medical Supplement Plan G?

If you’re worried that the Medicare changes such as the removal of Plan F or Plan C will affect your coverage, rest assured it will not.

All you have to do is to confirm if you can keep your current Medicare Supplement plan or if you’re qualified for the new Medicare Supplement Plan G

For example, if you’re a Medicare member who enrolled for Part A before December 31, 2019 and you still have Medicare Supplement Plan F or Medicare Supplement Plan C, you can retain your supplement insurance.

However, if you qualify for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you can’t register for Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medicare Supplement Plan F High-Deductible, and even Medicare Supplement Plan C since they’re not there anymore. But you can qualify for Medicare Plan G.

In simple terms, if you’re enrolling for Medicare for the first time, you’re eligible for Plan G. However, current Medigap subscribers can change their coverage.

During Medicare open enrollment, they can consider different options under the Medicare Supplement Plan F or Medicare Supplement Plan C. 

If you’re a senior, it’s wise to consider your options. Maybe you might end up changing your coverage or saving cash by changing your Medicare Supplement plan.

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