Plan F is Changing: What Seniors Should Know
Medicare is changing in some big ways that seniors have no idea about. Here’s what you should know.
Medicare provides health care coverage to over 50 million Americans. According to an estimate, Medicare will be serving around 64 million Americans within a few years as the baby boomer generation ages.
However, Medicare will be eliminating Plan F this year. If you want to ensure proper health care coverage in your old age, you must understand the changes taking place to Plan F.
Understanding Plan F
Hospital Insurance and Medical Insurance are the two major parts of Original Medicare. This means that Original Medicare does not cover the costs of prescription drugs. It’s also important to note that Medicare will not cover 100% of hospital and medical expenses. Instead only 80% will be covered and the patient will need to pay the remaining 20% out of pocket.
Fortunately, you can cover this gap by choosing a Medigap policy offered by private insurance companies. These plans are mainly focused on covering copayments and deductibles. A large number of Americans take advantage of these Medigap plans every single year. Without a Medigap plan, many American seniors would not have enough money to pay out of pocket medical expenses. This makes choosing the right Medigap plan very important, especially for seniors on a fixed income.
Medigap policies use special codes to describe the details of their plan. These codes are usually displayed with letters of alphabet. Plan F is one of the most popular plans seniors sign up for in America. Without any doubt, Plan F is also one of the most expensive plans on this list. Despite its cost, more than 65 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries sign up for Plan F.
Insurance companies have set specific standards for Medigap policies. This means that Plan F from one company will be the exact same as Plan F from another company.
Medigap Plan F is designed to cover the deductibles incurred for Original Medicare Plans A and B. There are many doctors throughout America who accept Medicare and you would be able to visit any of them with a Medigap Plan F policy. It also provides coverage for copay and coinsurance amounts for standard visits.
Seniors who sign up for Plan F probably have to pay the least out-of-pocket expenses for health care among all other Medigap policies. Seniors don’t have to worry about the expenses of doctor visits, lab work, hospital stays and other health-related costs. Seniors are able to receive high quality health care without stressing over their ability to pay.
Why is Plan F being Eliminated?
Congress made certain changes to the different aspects of Medicare by passing a law in 2015. This law also affected what different Medigap plans offered. These changes were implemented on January 1, 2020. From now on insurers won’t be able to sell Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible. As a result, plans C and F are going away and seniors can no longer purchase it.
The federal government pays a huge amount to fund Medicare. The elimination of plan F was an effort to cut costs and save money. Advocates of eliminating plan F say that people were abusing the plan by visiting the doctor too often since they didn’t need to pay any out of pocket expenses. With no copays and deductibles to pay, people were too likely to visit the doctor for minor health issues.
Experts believe eliminating plan F will help control the cost of Medicare because patients will now only visit their doctor when it’s important as they have to cover some out-of-pocket expenses own their own.
What steps you can take now?
These changes won’t impact anybody who was already subscribed to plan F before January 1, 2020. All of those people will be grandfathered in and able to keep their plan F.
For anybody new to Medicare, it is recommended that you purchase Plan G. Experts say that Plan G is very similar to Plan F except for the fact that it does not cover the Part B deductible.
Medical Services are a basic need for seniors. And you should be able to get these services without going over your budget. Plan F was an incredible option to cover out-of-pocket expenses in the past. However, this is no longer available and seniors new to Medicare will want to consider Plan G instead.