ADVANTAGES OF MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN F
Though experts often disagree on the exact time span, the baby boomer generation ended in roughly 1965. People who belong to this generation have either already reached age 65 or are approaching it now, and many have chosen Medicare Supplement Plan F as a supplement to their Original Medicare coverage.
But what is Medigap Plan F? And why do baby boomers find themselves drawn to it? Let’s look at Medicare Supplement F in more detail and discuss its unique advantages.
WHAT IS MEDIGAP PLAN F?
Medicare Supplement Plan F is one of 10 Medigap plans available to people age 65 or older. You can apply for any Medigap plan when you turn 65 and get Original Medicare Parts A and B.
All Medigap plans offer extended coverage for Original Medicare. They’re available through private insurers who set their own premiums, but every insurance company that offers a particular plan, such as F, provides the same coverage. Only the premium changes.
In particular, Medicare Supplement F is the most comprehensive option available, which explains much of its popularity among baby boomers. Since it covers more of your healthcare costs, it offers more peace-of-mind.
Medicare Supplement Plan F covers the following:
- Part A coinsurance coverage in addition to 365 extra days in the hospital when Original Medicare coverage ends
- Part B coinsurance for doctor’s visits as well as outpatient hospital care
- First three pints of blood annually
- Part A coinsurance for hospice or skilled nursing care
- Part A deductible
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign emergency care
That’s more than any other Medigap plan provides. It’s similar to plan G except for the Part B deductible.
There are several reasons baby boomers prefer Medicare Supplement Plan F to other options. The following are five of the primary advantages.
REDUCE OUT-OF-POCKET HEALTHCARE COSTS
Medicare Supplement Plan F covers three primary types of healthcare costs:
- Deductibles: This is the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company begins paying providers.
- Coinsurance: When you have to pay coinsurance, you pay a certain percentage of each provider’s total fee.
- Copayments: Providers charge copayments at the time of service. Most are between $10 and $50.
Medicare Supplement Plan F also covers Part B excess charges. When you visit a doctor or outpatient facility, providers sometimes charge more than Original Medicare covers. With Plan F, you won’t have to pay those excess charges.
The only other Medigap plan that covers excess charges is Plan G.
Medicare Supplement F is the most comprehensive Medigap plan, but it’s also the most expensive. Baby boomers still prefer it, though, because of the out-of-pocket costs it covers.
When you’re on a fixed income, as many retirees are, having more predictable costs sometimes helps alleviate financial stress. It’s easier for some people to budget a fixed premium every month than to forecast out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
YOU CAN TRAVEL MORE CONFIDENTLY
Nearly 40 percent of baby boomers have a travel bucket list. In other words, after they retire, they want to see the world. Almost half say they want to travel internationally. Baby boomers with Medicare Supplement F can travel abroad and still enjoy healthcare coverage.
Under Plan F, insurance companies will cover up to 80 percent of foreign emergency travel expenses. If you need to go to the hospital in Paris on Luxembourg, you can rely on your Medigap coverage to keep your expenses low.
HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE PLANS ARE AVAILABLE
Baby boomers who want to reduce their premiums without giving up comprehensive coverage often choose the Medicare Supplement F high-deductible option. Not all insurance companies offer it, but it can provide a balance between upfront and out-of-pocket costs.
As of 2018, the deductible for this plan is $2,240. Once you’ve paid that amount toward your healthcare expenses, your insurance company will kick in to cover further costs.
COSTS OF TREATING CHRONIC CONDITIONS CAN ADD UP
Baby boomers also often choose Medicare Supplement Plan F because it helps defray future costs related to a chronic medical problem. If you already know you suffer from a chronic condition, you can estimate the expenses you’ll incur in the future.
Some of the most expensive diseases to treat include the following:
- Alcohol- and tobacco-related diseases
- Cardiovascular disease
When you have more comprehensive coverage, such as what you get with Medicare Supplement Plan F, you might save money in the long run.
PLAN F IS GOING AWAY
Medicare Supplement F disappears in 2020. People who already have the plan can keep it, but nobody will be able to obtain it for the first time.
Knowing that they won’t have access to it later might influence some baby boomers’ decisions to apply for it now. If you’re turning age 65 between now and 2020, you might want to consider it.
IS MEDIGAP PLAN F BEST FOR YOU?
Knowing that other baby boomers often prefer Plan F doesn’t necessarily have to impact your decision. You have nine other Medigap plans from which to choose.
Plan G, for instance, offers an attractive alternative to Plan F. You’ll pay lower premiums, but you’ll have to cover your Part B deductible, which is $183 as of 2018. If the differences in premium costs are greater than $183, Plan G might be the better choice.
Additionally, you have to consider your financial situation. Can you afford the Medicare Supplement Plan F premium? Do you travel internationally? Do your regular physicians charge in excess of what Original Medicare pays?
Use the Ensurem Medigap Quoter to get quotes for different plans from various insurance companies. That way, you can decide which one is best for you.
What is Medigap Plan F? It’s the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plan available.
If you want comprehensive coverage and the ability to pay no out-of-pocket expenses, you might want to consider it. Other baby boomers have found it extremely attractive.
Compare your Medigap plan options today and get quotes from insurance companies you can trust.