MEDIGAP PLAN F: HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Medigap Plan F is the most popular Medigap plan, but that doesn’t mean you should choose it for yourself. Knowing everything you can about all 10 Medigap plans will allow you to make an educated decision about your health insurance needs.
What is Medigap insurance? How do you choose the ideal plan for your specific needs? What do you need to know about Medigap Plan F?
Those are the questions we’re going to answer for you today.
WHAT IS MEDIGAP INSURANCE?
In addition to Original Medicare, Medigap plans help cover healthcare expenses that you would otherwise have to pay out-of-pocket. When you’re retired and living on a fixed income, you can more easily budget your money when you have predictable expenses.
When you already have Original Medicare, Medigap plans sew up some of the gaps between what you’re charged by physicians and hospitals and what Medicare will pay without supplemental insurance. Specifically, Medigap insurance covers certain deductibles, coinsurance payments, and copayments depending on which plan you select.
Medigap Plan F is just one of 10 Medigap plans. It’s the most comprehensive because it covers nearly all out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, but it’s also the costliest plan. Let’s look at five facts you need to know about Medigap Plan F to determine whether it’s right for you.
1. MEDIGAP PLAN F COVERS MOST OF YOUR HEALTHCARE EXPENSES
Many people who take advantage of Original Medicare Parts A and B want additional coverage to prevent out-of-pocket expenses. Medigap coverage requires an extra premium through a private health insurance provider, but it helps you budget for healthcare expenses.
Medigap Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage of all Medigap plans. It covers Original Medicare Parts A and B deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. It also covers the first three pints of blood every year, 80 percent of foreign emergency expenses, Part B excess charges, and skilled nursing facility care. WIth Plan F, you can visit doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers without worrying about covering a big bill.
2. YOU’LL PAY MORE FOR MEDIGAP PLAN F THAN FOR ANY OTHER MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT INSURANCE PLAN
The flip side to Medigap Plan F’s comprehensive coverage is a higher premium than other Medicare supplemental insurance plans. Since insurance companies have to cover more expenses for beneficiaries, they charge their customers more each month.
Some consumers prefer paying higher premiums for the added security. However, it’s essential to consider all Medigap plans before you decide on one — especially Plan F. If you run the numbers, you might find that you actually save money with a different plan, such as Plan G, which we’ll cover more below.
3. YOU CAN CHOOSE THE HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE OPTION
Medigap Plan F offers a high-deductible option. As of 2018, the deductible is $2,240. If you select this plan, you’ll have to pay over $2,200 each year before your insurance company will pick up the tab for healthcare expenses.
However, you’ll enjoy lower premiums if you have a high deductible. Even though the deductible can increase each year, you might consider this option if you prefer to pay less every month for comprehensive coverage and if you can afford to cover the deductible should you get sick or injured.
4. MEDIGAP PLAN G OFFERS AN ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVE
Comparison shopping is essential when it comes to applying for Medigap. Medigap Plan G offers significant coverage — including everything that Medigap Plan F covers except for the Original Medicare Part B deductible -- but comes with a much lower premium than Medigap Plan F.
If you consider the numbers, you might discover that you save considerable money with Plan G.
The Original Medicare Part B deductible is $183 as of 2018. Let’s say that you get quotes for Medigap Plans F and G. If Plan G will save you more than $183 per year, it would make financial sense to choose it over Plan F.
Additionally, you have to consider the type of healthcare needs you might have. Medigap Plan F covers part of your expenses if you need medical care overseas. People who don’t travel abroad will never use the coverage, so they might want a Medigap plan that doesn’t offer foreign travel emergency.
5. MEDIGAP PLAN F GOES AWAY IN 2020
In 2020, Medigap Plans F and C will disappear. Beneficiaries who already have one of those plans prior to 2020 can still keep their coverage, but nobody will be allowed to apply for Plans C and F.
Specifically, new laws will prevent any insurance company from selling a policy that covers the Original Medicare Part B deductible to new Original Medicare beneficiaries. Since Medigap Plans C and F are the only ones that provide that coverage, they’ll no longer be available.
Now that you know more about Medigap Plan F, you can make a more informed decision about your health insurance needs. If you’re turning 65 prior to 2020 and you don’t want to pay the Original Medicare Part B deductible, you can still apply for Plan F.
Keep in mind, however, that everyone has different needs. There’s no one best Medigap plan for everyone, so do some extensive comparison shopping before you apply. If you begin your research as soon as your initial enrollment period begins — the first day of the month in which you turn 65 — you’ll have plenty of time to consider your options. The enrollment period lasts for six months.
Just because Medigap Plan F is the most popular choice by far doesn’t mean it’s ideal for you. You might consider Medigap Plan G as a viable alternative, but you can also consider the other eight plans, which are standardized across all insurance companies.
Since insurance companies set their own premiums, you need to get multiple quotes, regardless of whether you decide to apply for Medigap Plan F. To ensure you get accurate quotes on all Medigap plans you’re considering, use the Medigap Quoter at Ensurem. It’s the easiest way to shop for Medicare supplement insurance.