While changes to Medicare happen on a regular basis, seniors may be faced with a more pressing change to their Medicare plans than ever before — the removal of Medicare Plan F. Without supplemental health insurance coverage, seniors may endure a steep rise in costs, fewer choices, and lower levels of coverage than they previously had. Here is what you need to know about Medicare’s biggest change.
So, What Is Medicare Plan F?
This is the primary Medicare supplement plan. As a supplement plan, Plan F serves the purpose of addressing certain medical issues that are not covered by Parts A and B (the original Medicare plans) or by Part C (which covers some additional health issues). As such, Plan F can provide seniors with substantial benefits.
eHealth Medicare has named Medicare Plan F as the most comprehensive supplement plan that Medicare has to offer. While it may be an expensive plan, it nevertheless remains one of the most popular choices amongst seniors due to leaving them with very few out-of-pocket expenses. After all, Plan F covers the additional aspects of health care that Parts A, B, and C do not.
According to eHealth Medicare, Plan F provides great value for money, particularly to those who are experiencing increased copayments and deductibles. Very importantly, it is able to cover regular costs associated with routine medical procedures.
Unfortunately, the benefits provided by Plan F (along with Part C) may soon be disappearing. After all, Plan F may be going away in 2020 due to big government changes.
Why is Plan F Coming to an End?
Seeing as Plan F is such a popular choice for seniors, you may be wondering why this successful plan is being scrapped. The short answer is that Congress voted to phase it out.
This is not the first time that Congress has removed one of the Medicare supplement plans. Boomer Benefits reported that in both 1990 and 2010, other supplement plans were also phased out by Congress. Just some of the plans that fell by the wayside were Plans E, H, I, and J. 2020 looks to be no different.
The reason why Medicare Plan F is on the brink of being scrapped is because of the attempt to promote the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. This statute was passed with the intention of providing doctors with fair pay. Of course, in order for more funds to be made available for improved compensation of doctors, the money would have to be taken from other places. Ultimately, Plan F (along with Part C) would be cut in order to make these funds available.
As a Medicare Subscriber, What Should You Do Now?
While the phasing out of Plan F may cause you some concern, you need not worry. There are still a number of ways that you can take action and ensure that you get the most comprehensive Medicare coverage available. Before you decide on a plan of action, you need to first consider These are the ways in which the upcoming changes will affect Medicare subscribers:
- Current Plan F Subscribers: These subscribers will keep their Plan F coverage. The elimination of this plan will not affect their existing healthcare benefits.
- Anyone Eligible for Medicare Before January 1, 2020: There is the possibility of signing up for Part C or Plan F.
- Those Who Qualify for Medicare On or After January 1, 2020: Plan F will not be available to you. You will need to explore other forms of coverage.
As can be seen from the above information, existing Medicare subscribers who were already eligible for Plan F prior to January 1, 2020, will be able to continue enjoying the benefits of Plan F. The only ones who will not be able to enjoy the benefits of Plan F are those who were not eligible for this plan before the start of 2020.
Regardless of whether or not you are eligible for coverage, it is still necessary to perform a Medicare supplement plan comparison. This is because the prices for Medicare plans are always changing. Also, remember to keep a lookout for new Medicare plans that may arise in substitute for Plan F.
If you are still eligible for Plan F, make sure to keep track of Medicare supplement Plan F rates. If not, then make sure to monitor the rates of other plans so that you can enjoy the most affordable plans with comprehensive coverage. Last but not least, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any changes, updates, or additions that may need to be applied to your Medicare plan.