Medicare Plan F (also known as Medigap Plan F or Medicare Supplement Plan F) is one of ten Medigap plans offered to beneficiaries as a way to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Every Medigap plan acts as a secondary insurance plan, with Original Medicare (Parts A and B) acting as the primary.
Plan F picks up more cost-sharing expenses than any other Medigap plan. But what exactly does it cover? How much does it cost? Who can enroll? We’ve got answers to all your questions here.
Original Medicare offers great coverage to beneficiaries. Unfortunately, there are many out-of-pocket costs, and there are no limits to those cost-sharing amounts. That’s why many people choose to enroll in either a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan. You should learn more about Medicare Advantage, but we’ll focus on Medigap Plan F today. Here is the coverage included in Plan F:
If you enroll in Plan F, you’ll have virtually no out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare-approved services. Plan F takes care of everything.
That being said, there are some things not included in Plan F or any other Medigap plan. You’ll need to enroll in a separate Part D prescription drug plan, as well as other optional coverage like Dental, Vision, and Hearing insurance.
The cost of a Medicare Supplement plan depends on several factors: age, gender, location, and tobacco status. Men pay more than women; premiums increase with age; people who live in areas with a higher cost of living pay higher premiums; tobacco users pay more than non-users.
Insurance companies are allowed to set their own rates, so they can also vary from one company to the next. Plus, some offer household discounts. Since all Medigap plans have standardized coverage, it’s important to compare rates across multiple carriers.
In 2022, the average premium for Plan F was approximately $172 per month.
There’s a reason you don’t hear many people talk about Plan F anymore. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 introduced some changes to Medicare Supplement plans. One change had to do with Plan F and Plan C. MACRA stated that no Medicare Supplement plan could offer first-dollar coverage. Anyone already enrolled in Plans C or F could keep their plan, but newly-eligible beneficiaries will not be able to enroll in either plan. You must have turned 65 prior to 2020 to enroll.
Not to worry! There are great alternatives to Plan F. And, they’re often better options.
The closest alternative to Plan F is Plan G. It offers almost identical coverage to Plan F, except it does not include coverage for the Part B deductible. We often recommend Plan G, even to our clients who are eligible for Plan F, because it is usually more cost-effective.
For example, we said that the average premium for Plan F was $172 per month, which equals $2,064 per year. The average annual premium for Plan G was only $1,584. That’s a difference of $480 per year. The Part B deductible is currently only $233. That means that by enrolling in Plan G, you would save $247 per year.
Another alternative to Plan F is Plan N. It does not include coverage for the Part B deductible, nor does it pay for any Part B excess charges. It also requires copayments for doctor’s visits and trips to the emergency room, but it does have even lower premiums than Plan G. The average premium for Plan N in 2022 was $112 per month.
Lastly, you could consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans work much differently than a Medicare Supplement plan, so be sure to review their pros and cons with an independent insurance agent.
Want to learn more about Plan F? Chat with one of the advisors at Local Medicare Specialists. We can help you determine if you can enroll in Plan F and review your other Medicare options.
Schedule a FREE Medicare consultation with an agent in your neighborhood.