Medicare Supplement Plan F Benefits & Coverage
Medicare Supplement Plan F is a highly popular choice among Medicare beneficiaries across the United States. In fact, when searching for information about which Medigap policy to sign up for as a Supplement for your Medicare benefits, you have more than likely come across information about Medicare Supplement Plan F rates and benefits. Although it’s always smart to compare other plans — such as Plan A — before signing up for Medigap Plan F, there’s a good chance that you’ll find that it’s the right plan for you. After all, Medigap Plan F is the plan that will offer you the most benefits out of all of the different Medigap plans that are available for Medicare beneficiaries who are a part of the U.S. government Medicare plan.
What is covered by Medicare Supplement Plan F Benefits?
Even though the other Medigap plans do generally come with a lower premium, you cannot beat the coverage and benefits that you can enjoy with Medicare Plan F. These are some of the highlights of coverage that you can enjoy helping with medical expenses on top of what the federal Medicare program covers:
- Medicare Part A deductible and Medicare Part B deductible
- Medicare Part A hospital and coinsurance costs
- Medicare Part B deductible, coinsurance, and copayments
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- Medicare Part B coinsurance for preventative care
- First 3 pints of blood per year when needed for a medical procedure
- Foreign travel emergency medical expenses
- Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility care
What is not covered by Medicare Supplement Plan F Benefits?
As you probably noticed above, Medicare Supplement insurance Plan F provides a lot of coverage on top of what Medicare Part A and Part B provide. Of course, Medigap Plan F does not cover everything. Some of the things that you will need to cover yourself are listed here:
- Prescription drug costs
- Homeopathic treatments
- Eye exams, eyeglass or contacts
- Dental care and dentures
- Foot-related care that is not related to any medical conditions
- Hearing tests or hearing aids
- Assistance with custodial care
- Surgeries that are purely for cosmetic purposes
Of course, there are things that you can do to save money on the medical expenses that aren’t covered by Medicare or Medicare Supplement Plan F. For example, signing up for Medicare Part D will help you cover your prescription drug costs, and there are dental discount plans that can help you save on dental care.
Does Medicare Plan F have a provider network?
Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, you do not have to worry about network restrictions with Medicare Plan F. You can visit any doctor or other healthcare providers with this plan without worrying about extra out of pocket costs from not sticking within your insurer’s network.
Will I have to pay my Medicare Part B Premium as well?
Yes, you do still have to pay the Medicare costs of your Medicare Part B premium in addition to the monthly premium for Medicare Supplement Plan F.
How much does Medicare Supplement Plan F cost?
Once you are signed up for Medicare Part A and Part B, you can start doing a comparison of Medigap Plan F rates. Before you can really understand which deal is best, you’ll need to understand how health insurance companies come up with Medicare Plan F rates. These are the three different ways that insurance companies calculate these rates for a regular Plan F or a high-deductible Plan F option:
- Community-Rated – Companies that use this method to determine Medigap Plan F rates charge all beneficiaries the same amount for coverage, regardless of their age or any health conditions they might have.
- Issue Age – With this form of calculation for Medicare Plan F rates, insurance companies base rates off of your age when signing up. With this type of pricing, it’s best to sign up at the youngest age possible, since rates will not go up as you age.
- Attained Age – Your Medicare Supplement Plan F rates change as you age with this form of pricing. Generally, pricing will go up as you get older.
When you do a comparison of Medicare Supplement Plan F rates against the cost of other plans, you’ll probably notice that it’s the more expensive option. However, if you can fit it into your budget, you’ll probably find that it’s worth it for peace of mind. This is especially true if you have known health conditions and might need more care and therefore more coverage. Your medical costs should be very predictable with one of these plans.
Rate increases can and do happen each year with Medicare Supplement plans. However, these increases are usually based on the plan that you have. Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most popular plan and has the highest number of enrolled beneficiaries. This means that over the long-term, rates should be more stable because the risk is spread out more than with some of the less popular plans.
How is Medicare Supplement Plan F different then Plan G?
When shopping for Medicare Supplement Plan F rates, you might also want to compare rates for other plans. For example, you could be interested in Medigap Plan G. If you’re wondering about the differences between Plan F and Plan G, consider the answers to these questions.
- How are benefits different from Plan F compared to G? – The only difference between the two plans is that Medicare Plan F covers the Part B deductible. Plan G does not cover this deductible. Otherwise, the two plans are exactly the same.
- How do the rates compare to Plan G? – Monthly premium amounts are lower for Plan G and generally make up for the cost of the Part B deductible that isn’t covered.
- Is there a change in my access to doctors or hospital networks compared to Plan G? – With either plan, you don’t have to worry about network restrictions.
Medicare Supplement Plan F Benefits vs Medicare Plan N
Again, when comparing monthly premium amounts and coverage, it’s a good idea to look at every Medigap policy that is available to you. These are some of the things that you should know about Medicare Plan N vs. Plan F.
- How are benefits different from Plan F compared to N? – When you compare the two, you’ll see that Plan F is a plan with much more comprehensive coverage. You will have to pay copays when going to the doctor or emergency room with Plan N, for example, but you don’t have to worry about these costs with Plan F.
- How do the rates compared to Plan N? – Although there is less coverage with Medicare Plan N, many people choose it simply because monthly premiums are typically much cheaper. For those who don’t mind having some out of pocket expenses throughout the year, this is the best option.
- Is there a change in my access to doctors or hospital networks compare to plan N? – The best thing about Medicare Supplement plans in comparison to Medicare Advantage plans is that you don’t have to worry about networks at all, regardless of which plan you choose.
Does Medigap Plan F cover Prescription Drugs?
Medicare Plan F is not a separate insurance policy. Instead, it is designed to work with original Medicare. Since it just fills in the gaps and since original Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage, then your Medigap plan will not cover prescription drugs, either. This is the case whether you choose Plan F or any other Medicare Supplement plan offered by an insurance company.
However, in addition to Medicare Supplement insurance, you can purchase a Medicare Part D drug plan from a health insurance provider. If you find Medicare Supplement Plan F pricing and an affordable drug plan, you can enjoy the best benefits possible without spending a ton of money on healthcare.
When can I enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F?
You can actually enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F at any time. However, if possible, it is best to enroll during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is the six months after you turn 65 years of age and sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B.
This is the best time to sign up for additional benefits in the form of a Supplement plan because there is no medical underwriting, and you will not be asked any health questions. Plus, you can’t be turned down for a Medicare Supplement plan during this period.
Even though Open Enrollment is the best time to sign up, this does not mean that you can’t or shouldn’t sign up for a plan, though. Just be aware that any health conditions that you have can impact your ability to purchase a plan and can impact your rates. We can still help you compare options and save on health care costs, though, by helping you find a health insurance provider that will offer you one of the Medicare Supplement plans. We will even help you find the best rates, regardless of your situation. Then, you can enjoy the best benefits, even if you missed your Open Enrollment period.
Is Medicare Supplement Plan F going away after 2020?
If you like Plan F over the other Medicare Supplement plans, you could be concerned about the idea of this plan going away. It’s important to know that there are some changes happening that you should be prepared for.
Anyone who turns 65 years old after January 1st, 2020 will not be able to purchase Medicare Plan F. Instead, they may want to look into Medicare Plan G. If you are 65 or older on that date, though, you will still be able to purchase Plan F if that’s the option you choose over the other Medicare Supplement plans.