Medigap Plan F and Plan C Are Ending for New Medicare Beneficiaries
Two popular Medigap plan options in the United States won’t be available for newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries beginning in 2020.
If you became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, a federal law will prevent you from purchasing Medigap Plan C and Plan F. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 does not allow Medigap policies to offer coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible at that time.
If you already had Plan C or Plan F prior to 2020, you will be able to keep your plan. If you became eligible for Medicare prior to 2020 and don’t have either plan, you may be able to buy one or the other after the law goes into effect if they are available where you live.
Medigap Plan F and Plan C are the two most popular Medigap plan options (also referred to as Medicare Supplement Insurance plans). 61% of Medigap enrollees had either Medigap Plan F or Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan C in 2017.1
Wondering if this could change could affect you? A licensed insurance agent can help you explore your Medigap coverage options today.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F and Plan C Are Popular
Medigap Plan C and Plan F are two of the most popular Medigap plan options because they cover many different Medicare out-of-pocket costs.
Over 7 million people were enrolled in Plan F in 2017, and over 780,000 people had Plan C.1
Plans F and C, which cover the Medicare Part B deductible, aren’t sold to newly eligible beneficiaries starting in 2020, with the aim of helping to reduce total Medicare spending by the government.
First-Dollar Medicare Supplement Insurance plans
Plan F and Plan C are both referred to as “first-dollar” coverage plans because they cover the annual Medicare Part B deductible. This benefit allows policyholders to get non-emergency medical care without having to pay an annual deductible. The Part B deductible is $198 per year in 2020.
The 2015 Act has created concern among some Medicare beneficiaries, according to Daniel Esposito, a licensed insurance agent for TZ Insurance Solutions LLC.
“People out there that have Plan F are concerned,” he said. “They’re wondering: What’s going to happen with my plan?”
How discontinued Medigap plans impact you
If you’re a current Medicare beneficiary and want your Medigap plan to pay for the Medicare Part B deductible, it may be worth considering enrolling in Medigap Plan F or Medigap Plan C before the year 2020.
Unless new plans are added, most newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries in 2020 will only have 8 Medigap plan options to choose from: Plans A, B, D, G, K, L, M, and N.
If you’re a new Medicare beneficiary starting in 2020, you will not be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C and will not have coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible benefit. This means you will have to pay the Medicare Part B deductible out of pocket. If you use Medicare Part B services, you must pay the $198 annual deductible in 2020. The Part B deductible may increase in future years.
Esposito thinks that it’s possible that the Part B deductible will increase at a higher rate than we are used to seeing especially due to the recent increase.
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Current Medigap policyholders
If you are currently enrolled in Medigap Plan C or Plan F, you can keep your plan. However, you may still want to explore your options.
“Plan F holders may want to make sure Plan F is the right plan for them and make changes while they are healthy and still able to qualify for a new plan,” he said.
Esposito said one of the best things about Medigap plans is that you can change plans at any time.
“You don’t have to wait for Annual Enrollment,” he said. “If you want to pay less money and you want to get a better deal, you can go get a better deal.”
If you became eligible before January 1, 2020, you may be able to buy Plan C or Plan F if either plan is available where you live.
Get started now and switch to Plan F or Plan C.
Choosing a Medicare Supplement Insurance company
Whether you are switching to a new insurance carrier or enrolling for the first time, it is important to buy a Medigap plan from a stable and trusted insurance company.
Remember — the only differences between one insurance company’s Medigap Plan F and another company’s Plan F are the price and the company itself.
Esposito recommends choosing an insurance company with an A+ rating from rating companies such as A.M. Best Company and the Better Business Bureau.
“A+ rated companies have the ability to not only pay their claims but they have the financial stability to have stable rates,” he said.
Lower-rated carriers or new insurance carriers may offer lower premiums at first, but they might increase premiums drastically from year to year, or after the introductory rates are over.
“If you are uncertain about plan F or the future of Plan F, give us a call,” Esposito said.
You can get a free quote from A+ rated insurance companies and see how the new law will impact your Medigap coverage by calling a licensed insurance agent today. You can also compare plans online for free, with no obligation to enroll.
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1 AHIP. State of Medigap 2019 Trends in Enrollment and Demographics. (May, 2019). Retrieved from www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IB_StateofMedigap2019.pdf.