Medicare Plan F

Medicare Plan F: A Detailed Look At The Most Comprehensive Plan Option On The Market

Medicare Plan F is one of 10 standardized Medigap or supplemental Medicare plans.  These plans are available to people enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B.

Medicare’s standardized of these plans means that plans are designed to offer the same benefits.  This is regardless of which company you choose to buy your plan.  A Medicare Plan F from Aetna is the same Plan F that you can buy from  Mutual of Omaha.

Medicare Plan F is the most popular Medigap plan, it provides the most comprehensive coverage.

“According to the Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, 66 percent of Medicare beneficiaries choose Medicare Plan F.”

Medicare Plan F is the only plan that covers all the gaps in Original Medicare. The following are the benefits available with Medicare Supplement plans.

In Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin where plans are set up differently. 

URGENT:  On January 1, 2020, Medicare Plan F will no longer be SOLD.  Those who purchase a Medicare Plan F before this date will be able to keep it.   

Whats Not Covered by Medicare Plan F

Prescription Drug Coverage: You enroll in a seperate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

“The Extras”: Medicare Plan F doesn’t include coverage for hearing aids, vision and dental care, long-term care.  Other types of policies such as Medicare Advantage plans may offer these benefits.  Keep in mind you are paying more out of pocket for your basic medical services.  You may also be restricted to certain hospitals and doctors.  Often time those “extras” aren’t really extra benefits at all

How to Enroll in Medicare Plan F

Open Enrollment Period: 

The Open Enrollment Period – sometimes called the Annual Election Period or Annual Coordinated Enrollment Period – runs each year from October 15 to December 7. During this time,

  • A person with Medicare Parts A & B can switch to a Part C plan.

  • Anyone with Medicare Part C can switch back to Parts A & B.

  • Someone who has or is signing up for Medicare Parts A or B can join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan.

  • Anyone with Medicare Part C can switch to a new Part C plan.

Your coverage will start on January 1 of the following year.

Initial Enrollment Period:

The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the first time you can sign up for Medicare. You may join Medicare Parts A, B, C and D during this time:

  • The 3 months before your 65th birthday,

  • The month of your birthday, and

  • The 3 months after your birthday.

Outside the open enrollment period: After open enrollment, you have to go through medical underwriting to buy a Medigap policy. You usually can’t enroll in any policy, including Medicare Plan F, if you don’t meet the insurance company’s underwriting requirements.

Medicare Plan F vs. The Other Plans

To see how Medicare Plan F fits your needs, it helps to do a side-by-side comparison with the other plan options. The chart above shows the which benefits are covered under each plan. Sections left blank means the plan does not cover that benefit. By doing a Medicare Plan F comparison, you will notice that Plan C and Plan G are the most similar in terms of the level of coverage available. The only differences are:  Plan C does not cover Part B excess charge while Plan F covers at 100%.  Plan G does not cover part B deductible while Plan F covers at 100%.

Is Medicare Plan F For You?

There are pros and cons to any Medigap insurance plan. The main advantage of having Medicare  Plan F is you get coverage for ALL the gaps in Original Medicare.  For instance, Medicare Plan F is the only Medicare Supplement plan that covers both your Part B deductible and Part B excess charge. You can pay an excess charge of up to 20% more than the Medicare-approved amount to a provider who doesn’t accept Medicare assignment. An assignment is when a provider accepts the Medicare-approved amount as full payment. While most providers accept assignment, there are some who don’t accept assignment for all services covered under Medicare.

Having the most comprehensive coverage often means paying a higher monthly premium than you would with other plans. So deciding if Medicare Plan F is right for you may be budget dependent. Our View:  You have two options.  Would you rather pay a set premium to get the most coverage, or accept some out-of-pocket costs?

Additional Medicare Plan Information

Premium: The premium you pay for Medicare Plan is separate from the monthly premium you pay for Medicare Part B.

Guaranteed renewable: Medigap plans are guaranteed renewable as long as you pay your premiums due.

Covers Individuals: You can only buy a Medicare Supplement policy for yourself. Your spouse would have to buy his or her own policy

No networks: You can use your Plan F or any other Medigap plan nationwide at any provider that accepts Medicare.

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