Which Medicare Supplement Plan should I buy: F, G, or Innovative F?

Which Medicare Supplement Plan should I buy: F, G or Innovative F?

After enrolling in Original Medicare Part A (which covers the cost of hospital care, a skilled nursing facility, or hospice) and Part B (which covers most medically necessary doctors’ services, preventive care, durable medical equipment, hospital outpatient services, laboratory tests, x-rays, mental health care, and some home health and ambulance services) many Americans choose to also enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan (also called Medigap). Medicare Supplement plans help cover Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs, such as coinsurance, copayments and deductibles.

What is Medicare Supplement Plan F?

Medicare Supplement Plan F is one of the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plans available. There are no doctor’s networks to worry about, and the doctors and hospitals handle all of the billing paperwork for you. As well as covering Part B out-of-pocket costs, such as coinsurance, copayments and deductibles, Medicare Supplement Plan F also covers:

  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance
  • Medicare Part B copayment or excess charges
  • Part A hospital and coinsurance costs, up to an additional 356 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
  • First three pints of blood used in an approved medical procedure (annually)
  • Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency medical care (80% up to plan limits)

 Is the Medicare Supplement Plan F being discontinued?

 YES. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) passed by Congress and signed into law on April 16, 2015 changed the law so that on or after January 1, 2020, a Medicare Supplement policy that provides coverage of the Part B deductible may not be sold or issued to a newly eligible Medicare beneficiary. The law states that those who already have Plan F can keep it. The law only affects new enrollees.

The good news for new enrollees who buy a Medicare Supplement plan after January 1, 2020 is that Medigap plans can still cover everything listed above, except for the Part B deductible by purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan G. The Part B deductible, which will not be covered in Medicare Supplement Plan G, is not one of the biggest health-care costs under Medicare. In 2018 the Part B deductible was $183 per year.

 What is Medicare Plan G?

Plan G includes all of the benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan F, except for the Medicare Part B deductible. Medicare Supplement Plan G might have a lower premium than Medicare Supplement Plan F, since it does not cover the Part B deductible. Keep in mind that premium costs may vary among plans.

 What is an Innovative Plan F Medigap?

 Innovative Plan F Medigap is a new Medicare Supplement plan that started on Jan 1, 2018. It covers all of the benefits offered by traditional Medigap plan F and G, but it also includes some vision and hearing benefits. Several insurance carriers are now offering Innovative Plan F Medigap.

 Innovative Plan F benefits may include: 

  • Nurse Hotline
  • Annual Physical Exam
  • Preventive Dental Care
  • Preventive Vision Care
  • Routine Hearing Exam
  • Drug Discount Card

Still have questions about Medicare Supplement plans? Call us at Benefits by Design Insurance Services at 415-524-8959 or email pamm@benefitsbydesignca.com. We can run a quote for you so that you can find out what is the most cost effective plan to meet your Medicare Supplement needs.

Benefits by Design Insurance Services is a full service health insurance and employee benefits broker, offering custom tailored coverage solutions for your business or family. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and provide the expert advice for group and individual health insurance, Medicare, life, long term care, and travel insurance decisions.