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Medicare is one of the most comprehensive health insurance plans available for people who qualify, but there are costs that must be paid out-of-pocket. To reduce these out-of-pocket costs, beneficiaries who have Original Medicare can purchase a supplemental Medigap plan.

There are several Medigap plans on the market, which are classified by letter. 

All Medigap policies basically offer the same benefits, although some offer additional benefits, according to Medicare.gov, a website managed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Medicare Supplement Plan F used to be one of the most popular policies. However, the federal government eliminated Medigap Plan F for new Medicare enrollees. Now, only people who were eligible for Original Medicare before January 1, 2020, can get Plan F. Additionally, anyone who already had Plan F can keep their coverage.

Let’s look at Medigap Plan F, what it covers, how much it costs and how it compares with other Medigap policies.

Key Takeaways

  • Medigap Plan F is a supplemental insurance policy that helps Original Medicare beneficiaries pay out-of-pocket costs.
  • Medigap Plan F covers copayments, coinsurance and deductible costs. It also has a high-deductible option.
  • Medicare Supplement Plan F doesn’t cover services that are not part of Original Medicare, such as eye care, dental, and hearing aids.
  • New Medicare members are not eligible for Medicare Plan F. Enrollees who purchased a Medicare policy after 2020 have other options, such as Medigap Plan G, which has similar benefits and costs, except it doesn’t cover the deductible.

What is a Medigap Plan F?

Medigap Plan F is a Medicare supplement insurance plan that helps you pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with Medicare. It’s only available for people who were eligible for Original Medicare before January 1, 2020. Medicare Supplement Plans don’t work with Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Plan F has been phased out for new Medicare enrollees.

What does Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F cover?

Medicare Supplement Plan F covers out-of-pocket costs that Medicare doesn’t cover, says Laura Decker, co-founder and president of the Employee Benefits Division at SSGI, a Maryland-based employee benefits insurance agency.

Specifically, this includes costs for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (doctor coverage), such as:

●  Copayments

●  Coinsurance

●  Deductibles

For 2022, Medicare Part A’s deductible is $1,556.

In addition to the deductibles and copayments, Medicare Plan F also covers things like hospice care coinsurance, skilled nursing facility coinsurance, up to three pints of blood, and foreign travel emergency care.

What doesn’t Medicare Supplement Plan F cover?

Medicare Plan F doesn’t include any services that are not covered under Original Medicare.

Most notably, Medicare Plan F won’t cover costs associated with preventative care, like routine doctor visits or prescription drugs. Instead, you need Part D prescription drug coverage to help with prescription costs.

Medicare supplemental insurance, including Plan F, will also not cover the following:

●  Eye care

●  Dental care and dentures

●  Hearing aids

●  Acupuncture

●  Chiropractic care

●  Long-term nursing home stays

How much does Medicare Part F cost?

The cost of Medicare Plan F depends on a few factors, including your age.

For people who already had Plan F before January 1, 2020, the average cost of Plan F is $172.75 a month

However, how much you will actually pay for Plan F will depend on your age. Additionally, the cost will increase every year. 

Although Plan F has been eliminated for new enrollees, Decker explains that the best time to purchase any Medicare supplement is during the initial enrollment period when you first become eligible for Medicare. That begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after. Otherwise, pre-existing health conditions could prohibit you from purchasing a plan later during the annual open enrollment period.

Medicare supplement plans comparison

While Medicare Plan F is no longer available for purchase. Several other Medigap supplement plans can help cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare.

The current Medicare supplement insurance plans offered are Plan A, B, C, D, G, K, L, M, and N.

Medigap Benefits Medigap Plans
ABCDF1GKLMN
Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used upYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Part B coinsurance or copaymentYesYesYesYesYesYes50%75%YesYes
Blood (first 3 pints)YesYesYesYesYesYes50%75%YesYes
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copaymentYesYesYesYesYesYes50%75%YesYes
Skilled nursing facility co insuranceNoNoYesYesYesYes50%75%YesYes
Part A deductibleNoYesYesYesYesYes50%75%50%Yes
Part B deductibleNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Part B excess chargesNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNo
Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits)NoNo80%80%80%80%NoNo80%80%
Out-of-pocket limitsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A$5,240$2,620N/AN/A

Each Medicare supplement insurance plan offers varying levels of coverage. For instance:

  • Medigap Plan A doesn’t cover the Medicare Part A or Part B deductible. 
  • Medigap Plan B covers the Medicare Plan A deductible only. 
  • Medigap Plans K and L cover a smaller percentage of costs like skilled nursing coinsurance and hospice coinsurance and also have out-of-pocket maxes. 

Before you choose a Medigap plan, it’s a good idea to compare Medicare supplement plans. Every plan offers a different level of coverage and has a unique premium. Also, keep in mind that not all insurance providers offer every plan.

Plans F and G are similar. Here’s a look at how Plans F and G compare: 

Standard Plan FHigh-deductible Plan FStandard Plan GHigh-deductible Plan G
Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used upYesYesYesYes
Part B coinsurance or copaymentYesYesYesYes
Blood (first three pints)YesYesYesYes
Part B coinsurance or copaymentYesYesYesYes
Skilled nursing facility care coinsuranceYesYesYesYes
Part A deductibleYesYesYesYes
Part B deductibleYesYesNoNo
Part B excess chargeYesYesYesYes
Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits)80%80%80%80%
DeductibleN/A$2,490N/A$2,490

Also, remember that you need Part D for Medicare prescription drug benefits. Medicare supplement plans don’t help with prescription drug costs. You can also choose a Medicare Advantage plan rather than Original Medicare and most of Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug benefits, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Plan F and Plan F high deductible?

Standard Plan F has a much lower deductible than high-deductible Plan F. A high-deductible Plan F has a lower monthly premium. 

As a reminder, your deductible is the out-of-pocket cost you must pay toward covered health services before your insurance company starts paying for care. Both insurance plans have identical coverage.

Does Plan F cover dental?

Original Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care, like cleanings or extractions, and there are no supplement plans that fill the gap. If you want dental coverage, you need to purchase a separate dental insurance plan. Also, many Medicare Advantage plans, which private insurance companies offer, provide dental coverage, so that’s another option.

Is there an alternative to Plan F?

The best alternative is Plan G. Medicare Plan G covers all the same things that Plan F covers, except for the Medicare Part B deductible. In terms of cost, the premiums for Plan F and Plan G are very similar, so you won’t pay a much higher premium by getting Plan G.

Sources:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.“F, G & J Deductible Announcements.” Accessed August 2022.

Medicare.gov. “Costs.” Accessed August 2022.

MedicareSupplement.com. “What Is the Average Cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F.” Accessed August 2022.

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Elizabeth Rivelli
Contributing Researcher

 
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Elizabeth Rivelli is a freelance writer who covers various insurance topics. Her areas of expertise are life insurance, car insurance, property insurance and health insurance. Elizabeth’s byline has appeared in dozens of online publications, including Investopedia, CNET and Bankrate. She has also written for several insurance carriers.

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