We get many questions about Medicare supplement Plan F and Plan C going away in 2020. However, the impact may not be as significant as you might think. It may not even impact you directly. Read on to learn why this is happening, who this will impact, and what it may mean to you.
The quick answer is “yes” for some but “no” for others.
Medicare Supplement Plan F & Plan C are Going Away in 2020
About once a decade, Medicare decides to make a change to the Medicare supplement plan offerings available to Medicare recipients. The most recent change involves the elimination of Medicare supplement Plan F and Plan C in 2020. But, contrary to many’s beliefs or concerns, these plans are not going away for everybody.
You might be asking yourself why Medicare would eliminate two of the most popular Medicare supplement plans available. As we all know, Medicare is experiencing increased financial strain from the growth in enrollment from the “Baby Boomer” generation. The ever-increasing cost of medical care causes financial strain as well. In an attempt to control costs by reducing claims, Congress decided to have Medicare recipients be responsible for more of their out-of-pocket medical expenses. They often refer to as having Medicare recipients have more “skin in the game.”
It had long been argued without much substantiation that the “first dollar” coverage available from Medigap Plan F and Plan C because Medicare recipients to see the doctor more frequently than they would if they didn’t have all deductibles covered and had to pay a little out-of-pocket when they go to see a doctor. We can’t calculate an actual cost-savings from this change. However, many sources cite it would save Medicare billions of dollars each year in medical claim exposure.
Decisions and Preventative Benefits
Various politicians wanted there to be fairly substantial financial exposure for Medicare recipients. They decided to do away with plans that offered full coverage of all deductibles (Plan F and Plan C). This ensured the Medicare beneficiary would have to pay a little out-of-pocket for their medical bills. It might also discourage patients from going in as frequently.
Others argued that causing the beneficiary to have “more skin in the game” could lead them to not seek needed treatment. This could lead to advanced health conditions that are more difficult and costly to treat. This would be in direct contrast to the reason Medicare decided to cover more preventive benefits starting in 2006. Back then, Medicare felt it would save Medicare billions by allowing beneficiaries to get an early diagnosis. It could treat any condition before it became too advanced and much more expensive to treat.
Who Will Be Able to Keep Plan F or C?
People who join Medicare Part A before January 1, 2020 will still have Plan F and C available to them. You will be able to continue to shop for and pick up or change companies for your Medicare supplement Plan F or C after this date. This happens as long as you can qualify medically (or are in an Open Enrollment or Guaranteed Issue situation).
Who Will NOT Be Able to Keep Plan F or C?
For people who join Medicare Part A on or after January 1, 2020, you will unfortunately not have the ability to purchase a Plan F or C. The most comprehensive plan available to you will be Medicare supplement Plan G. Plan G works identically to Medicare supplement Plan F with the only difference being Plan G not covering the Part B deductible. Outside of that one difference, they work the same. Also, in guaranteed issue situations, Medicare supplement plan G will be available with no medical underwriting requirements starting January 1, 2020.
Learn more about switching to Medicare supplement Plan G: Switching Medicare Supplement Plans
So, if you own a Medicare supplement Plan F or C when January 1, 2020 comes around you don’t have to do anything as your coverage will still work; however, if you decide you do want to shop the market at that time to determine if you might be able to find a better rate for your coverage you can view your rates for other plans online, or call (800) 310-2550 to speak with one of the friendly and knowledgeable agents at GoMedigap.
GoMedigap is one of the largest and most respected Medicare supplement insurance agencies in the country. We offer free services to help Medicare recipients learn about Medicare supplements and how to shop for them from the nation’s top providers such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Mutual of Omaha and many others.