Plan J vs Plan F: Should I Switch? - GoMedigap

Medigap Plan J vs. Plan F: Should I Switch?

Home » Comparing Medigap Plans » Medigap Plan J vs. Plan F: Should I Switch?

In June of 2010, the Medicare Modernization Act was passed, and Plan J was dropped from all new sales. If you had Plan J, you were allowed to keep it, but the reasons for dropping Plan J from new sales are not understood by many Plan J policyholders.

There are two benefits that Plan J offered policyholders that Medicare didn’t cover: Preventative care ($120 per year) and At-Home Recovery ($1600/year). Over the years, Medicare has changed what they cover, and now Medicare does cover preventative care and at-home recovery. Therefore, the extra benefits provided by Plan J are now duplicated and rendered unnecessary.

Prior to June of 2010, any consumer shopping for “full coverage” for their Medigap plans were told that Plan J was the full coverage option. Now that Plan J is no longer offered to any folks that are looking for “full coverage” for their Medigap plan, they are now offered Medicare supplement Plan F.

Plan F has the same benefits coverage as Plan J, minus the Preventative Care and At-Home Recovery services. Now that Medicare covers those two line items, the plans perform equally, in terms of coverage.

Medigap Plan J vs. Plan F

Q: “If the plans perform equally, why should I switch to Plan F?”

A: “Rate increases.”

There are many people out there that still have their Plan J, and most of them are seeing their rates climb steadily. Each plan letter has a collection of policyholders, or a “risk pool.” Since Plan J has not been sold since May of 2010, there are no new clients entering the Plan J “risk pool.” This fact, combined with the fact of life that we have more health conditions as we get older, combine to conspire against our pocketbooks. Since the insurance companies are in the business to make money, they must keep revenue higher than the claims they pay out. Since they can’t sell new policies, the only way for them to offset the increasing number of claims for Plan J policyholders is to increase the monthly premium of those already in the risk pool. The end result is that those in Plan J will continue to see their rates rise by hundreds, and even thousands of dollars in the near future.

Learn more about Medicare supplement Plan F coverage: What Does Medicare Supplement Plan F Cover? 

Q: “Is there anything I can read from Medicare that supports this information?”

A: “Click on the guides below for details about the coverage offered by Medicare for Preventative Services and At-Home Recovery.”

Compare Your Medicare Supplement Rates Immediately!

49 Replies to “Medigap Plan J vs. Plan F: Should I Switch?”

  1. I would like to know what the difference is between medicare supplement plan J and medicare supplement plan F…..should I switch and why…

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for your comment. Plan F and J are similar in the sense that they both offer the most complete coverage and protection against high out-of-pocket costs. However, Plan J is no longer offered as of June 2010. Plan F has the same benefits coverage as Plan J did (except for 2 redundant benefits that Medicare now covers: at home recovery and preventative care), and Plan F and J perform equally in terms of coverage.

      You may be able to save more money if you switch from a Plan J to a Plan F policy. Because Plan J policies have not been sold anyone since 2010, it is an outdated plan. You most likely have experienced many annual rate increases with your Plan J policy by now. Replacing Plan J with Plan F is a great option because it has all the same benefits as plan J, and it most likely will lower your costs. So you end up saving money without losing any benefits! Often times, people who switch to Plan F end up saving a significant amount on premiums if they are able to pass medical health underwriting.

      You can also check out our Medigap Plan Comparison Chart on our website: to compare 2016 Medigap plans and benefits.

      I hope this was helpful to you. If you would like one of our agents to reach out to you directly, just let me know by replying to this comment. You can also call us at (800) 310-2550, and one of our agents would love to help you out!

      Ka Ying

      1. My ins. Will soon no longer be accepted by my Dr. & the clinic. So will I be able to get your plan F if I take Spiriva to keep my beginning COPD from growing?

        1. Norma,

          Thank you for your question. You may or may not qualify for coverage but we would need to ask a few more questions about your particular situation including where you’re located. We recommend you call (800) 310-2550 to speak with one of experienced agents to determine if we might be able to find coverage for you. Within a few minutes we should be able to fully understand your situation and provide you with an answer. We look forward to speaking with you and we’re confident you’ll enjoy the conversation.

      2. Yes I have Plan J since 2009. I consistently get 10 & 15% Increases yearly. This year I applied for new insurance plan N and have been denied due to AFIB which I have now corrected via an ablation. My present medications are aspirin & metropolol 25mg twice a day and the reason they deny me is based on my medications. This is ridiculous. Why don’t they just say I want you to continue paying more.

        1. Hi Don,

          That must be frustrating. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, many providers have strict underwriting guidelines. At GoMedigap, our underwriters are trained in the underwriting processes of 30+ of the top Medicare Supplement providers. One of our agents can speak with you to understand your current situation, find a plan that best suits your unique needs, then transfer you over to one of our in-house underwriters. Our underwriters have extensive knowledge on the requirements of each carrier. Our agents and underwriters will be very honest with you regarding your situation – if they do not think you will be approved, they will be up front in saying that it’s best to stay where you are.

          If you would like to review your coverage and see if there is a better option out there for you, please give us a call at (800) 310-2550. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

        2. depends on which State you reside, many carriers now offer GI plans year round, check with your agent to see if you have any carriers in your State offer those, the primary carriers that offer GI year round are: Mutual Omaha, Humana and Cigna

          1. A GI applies to anyone with any carrier, as long as you meet the requirements. A GI, aka guaranteed issue right, is applicable anytime of the year. It is incorrect information to state that only certain companies will honor a GI policy when a GI right is set by medicare and congress…in other words, every company has to and will honor a GI right anytime of the year, in any state…as long as you meet the GI specifications

  2. I have Plan J. My wife has F as she began Medicare after J was dropped. Our monthly premiums are within a couple of dollars of each other. At this point, Plan J is the slightly more expensive one. However, Plan J has one feature F does not. If J’s actual claims are less than expected, I get a refund. Since 2010 has amounted to about 2.5 times the monthly premium. I suspect that refund feature is a big reason J was eliminated. Anyway, I will continue with J until the premiums, less the refund, are more than F.

    1. My wife and I both have plan J and almost no claims but have never received a refund. How do I know what the expected claim level is? This year our plan costs were increased by 9.2% . Between the two of us plan F is about $170.00 a month cheaper. Are these rates dependent upon which carrier we use?

      1. Thank you for your question, Mr. Salchow.

        Plan J was, at one point, the most comprehensive plan available. In 2010, after years of underutilization of the 2 additional benefits in Plan J vs. Plan F, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners decided to discontinue Plan J and a couple of other plans.

        For many people, Plan F can offer very comparable benefits and often at a much lower rate than what most people are paying for Plan J. The rates are dependent on which carrier you’re with, and most carriers will not typically refund premiums based on claims experience. Because these plans are standardized, you will get the same plan F, whether you buy it from Aetna, Cigna, Mutual of Omaha, Blue Cross or any other company. (In other words, if you have Plan F, you will get the same coverage whether you buy it from Aetna, Blue Cross, etc. The only difference is that it may cost more to go with one company over another, despite getting the same Plan F coverage.) We can offer plans and pricing from all of these companies.

        If you would like some help in reviewing various options from top providers, you can call our toll-free number (800-310-2550) and speak with one of our non-biased agents for a free review. I’m confident you’ll find the conversation informational and can determine if you are eligible for comparable coverage at a better rate.

        Our agents are highly educated on all things Medicare and are not provided an incentive to persuade you to go with any particular plan or company. They’ll offer choices and let you decide if moving to another company or plan makes sense for you.

        Thank you again for your question.

      1. Hi Don,

        Most carriers will not typically refund premiums based on claims experience. Because all Medicare Supplement plans are standardized, you will get the same coverage for a Plan F with Aetna as you would with a Plan F with Mutual of Omaha. The only difference between plans in the rate.

        If you would like to review your coverage and see your options from top providers, please give us a call at (800) 310-2550. One of our unbiased agents will be readily available to inform you of your options and determine if you are eligible for coverage at a better rate.

        Thank you for your question!

    1. Hi Patty. Thank you for your question. You seem to have a good amount of experience with Medicare supplement insurance. Medicare supplement plan J did offer medication coverage until 2006 when Medicare Part D was released. Plan J continued to be offered until 2011 but without drug coverage if purchased after 2006.

      When Medicare Part D was released they tried to make it clear (although Medicare is not always successful at clarity) that drug coverage included within a Medicare supplement was not considered creditable coverage as it was not as good or better than the Part D program benefits. Because of this, if you did not sign up with a Medicare Part D plan you would later be subject to penalties if you did take a Part D plan at some point.

      I hope this answered your question. Please let if we can help any further!

  3. I have been told, by my plan, AARP United Health Care, that Plan F is going to be discontinued. Is that correct? I have Plan J and have opted to keep it, being told it was better than F. According to what I’m seeing here, that is not the case. However, if Plan F is now going to be dropped, is it better to stay with J, or go to F and be “grandfathered” in for the future?

    1. Thank you for your comment and question. Unfortunately, the person you spoke with regarding plan F at AARP was incorrect. The option to shop for and choose a Plan F is only going away for those folks who take Medicare Part A for the first time on or after January 1, 2020. So, because you already have Medicare Part A, you should be able to shop for and buy a Medicare Supplement Plan F (assuming you qualify medically) after 2020.

      Here’s a Reuter’s article that goes into much more detail on the subject and confirms that Plan F will only not be available to people joining Medicare Part A on January 1, 2020, and later:

      No change in your options for you. Please let us know if we can help with any other questions!

  4. There is one other benefit to Plan J that is not being mentioned. Specifically. that is the ability to see a specialist without a referral. I’m not sure if that is allowed under Plan F; but I believe that it is not. It is a good idea to make sure that you understand all of the differences, before dropping Plan J. Once you opt out, you cannot return.

    1. Mr. Brockman,

      Thank you for your message. You are correct on a part of your response. Unfortunately, there is so much confusion and misinformation on Medicare supplement insurance that it’s hard to know what information to trust.

      You are correct that if you decide to drop your Medicare supplement plan J you will not be able to opt back in to a plan J as they are no longer sold. You are also correct that with your Medicare supplement plan J you can see a specialist without a referral. However, every Medicare supplement plan works the same in regards to your freedom and ease-of-use in seeing doctors who take Medicare.

      Your ability to see any doctor who takes Medicare, at any time, without a referral, is available with any Medicare supplement plan from any company (though there are some Medicare network restrictions on a type of Medicare supplement plan called Medicare Select (which we do not sell)). So, whether you have a plan J, a plan F, a plan G, a plan N or any other standardized Medicare supplement plan, you have the freedom to go to any doctor in the Medicare network at any time.

      The reason this is the case is because the Medicare supplement insurance companies and Medicare supplement plans do not have networks. They are only supplements to Medicare (which is your primary coverage). Therefore, your network with each of these plans is the Medicare network of doctors – you can see any of them at any time without a referral.

      The only issues you might have is if the doctor is no longer accepting new Medicare patients; however, that is an issue related to Medicare A & B and not your Medicare supplement.

      I hope this answered your question.

      It might be in your best interest to review current Plan F offerings as the benefits are very similar to plan J and you might find a much better value. If you would like to review our rates you can view plans and rates from different companies at or call to speak with one of our knowledgeable agents at (800) 310-2550 during normal business hours.

  5. If I have had Plan J through AARP/UHC for many years and wish to now switch to Plan F through AARP/UHC, do I have to apply for Plan F – or can I simply convert to it? I’m more likely to make the switch if it’s an easy process, but I’m not interested if it’s a complicated application process.

    1. Hey there, Susan. Thank you for your question.

      In most states, you can just call AARP using the phone number on the back of your ID card if you just want to change plan letters.They’re really the only company we have ever worked with that makes it that simple (in most states). Every other company would make you re-apply and you would need to qualify for the new plan.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  6. I have to choose a supplement plan in the next 2 months. My dilemma is should I choose Plan F or Plan G? I believe Plan F is being discontinued in 2020. Does the logic of switching from Plan J to Plan F also apply to choosing Plan G over Plan F even though Plan F still has 3 years to run. By that I mean opt for Plan G instead of Plan F.

    From what I understand the only difference between Plan F and Plan G is that Plan G does not cover Medicare Part B deductible which is $166. Plan G (where I live) is $192 less per year than Plan F for 2016. That would cover the Part B deductible with a little more left over.

    My concern is that the Medicare Part B deductible can raise substantially in the future, thus, eliminating the advantage Plan G seems to have right now in 2016.

    1. Mr. Sherman,

      Great question. Thank you for submitting it.

      The good news is that, because you are starting Medicare Part A before January 1, 2020, you will still have the option to buy a Medicare supplement plan F even after January 1, 2020. The restriction on buying plan F is only for those folks who start their Medicare Part A after that date. So, this particular issue shouldn’t be a factor in your decision.

      When deciding between plan F vs plan G you’ll want to essentially perform the math problem you have already completed. It looks like you’d have a little savings with a plan G. You’re next decision is would you prefer to forego that small savings to not have to worry about a deductible. Nowadays our clients still lean towards plan F when turning 65 but there’s been a definite shift to plan G over the past several years.

      The Part B deductible will likely go up over the next several years and, as it does, there will be an increasing difference in price between plan F and plan G. This will happen because, as you know, plan F will have to cover that deductible and plan G won’t. Your savings in annual premium (payments) with plan G versus plan F should always be great than the part B deductible at the time.

      I hope this answers your question. If you have any further questions or would like further clarification please let us know.

      Also, if you would like expert non-biased help from one of our highly educated agents please call us at (800) 310-2550. We can either validate you’re looking at the best rates or possibly show you better rates. We represent over 30 companies nationwide that offer these plans and provide free, award-winning, non-biased phone support.

      Thank you again for your question.

  7. Thank you for your answers to my questions.

    If I understand you correctly, Plan F premiums will continue to go up to compensate the increase in Medicare Part B deductible. But will Plan F premiums also increase substantially after 2020 when it is discontinued as they will have no new clients and in order to stay profitable their only option is to raise premiums (much like Plan J )?.

    1. Plan F will still be available for sell/purchase after January 1, 2020, for anyone who started Medicare Part A prior to that date. So, plan F is not going away completely for everyone. So, anyone with a Medicare Part A start date of December 1, 2019 or earlier will still have plan F available to them after 2020. Anyone with Part A start dates of January 1, 2020 or later will not.

      So, if you have owned a Medicare supplement plan from Company XYZ and January 1, 2020 rolls around, you can keep that plan. Further, if someone with a Medicare Part A start date prior to January 1, 2020 wants to buy your same plan F from Company XYZ after January 1, 2020, they’ll be able to do so. If their Part A start date is on January 1, 2020, they will not have the option to buy plan F from XYZ.

      Essentially, your right to buy plan F is “grandfathered.”

      I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a little odd and consequentially confusing to allow some people to buy plan F after 2020 and not let others buy based on when they started Medicare Part A but that’s how the law was written.

      Thank you for your questions! We are happy to help as much as we can.

      1. I have the same concern Sam expresses but which you did not address: what will happen to Plan F rates over time after once it is closed to new Medicare members?

        While I understand existing Part A members will still be able to switch to Plan F after Jan. 1, 2020, I would think those would be higher-risk people looking for better coverage. But that is going on now, too. What will be different is that there will be no new premiums flowing in from new Part A members to offset the Plan F risk pool’s ever increasing claims as people get older. Considering Plan F has been the most popular plan, that loss of new premiums has to be a very large number of younger and healthier people (respectively).

        So the question is still what will happen to Plan F rates as time goes along and it has fewer and fewer members, along with increasing numbers of claims from those aging members still enrolled in it? That sounds like a formula for sticker shock to me.

        1. Hi Jim,

          To be clear, people who joined Medicare Part A prior to January 1, 2020 will still be able to buy into Plan F and any existing Plan F risk pools. While that will greatly reduce the number of people eligible to join and, thereby, the number of people that would buy a plan F, it will lengthen the time before a company might need to take larger than normal rate increases.

          We have a particular company that has a legacy Plan J (no longer offered after June 2010) that has seen normal rate increases ever since and is still fairly competitive with current Plan F policies. Although, I would expect them to be far from the norm.

          There will also be companies making new Plan F risk pools available after 2020.

          So, I think it’s safe to say that there is more than a fair chance that Plan F policies will see larger than normal rate increases after 2020; however, it would be impossible to quantify by how much, which companies, and in which states.

          Our philosophy for you is to always buy the best value (price) for the plan you want from a company you can trust. We can certainly help our clients with this through our RateWatch service. Our RateWatch service is a unique and free service that automatically checks your Medigap plans and prices so you can rest assured that you are always getting the best price possible. With our proprietary quoting system, we have the ability to research rates on your behalf and proactively notify you if there is an opportunity to save money on your current plan with a different Medicare supplement provider.

          If you’d like, please give us a call at (800) 310-2550, and one of our friendly and knowledgeable agents will be readily available to answer any questions and see if you could save some money on your coverage. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

  8. I currently have plan J and have been thinking of switching to planF. However, if the affordable care act (Obamacare) is repealed by the new administration will plan J again be superior to plan F and worth keeping?

    1. That’s a great question. Fortunately, there is complete separation of ACA and Medicare/Medicare supplement insurance. So, any changes to the Affordable Care Act will not impact any decisions you’ll make on your plan selection. It’s a good idea to at least explore whether it makes sense to switch. Sometimes we can find almost identical coverage (Plan F) at a much better rate and sometimes it’ll make sense for someone to stay with plan J.

      Our agents can easily guide you through reviewing plans and rates from the major providers to help you determine if it makes sense for you to keep what you have or switch to a plan F. It would likely be a brief call and we’re confident you’ll enjoy the conversation and the insight.

      To speak with one of our knowledgeable and friendly agents about your options, please call (800) 310-2550. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  9. BCBS offer a plan F at $155.00.. The plan is not rated. AARP/United offer a Plan F at $155.75 per month that is Community Rated. Are community rated plans a better choice than non rated plans, especially if their premiums are about the same?

    1. Great question. And while it seems very simple it’s actually a little more complicated to answer. The high level response is the way they rate their policies (attained vs community) does not have much impact on the kind of rate increase you can expect from each company. Both companies, in most areas, tend to have single digit rate increases from year-to-year. However, both companies tend to have higher premiums than many other companies to begin with. Also, it’s nearly impossible to predict with a high level of confidence what kind of rate increase you might expect from any company.

      I think you would be very happy in speaking with one of our agents We work with both companies you mention and quite a few others and provide a free service to help you determine which company can offer you the best value for your coverage. Further, we’ll check in with you annually to ensure you always have the best rate available to you. You can reach one of our agents by filling out the form to view rates on or by calling us at (800) 310-2550.

      So, for the more technical response …

      There are not many community-rated plans available on the market nowadays. AARP is one of them but they’re not a pure community-rated plan as they have many factors that can cause people of different ages and potentially different health situations to receive different rates.

      AARP’s rates include, in many cases, a degrading discount for many people. It varies by state and your age and your Part B start date. That discount typically drops by 3% each year. So, if this discount is included in the rate of $155.75, you will likely see at least a 3% increase each year as you lose part of that discount. On top of that AARP will often have a low single digit rate increase. So, your total average rate increase with AARP historically has been 3-8% for many people.

      Blue Cross Blue Shield is typically a simple attained age plan but by 2-5 year age increments. This means that you may not get a rate increase based on your age at age 66 but would see an increase at age 67 and then 70 and then 75 and so on. Most other attained age policies will have an annual small increase (usually $3-5 in monthly premium) based on your new age.

      Separately from age adjustments each year you’ll experience what many people call “medical inflation” adjustments to your rates. This has more to do with how well the company manages their risk pool and the increased cost of treating a patient. This part of an annual rate increase exists for every company and plan and price rating type (attained age, issue age or community rated) out there.

      So, if someone implies that you will not see a rate increase from year-to-year with an issue age or community-rated plan they are being misleading.

      I hope this answers your question and that you get the opportunity to speak with one of our highly regarded agents at 800-310-2550 to answer any further questions and to ensure you don’t overpay for your Medicare supplement coverage.

  10. My mother has Plan J currently and was told she could reduce her rates by switching to one of the current plans. She is concerned that, with Plan J she can take whatever medications she needs, but would be restricted by picking up the Plan D. Is the Plan J a better option if she some day needs pharmaceuticals?

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Thank you for your question.

      Some of the older plan J policies (pre-2006) offered some help with medication, but it was very limited coverage. If she bought the plan J policy after 2006, there would be no medication coverage other than if she were hospitalized, and it wouldn’t be any different coverage than what you could find in a current Medicare supplement plan F.

      If you have a few minutes, I think you might be able to save your mother a considerable amount of money on what she pays for her coverage with very comparable coverage to what she has with her Plan J. With any new plan she picked up, she would be able to see the same doctors, the benefits would be almost identical and the claims paying process would be identical. She likely wouldn’t notice a difference between her plan J and a modern plan F.

      Give one of our agents a call at (800) 310-2550 to go over your situation. It will only take a few minutes and I’m confident you’ll enjoy the conversation.

  11. You often comment that Plan J and Plan F benefits are very similar, e.g. ” It might be in your best interest to review current Plan F offerings as the benefits are very similar to plan J and you might find a much better value.” If they are not exactly the same, what are the differences? I have applied to switch from J to F but are there differences? Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ed.

      There are two benefits that Plan J offered policyholders that Medicare didn’t cover: Preventative care ($120 per year) and At-Home Recovery ($1600/year). Over the years, Medicare has changed what they cover, and now Medicare does cover preventative care and at-home recovery. Therefore, the extra benefits provided by Plan J are now duplicated and rendered unnecessary.

  12. My husband has plan J with United Healthcare, and the reason we keep it is for international travel emergencies. On two separate trips to Mexico, he had to go to the hospital for emergency heart diagnosis and treatment. We always also purchase extra medical travel insurance for us, but plan J paid more than half of his bills for his stays in Mexico, and the rest was covered by the extra travel insurance. I don’t know if any other Medigap plans cover international emergencies? Does plan F cover these, too?

    1. Thank you for your great question, Sophie.

      I’m so glad you like your husband’s current plan. AARP is a wonderful company and we thoroughly enjoy working with them and being able to offer their plans. Medicare supplement plan J does cover “Foreign Travel Emergency” and was the most comprehensive plan when it was being offered.

      The Medigap plans which include the same foreign travel emergency coverage as your husband’s plan J are Medigap plans C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M and N. Each of these plans pay 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year.

      You can see the benefits for the different plans in the chart by clicking on the link below:

      So, Medicare supplement plan F will offer that same foreign travel emergency coverage and will work very similarly to your husband’s plan J.

      If you would like to review plans and rates from all of the top insurance companies offering Medigap plans to determine if there’s a better value plan for your husband, please feel free to call to speak with one of our award-winning agents at (800) 310-2550. We look forward to speaking with you!

  13. I looked into this because I’ve had Plan J for years, via AARP. I checked out Plan F costs and it would cost me more monthly if I switched, so for me this seems to not be a good idea. Thanks, though.

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Some carriers don’t allow their rates to be shown online. It may be worth your time to have a 5-minute phone conversation to speak with one of our Rate Watch agents to ensure that you really are paying the lowest rate for the best coverage for you. Give us a call at (800) 310-2550.

      We look forward to hearing from you!

  14. I just got a Medigap plan J and from what I read on google is that plan J is no longer sold. If this is true, then why did they sell me this? Can I ask them to switch it to plan F?

    1. Hi there,

      It is possible that you were sold a Plan J prior to June 2010. However, if you purchased your Medicare Supplement more recently, Plan J would not have been an option. The plans currently available are A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N.

      At GoMedigap, we can look at what coverage you have now, then compare it with rates from other providers to find a better option for you. We represent 30+ of the top providers, including AARP, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mutual of Omaha and more. I’m confident that we can point you in the right direction. If you’d like to speak with one of our knowledgeable and trustworthy agents, please give us a call at (800) 310-2550.

      We look forward to speaking with you soon!

  15. I have plan J , I would like to get plan F, I have atherosclerosis and a 4 cm aneurysm, do I qualifies ? I thought that insurers for medigap cant denies based on preexisting conditions.Thanks Pio

    1. Hi there,

      If you are in your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, insurers can not deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions. However, once you are outside of this period, insurers have the right to deny you coverage based on your health.

      The good news is that Medicare supplement companies all have different underwriting regulations, so one company may deny you while another approves your coverage. The best way to see if you qualify for coverage is to work with an independent agent. At GoMedigap, we represent 30+ insurance companies. Because of this, we are able to understand your health status and provide insight for you regarding which company you should choose for your coverage.

      To speak with one of our professional agents, please call us directly at (800) 310-2550 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

      Have a great day!

  16. I have had Plan J for several years. Due to continuing yearly price increases, I am considering switching to Plan F. Before changing plans, I would like to know if the “at home health care” coverage under Plan J is in addition to and exceeds the length of time of coverage under Medicare. I know Plan F doesn’t include that feature but I don’t want to pay for the same coverage twice. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Shirley,

      In order to answer your question, it is important to provide some history on why they eliminated Plan J. As part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, Congress directed the “Association of Insurance Commissioners” to evaluate the plans that existed at that time and had been available since 1991. Through the years, Medicare had changed somewhat meaningfully and some of the Medicare supplement plans were highly redundant. This caused some confusion for users and evaluating and eliminating plans was an attempt to limit the offerings and make it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to choose their coverage.

      When the “Association of Insurance Commissioners” evaluated Plan J, they found that there was under a .5% utilization of both the “$1600 annual max At-Home recovery” benefit and the “$120 annual max Preventive Care” benefit. The main reason for the extremely low utilization of this benefit was due to the fact that Medicare Parts A & B had improved over the years to better cover preventive services and at-home care. In regards to at-home care, hospitals had also made it nearly impossible to qualify for this at-home care benefit through Plan J. Lastly, while all other benefits within Plan J were automatically paid, the “At-Home Recovery” and “Preventive care” benefits included in Plan J were reimbursement plans, in which the policy owner had to manually file the claim with the insurance carrier.

      For these reasons, it was decide that Plan J was highly comparable to Plan F and that Plan J should be eliminated.

      So, in answering your question, the additional benefits found in Plan J vs Plan F are so minimal, underutilized and require manual reimbursement, that most people will never miss them. Essentially, Plan J and Plan F perform equally in terms of coverage, so you can rest assured in switching to a Plan F.

      If you’d like to review your Plan F rates from all of the top Medicare supplement providers, we would be happy to assist you. Please feel free to call us directly at (800) 310-2550, or view your Plan F rates online.

  17. It’s 2018. In 2017 I continued with the J plan, not knowing about F. I have been trying in 2018 to figure out the difference. I know that J costs more in premiums. Some “advisers” say on the phone that there is no difference in the 2 plans. But people at Anthem say there IS a difference and that I will no longer have the Home Healthcare provision and that I might have to pay $120 out of pocket for preventive care. But they don’t even seem to be able to tell me which preventive care items will cost me the $120. Even the chart on this page shows a check mark on J for Preventive and Home Healthcare. Yet it appears from these discussions that F offers the same things. So why are there no check marks in these spaces for the F plan? Completely confusing. Is it or isnt’ it?! different people say different things.

    1. Hi Alice,

      I completely understand the confusion, and I’m sorry you have received conflicting answers to your questions.

      Just a few years back, there were two benefits that Plan J offered to policyholders that Medicare did not cover: Preventive Care and At-Home Recovery. Over the years, Medicare now does cover preventive care and at-home recovery.

      So, Medicare covers the expenses that Plan J used to cover, including the annual $120 yearly physical exam that was originally covered by Plan J.

      So, if you’d like to reduce your monthly premium, switching to Plan F may be a great option for you. If you like the benefits on Plan J, then replacing Plan J with Plan F is a great option to lower our costs without losing any real benefits. Medicare Supplement Plan F has all of the same benefits as Plan J except for the 2 redundant and under-utilized benefits.

      If you’d like help comparing the costs of your current Plan J and a Plan F, please feel free to give us a call at (800) 310-2550. One of our friendly and educated agents can help you to determine if switching to Plan F would be the best option for you. You can also view your Plan F rates online. We look forward to hearing from you!

  18. Hi,

    My mother-in-law has had plan J since 1988 through AARP, she can not locate the policy/manual. Is there anyway to get a copy somewhere?

    1. Hi Ms. McDaniel,

      The best way to receive this policy/manual would to be to contact AARP directly. They should be able to provide you with the manual with no problems.
      Let us know if you have any other questions! One of our agents can be reached at (800) 310-2550 and are happy to help.

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