It is important for senior citizens to know about the changes that will happen to Medicare in 2020.
Many seniors purchase Medigap plans, such as Medicare Part F, to help them pay for services that are not fully covered by Medicare Parts A and B. However, Medicare Part F will no longer be available to new Medicare enrollees in 2020. This will mean that new enrollees will have to pay for their Medicare Part B deductibles out of their pockets instead of having them covered by their Plan F benefits.
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What Exactly Is Plan F?
The primary types of Medicare are Medicare Parts A and B, which are both offered by the government. Medicare Part A covers hospitalizations, while Part B covers regular doctors’ visits. However, people who have Part B must pay annual deductibles and copays. Plus, not everything is covered by Parts A and B.
In order to provide seniors with more choices, there are a number of supplemental Medigap plans that help to pay for things that are not covered by Parts A and B. One of these Medigap plans is called Medicare Part F. It is a supplemental policy that is sold by private insurers in all 50 states and covers many additional services.
One key benefit of Medicare Part F plans is that they pay for the Medicare Part B deductibles and copays. This has helped many seniors who might otherwise be unable to afford to see their doctors.
Why is Plan F Leaving?
Medicare Plan F is leaving in 2020 because of Congressional reform that was passed in 2015. As a part of a bipartisan bill that was passed in 2015 and signed into law by President Obama called the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, people who receive Medicare will no longer be allowed to purchase Medigap plans that pay for their Part B deductibles starting in 2020. As a result, Medicare Plans C and F will no longer be sold after January 1, 2020.
The change is part of what was called the doc-fix legislation, which changes the way that Medicare pays doctors for their services. Legislators believe that by making more seniors pay for their Part B deductibles out of their pockets, they will be less likely to go to the doctor when they don’t really need to do so.
However, critics of the law argue that some seniors will avoid going to see their doctors when they really need to because of the deductibles. This could lead to higher costs overall that might result from seniors having to receive more expensive care after their conditions worsen.
What Should You Do Now?
When the changes occur in 2020, the government will not be taking Plan F coverage away from people who already have it. Any Plan F policies that are purchased in 2019 will also be protected. This makes it a good idea for you to purchase a Plan F policy in 2019, so you can maintain this type of coverage after the changes are enacted.
There are multiple benefits of purchasing supplemental Medicare insurance coverage. These include:
- Paying for certain out-of-pocket expenses that you would otherwise have to pay, including co-insurance, co-pays, and deductibles.
- Paying for services that are not covered by Medicare Parts A or B, including care when you are outside of the U.S. or coverage for the first three blood pints that you might need in a transfusion.
- Coverage across each of the supplemental Medicare Plan letter types being standardized across the states; this means that a Plan F policy that you purchase in one state will offer the same benefits as a Plan F policy that you might purchase in a different state.
Supplemental Medicare plans can help seniors keep their out-of-pocket medical costs under control. Considering there are multiple supplemental Medicare plans available, it is important for seniors to do their research. Seniors should make sure to carefully research the various plans that are available in order to make certain that they choose a plan that will offer them the most benefits.
If seniors research Plan F and decide that they would benefit from it, they should make certain to purchase a Plan F policy in 2019, so they will be able to continue benefitting from it even after the government ceases enrolment in 2020.