There are ten Medicare Supplement plans that are standardized in forty-seven states. The most comprehensive plan out of all of the supplements is Medicare Plan F. It is the most popular choice for beneficiaries due to the minimal amount of out of pocket expenses the beneficiary is liable for. This does, however, make it the plan with the highest premium. But the trade off for a high premium is full coverage for:
-the deductibles for Parts A and B
-Part B’s excess costs, coinsurance, preventative care costs and copays
-the first three pints of blood annually (to be used in approved medical procedures)
-Part A hospice care copay or coinsurance.
-skilled nursing facility coinsurance
-foreign travel emergency
-Part A hospital and coinsurance.
According to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, Plan F will no longer be available for some people. Those who are eligible for Medicare on January 1, 2020 or later will no longer be able to buy Plans F or C. However, those eligible for Medicare prior to January 1, 2020 will still be able to purchase Plan F or C and be grandfathered into the 2020 year. Plan F is being discontinued because Congress is no longer allowing companies to cover the Part B deductible. The purpose behind making beneficiaries responsible for their own deductibles is to prevent overuse of medical services.
The only Medicare Supplement plan besides Plan F that covers 100% of Part B excess charges is Plan G. Excess charges happen when doctors and providers do not accept Medicare assignment. A doctor may charge more than the Medicare-approved amount. Legally, they cannot charge more than 15% more than what Medicare covers, but beneficiaries are then responsible for the excess between the Medicare amount and the provider charge. Plan G would pay for this excess.
Plan G is most similar to Plan F. The main difference is that Plan G does not cover the deductible for Medicare Part B which is $185 for 2019. Once the $185 is paid, the beneficiary will pay no more so the only annual out of pocket maximum will be $185. If you already have Plan F this year, there is no need to make any changes. Those who are currently on Plan F will be grandfathered into the new year in 2020. If you are going onto Medicare after January 1 in 2020, you will no longer be able to purchase Plan F. However, Plan G is the next best option and will only cost $185 for the year.
If you have questions or are confused about what you will be liable for, book a meeting with an agent. The goal is to lower your potential cost as low as possible while still receiving great medical care when you need it and give you peace of mind.