Is Medigap Plan F Going Away?
On January 1, 2020, the Medicare Supplement Plan F will no longer be available to new Medicare enrollees.
That leaves a lot of us with questions: Why is it going away? What if I have a Plan F? What do I need to do (if anything)?
We’ll be answering your questions in this article, but if you would like to speak to one of our Medicare specialists, please click on one of the red-orange buttons on the right side of this page or at the end of the article.
Why Is Plan F Going Away?
If you have Plan F, or if you’ve heard about how great Plan F is, you’re probably wondering: why is Plan F going away?
The short answer is because the government said so.
The longer answer has to do with the dilemma of first-dollar coverage.
In other words, if you have a Plan F, you can go to the doctor without paying any co-pays, deductibles, or coinsurance. The government worries that since you can go to the doctor for free, you might go more than you need to.
And that costs Medicare money that they’d rather not spend.
There are various debates going on about whether this is even true, however. Many studies have shown that people who go to the doctor more often are more likely to find problems sooner, which costs less in the long run.
On the flip side, people who don’t go to the doctor as often are more likely to miss potential health conditions, which can end up costing more.
In the end, though, Plan F will not be available for newly eligible individuals starting in 2020.
Can I Still Get Plan F After 2020?
While newly eligible individuals can’t purchase Plan F starting in 2020, anyone who was eligible before that date can still purchase a Plan F.
This means that if you turn 65 before January 1, 2020, you’re able to purchase a Plan F. However, if you turn 65 after January 1, 2020, you cannot.
We did the math, and that’s still over 60 million seniors who will able to purchase a Plan F going forward.
What If I Currently Have a Plan F?
If you currently have a Plan F, you can keep your policy for as long as you like.
However, since there will be no new enrollees after January 1, 2020, there are a few things that could potentially happen.
What Does the Future Look Like For Plan F?
There are 2 main schools of thought when it comes to the future of Plan F:
- There will be more rate increases due to fewer enrollees
- Plan F will become the plan of choice again with the most competitive rates
Both of these thoughts are on opposite sides of the spectrum, which makes it hard to draw a useful conclusion.
A few years ago, there was a plan called Plan J. It was pulled from the market, just like Plan F will be, and it had some of the highest rate increases.
That leaves a lot of experts thinking that Plan F will follow that same pattern.
However, other experts see that over 60 million people will still be eligible for a Plan F. That’s a lot of people!
Plan F is also a plan you can receive without passing any medical underwriting. This is called “Guaranteed Issue” (GI).
However, starting in 2020, it will no longer be a Guaranteed Issue product, which means there won’t be unhealthy individuals being accepted into the plan. That could help Plan F see fewer rate increases, making it the plan of choice again.
What Should I Do?
At this point, you’re probably ready for the big answer: what should I do?
We recommend that you meet with your insurance agent once a year for a Medicare Supplement review.
Once 2020 approaches, your agent will keep an eye on your plan’s potential rate increases. If they get to be too high, you can always switch to a cheaper plan, such a Plan G.
Only time will tell what might happen to Plan F, but in any case, our agents will be here to help you keep the most competitive prices for the best coverage.
If you’d like to have your supplement reviewed by one of our Medicare specialists, simply click on the button below to get started.
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