There’s a major change to the Medicare program on the horizon that’s especially pertinent to potential Medicare Supplement enrollees: Medicare insurance plans C and F will start to be phased out. Together, these two plans account for over half (53 percent) of Medigap plans held in the United States. The question facing many soon-to-be or current seniors now is “How will this affect me?” Luckily, if you’re already enrolled in these plans, or already eligible for the Medicare program, you won’t be greatly affected. If you’re not eligible for the Medicare program insurance as of January 1, 2020, you’ll still be able to get similar coverage. You’ll just need to look at other options.
What are Plan C and F?
Plans C and F are two of the most comprehensive Medigap plans available. What truly sets them both apart from the other plans is their coverage of the Medicare Part B deductible.
Why are They Going Away?
In a concerted effort to reduce costs to the Medicare program and properly compensate doctors who accept Medicare assignment, Congress voted to eliminate “first-dollar coverage” with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.
Plans C and F are as popular as they are because they cover so much, and therein lies the problem. Since the first-dollar coverage encourages frequent doctor visits, the plan became expensive for the Medicare program and doctors. Meanwhile, critics of this move say it will cause seniors to seek medical attention less often, which may lead to even more expensive treatments later.
What Does This Mean for Me?
Beginning January 1, 2020, Medicare Supplement Plans C and F cannot be sold or issued to people newly eligible for the Medicare program. But, Plans C and F aren’t truly going away for everyone.
Beginning January 1, 2020, Medicare Supplement Plans C and F cannot be sold or issued to people newly eligible for the Medicare program. But, Plans C and F aren’t truly going away for everyone. Even after the plans have been phased out, people who are eligible for the Medicare program insurance before the January 1, 2020, deadline will be able to enroll in them.
After the plans are eliminated, there are still options for similar coverage. Of all the Medigap plans, Plan G is perhaps the closest remaining Medigap option to Plan F. It covers everything that Plan F has, including the Part B excess charge, without the Part B deductible coverage. If you liked the look of Plan C, check out Plan D, which covers all the same things except the Part B deductible coverage.
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While two of the most popular Medigap plans are being phased out in a few years, you’ll still have plenty of options for coverage. Whether it’s in the form of a different Medigap plan or a different type of Medicare insurance plan, you’ll be able to find the coverage you need.
If you have further questions or want to explore your options, check out the Shop & Enroll Plan Finder and connect with a local, licensed sales agent!