Editor's Blog

Medicare Supplement Plan F is Going Away

goldfish jumping from one bowl to another, plan f to plan g

As of January 1st, 2020, Medicare Supplement carriers will no longer be able to sell new Medigap Plans C or F. Congress has decided that new Medigap plans will no longer be allowed to cover the Part B deductible. 

New enrollees on or after 1/1/2020 will no longer have the option to purchase a Plan C or a Plan F. All other plans currently available will still be available for purchase. Anyone enrolled in a Plan C or a Plan F as of 12/31/2019 will be grandfathered and able to continue with their plan as long as they want. 

Congress believes that requiring all Medicare members to pay their Part B deductible will reduce medical overuse. So, people currently on Plan F pay absolutely nothing for their Medicare-related doctor visits. No deductible. No copays at the doctor. Lawmakers fear that this lack of cost-sharing results in people running to the doctor for minor issues that may not really require medical care. These changes mean that all Medicare beneficiaries will have at least $185 in deductible spending out of their own pocket each year. In light of this, they hope you might think twice before seeing a doctor. 

This is not the first time Medicare has discontinued supplemental plans. In 2010, Plans H, I, and J were removed from the market. It is never a good thing when a supplemental plan is taken off the market. Without any new members coming in, there are fewer healthy people to offset claims from the group, usually leading to rate increases.

Although no one can anticipate what rate increases there will be for Plans C and F after 2020, we know that in the past, plans that were eliminated have had substantial rate increases for policyholders that are grandfathered. 

Certainly there are some very good plan choices that are not going away, namely Plan G and Plan N. Their out-of-pocket exposure is low and their premiums are affordable. If you are in good health and are able to switch coverage before 2020, it might be in your best interest to consider a new policy that is not being discontinued.

Visit ManhattanLife's Medicare Supplement for plan information.



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