Medicare Supplement Plan F is a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan offered by private insurance companies to pay secondary to Original Medicare. When compared to other Medigap plans, Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage.
This policy provides beneficiaries with the most coverage and the fewest out-of-pocket costs possible. However, Plan F is no longer available to those new to Medicare.
Below, we discuss this plan, what it covers, and how to know if you qualify for coverage through Medigap Plan F.
What is Medicare Supplement Plan F?
Medicare Supplement Plan F covers the gaps Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B leave behind. These costs can include copayments, deductibles, and coinsurances. When you enroll in Medigap Plan F, you will not be responsible for these additional costs because the plan covers them entirely.
Medicare Supplement plans are standardized by the federal government and must provide the same coverage regardless of carrier. Thus, a Plan F from one carrier will be the same as a Plan F from another carrier. The only difference is the monthly premium cost and the rating of the company with which you enroll.
It is best to enroll in a plan that fits your budget from a carrier with a top-tier reputation. Even though benefits are the same across carriers, companies may not pay claims in the same timely manner.
Medicare Supplement Plan F Coverage
When you have Medicare Supplement Plan F, you are not responsible for out-of-pocket costs related to Medicare Part A and Part B. Your policy covers the Medicare Part A coinsurance and copays, as well as the Medicare Part B deductible and coinsurance.
In addition to this coverage, Plan F allows emergency foreign travel benefits to policyholders. The plan allows up to $50,000 of lifetime emergency foreign coverage in addition to Original Medicare benefits.
Further, with Medigap Plan F, you can see any doctor you wish. There are no referrals, no networks, and your coverage travels with you nationwide. Your coverage is the same on the East Coast as on the West Coast. If the doctor accepts Original Medicare, they will take your Medicare Supplement Plan F, regardless of the carrier.
Medicare Plan F Costs
The goal of Medicare Supplement Plan F is for the beneficiary to have as few out-of-pocket costs as possible. When you enroll in Plan F, you are responsible for the Medicare Part B premium and your Medicare Plan F premium. After that, your Plan F will cover 100% of any costs Original Medicare covers.
Yet, despite having fewer out-of-pocket costs than the other Medigap plan options, Medicare Supplement Plan F can still become very costly. The premium cost for this plan can be comparatively high. Further, several factors determine what each person’s premium will be. Thus, it is essential to compare plans before you enroll.
Are Medicare Supplement Plan F Premiums Tax-Deductible?
Your Medicare Supplement Plan F premiums are tax-deductible when you file your federal tax return each year. In addition to premiums, out-of-pocket health expenses are eligible for a tax deduction.
Keep in mind that all costs will need to be itemized, and you are only able to deduct up to 10% of your annual income in medical itemized deductions.
Low Premium Medicare Plan F
If you like the ease of Medicare Supplement Plan F but do not like the monthly premium costs, High Deductible Plan F might be a good alternative for you. High Deductible Plan F offers the same coverage as traditional Plan F with a much lower monthly premium. However, this plan requires the beneficiary to pay a higher deductible before receiving full coverage from the policy.
The traditional Medigap Plan F has a $0 deductible. When you enroll in High Deductible Plan F, you are responsible for a $2,700 deductible in 2023.
Like with traditional Plan F, the High Deductible option offers 100% coverage after you meet the deductible, with all other additional benefits included. So, you can still see any doctor or visit any hospital you wish for no additional fee.
Is Medicare Supplement Plan F Discontinued?
As of January 1, 2020, new Medicare beneficiaries cannot enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F. However, if you were enrolled in any part of Medicare before January 1, 2020, you can enroll in or keep your current Medigap Plan F plan as long as you wish.
So, Medigap Plan F is not an option for those new to Medicare. Yet, if you had Medicare before 2020, you are eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan F for life.
Medicare Supplement Plan G vs. Plan F Comparison Chart
If you are not eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan F, you may qualify for alternative plans that provide similar coverage. The plan with the most similarities regarding coverage is Medicare Supplement Plan G.
In the chart below, we compare the two plans and the benefits they provide. While they share minimal differences, the monthly premium is a significant factor for most people choosing between the two plans.
Often, beneficiaries notice that even when paying the additional out-of-pocket costs with Plan G, they still save money in the long run compared to Plan F.
The chart below shows the major differences between Medicare Supplement Plan F vs. Plan G.
|Plan Benefits||Plan F||Plan G|
|All Medicare Part A Coinsurance and Copayments||x||x|
|Medicare Part B Coinsurance and Copayments||x||x|
|Medicare Part A Deductible||x||x|
|Medicare Part B Deductible||x|
|Medicare Part B Excess Charges||x||x|
|Foreign Travel Emergency Coverage||x||x|
|Average Monthly Premium*||$204.52||$159.29|
|*Average monthly premium is based on a 70-year-old, non-smoking male. Premium costs may vary based on several factors.|
How to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F
If you are planning to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F, you can do so anytime if you can pass medical underwriting health questions. The only time you can enroll in Medigap Plan F without answering health questions is during your one-time Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period or if you receive guaranteed issue rights due to a special circumstance.
Insurance companies are not required to offer Plan F. Still, many companies provide the plan option due to its popularity.
It is essential to do your research before enrolling in any policy. Because these plans are standardized, it is critical to know which carrier has the best reputation and the lowest monthly premium in your area. Working with an agent who has access to several carriers and policies is your best option when shopping for the right plan.
This way, you will only need to speak with one agent instead of calling several different companies and trying to decide on your own. An agent can take the stress out of the enrollment process.