Medicare Supplement Plan F – 7 Essential Facts You Must Know

Compare Medicare Supplement PlansWe hear these questions all the time:

What is Plan F? What does it cover? How do I compare Medicare Supplement Plans?  How is it different from Part C, or plan N?

Much  information you get in the form of sales brochures  about Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) is sometimes confusing,  or not detailed enough to answer your questions.

At last, we will clearly and simply explain in detail Medicare Supplement Plan F benefits, costs and enrollment.

 What is Plan F?

Plan F, simply put, is one of the plans available to you when you buy a Medicare supplement policy, also known as a Medigap policy.

What Does Medicare Supplement Plan F Cover?

A Medicare supplement (Medigap) policy is sold by private companies and pays some of the health care costs (the “gaps) that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S.

There are ten standardized Medigap plans.

They are denoted by the letters A through N. Because these plans are offered by private insurance companies, the cost and availability of each lettered plan may differ, but not the benefits.  In other words, all companies that offer, say Plan F, must offer the same standardized benefits. Not every insurance company, though, offers all ten plans.

The chart below shows basic information about the different benefits that the 10 Medigap policies cover. If a check mark appears, the plan covers the described benefit 100%. If a percentage appears, the plan covers that percentage of the benefit:

Compare Medicare supplement plans

 The chart above shows that: Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most comprehensive.

And, based on our enrollment experience:  Plan F is the most popular plan. It covers 100% of the deductibles, copays, and coinsurance listed in the chart above that you would normally pay out of your pocket if you were enrolled in just Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B (Original Medicare).

Medicare Supplement Plan F Rates

We are asked many times “Are AARP(United Healthcare) Plan F rates higher or lower than, say, Aetna Plan F Rates or Blue Shield Plan F rates?”

The answer may not be as simple as you think.  A Medicare supplement plan F rate comparison will show that rates will vary by company, area, age, tobacco usage and sometimes by how long you have been enrolled in Medicare Part B.

Another fact you must know: The company with the lowest initial Plan F rate may have substantially higher rate increases in the future than a company with higher initial rates. So, you may pay less over time with a policy from the company with the higher initial rate.

The best way to determine the various rates for all the companies offering Medicare Supplement Plan F is to complete a Medicare supplement plan F rate comparison using a competent and independent software quoting system specifically designed for Medicare Supplements and review those rates with  a very experienced agent who represents many companies  and is familiar with the company rate increase histories.

When Can I Buy a Medicare Supplement Plan?

The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during the 6-month period that begins on the first day of the month in which you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Part B.

For example, if you turn 65 and are enrolled in Part B in June, the best time for you to buy a Medigap policy is from June to November. This is your open enrollment period. After this enrollment period, your option to buy a Medigap policy may be limited and it may cost more.

If you apply for Medigap coverage after your open enrollment period, there’s no guarantee that an insurance company will sell you a Medigap policy if you don’t meet the medical underwriting requirements.

How do I Qualify for a Medicare Supplement Plan F?

To be eligible to enroll in a Medigap plan, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B, not be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and reside in the plan’s service area.

If you are within your open enrollment period, your enrollment in a Medicare supplement plan is guaranteed.

If you are past your open enrollment period, you will most likely need to pass a medical screening in the form of several medical questions on the application, and your doctor may be required to furnish a statement, or records concerning your health status.

For more information about Medicare Supplement plans, rates, and other Medicare options please call us at 415-999-5071 or email us at jdaura@clearmedicaresolutions.com

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