Understanding Medicare Plan F
What is Medicare Plan F?
The most popular of the ten Medicare Supplement choices call covered California, Medigap Plan F is the choice of more than half of all seniors who purchase Medicare Supplements. Plan F or what some mistakenly refer to as medicare part f, provides a myriad of benefits beyond the standard Medicare Parts A and B coverage. It is often chosen because it pays every financial gap left by Medicare’s Part A and B coverage, including deductibles for hospital and outpatient care. It is the most comprehensive medicare supplement that is available in individual market today. While Medicare Supplement Plan F rates vary by insurance carrier and state, its basic coverage elements do not. In this article we use the terms “medicare supplement” or “medigap” interchangeably since they mean the same thing.
What Medicare Supplement Plan F covers
As with any Medicare Supplement Plan call covered California, Medicare F helps defray the cost of health insurance by reducing out-of-pocket Medicare costs beyond what Parts A and B cover.
Its standard coverage particulars:
- The cost of Part A hospital co-insurance for up to 365 days of hospitalization after Part A coverage runs out
- The cost of co-payment or co-insurance for Part B
- The cost of three pints of blood
- The Part B deductible, and the deductible for Part A should there be one
- The cost of co-insurance or co-payment for Part A hospice care
- The cost of co-insurance for care in a skilled nursing facility
- The excess charge for Plan B doctor care. If a physician’s fee exceeds what Medicare will pay, and the excess is legal, Plan F pays the difference. In fact it’s only one of two of the ten Medigap plan options that offer this perk. The other is Plan G, for which the insured would generally pay a lower monthly premium than medigap Plan F. Medicare supplement Plan G, however, does not cover the Part B deductible.
- Eighty percent of the cost of emergency health care while traveling outside the United States. Referred to as foreign travel exchange, this benefit pays for emergency medical expenses that original Medicare does not pay, as long as the care begins sometime within the first 60 days of the overseas trip.
In addition, some Medigap Plan F policies include fitness club memberships, hearing aid discounts, and discounts on eyewear.
What Does Medicare Plan F Cost?
There are few things in life that are truly exactly the same. When comparing medicare supplement insurance coverages it’s truly an apples to apples comparison. For example, a Mutual of Omaha medicare supplement plan F will cover exactly the same as a Cigna medicare supplement plan F. The cost for any Medigap Plan, whether Part A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M or N, will vary by insurance carrier and by state. While not every insurance carrier is required to offer all plans, any carrier that sells Medicare Supplements must offer Plan F. Additionally, many of these carriers will offer a lower-cost version of Plan F as well. This alternative Medigap Plan F is has a high-deductible. In 2017, choosing this affordable option requires you, the insured to pay the first Medicare-covered health care costs up to the $2,200 annual deductible before Plan F starts picking up the tab.
Here are examples of actual (estimated) costs for Medicare supplement plan F in 2017 for a non-smoking 65-year-old female:
In Phoenix, Ariz. Humana’s Medicare Supplement Plan F has an estimated monthly premium of $162.08. Choosing the high-deductible version brings the cost down to $54.20 each month. That same woman, if she lived in Los Angeles, Calif. would pay roughly $228.85 for Plan F, or $59.47 for the high-deductible Medicare F option.
A senior who chooses the standard version of this plan pays no annual deductible, no out-of-pocket costs, and no deductible for hospital care. In addition, there is no co-pay for any visit to the senior’s primary care physician or specialist, or to the hospital. Membership in the Silver Sneakers Fitness program is included at no charge. Through a network of partnered providers, this plan gives discounts on hearing aids, eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as the LifeLine medical alert system call covered California. And, while no Medicare Supplement offers Plan D (drug) coverage, this Humana Plan has its own prescription drug discount card.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia medicare supplement Plan F for Atlanta residents has an estimated $209 monthly premium, although this carrier offers no high-deductible discount alternative. That same Atlanta resident could opt instead for a high-deductible medicare supplement plan F through Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company for $58.64 per month. The monthly premium for the Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement Plan F is estimated to be $202.78. Cigna medicare supplement coverage is also very low priced and offers a medicare supplement plan F as well. Please contact us at 866-936-3831 and ask about Cigna medicare supplement plan F rates for your area call covered California.
In general the most enticing benefits of Medicare supplement plan F – that is, the benefits not offered by some or most other Medigap Plans – are its payment of Part A and B deductibles, skilled nursing care co-insurance, and 80 percent of foreign travel exchange expenses.