Can I Keep my Medigap Plan F?
Updated: May 22, 2019
Medicare supplement Plan F is the Medigap plan that covers all Medicare deductibles and co-pays. The plan is great in that it provides coverage with $0 out-of-pocket for Medicare-approved medical expenses. Unfortunately, under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, Plan F is ending in 2020 for newly eligible Medicare enrollees.
People love their Medigap Plan Fs because they've experienced the convenience (and outright joy) of going to the doctor, leaving, and never getting a bill. With Plan F being being such a comprehensive option it is no surprise that people are concerned about the plan's removal and how they will be affected. We hear all the time, "Can I keep my Plan F?"
The answer is yes. If you are already enrolled in Plan F then you will be grandfathered in and nobody can force you to give it up. When the new rules take effect in 2020, only newly eligible Medicare enrollees won't be able to enroll in Plan F.
Will anything change with my Plan F?
Even though your Plan F won't be cancelled when the new rules begin in 2020, you might be wise to make a change if possible. When new enrollees stop signing up for the plan, the plan will have a closed "pool of risk" of people who are aging and using the plan more and more. This puts adverse risk on the insurance company. For that reason, Forbes predicts that "over time we can probably expect Plan F premiums to slowly rise, since the total number of people enrolled will be shrinking annually."
If rising insurance premiums is a worrisome thought, you might consider switching to Plan G. It will be the new "most comprehensive" Medigap plan and, in my opinion, it is just as strong as Plan F. Technically, it is a step down because it has a deductible of $185 (in 2019). That said, Plan G is lower priced than Plan F and often the price savings is greater than the deductible. Other than the meager deductible, the plan is just as strong for all of the other Medicare "gaps", so if a big medical bill shows up you still have great coverage.
How do I switch to Plan G?
In most situations, switching to Plan G (or any other Medigap plan for that matter) will require medical underwriting. You will have to answer Medical questions on the insurance application and it is possible that the insurance company can deny your application. If you are in good health, now is a good time to consider applying for Plan G via medical underwriting.
Certain states, have rules allowing you to avoid underwriting. For example, California and Oregon have a birthday rule that allows a Medigap switch with no medical underwriting if you are within 30 days of your birthday. Taking advantage of the birthday rule for a switch to Plan G makes a lot of sense before Plan F premiums start to rise.
Missouri has a rule allowing you to switch Medigap plans each you on the anniversary of your current plan with no underwriting. If you'd like to know if your state has any rules allowing you to switch Medigap plans without underwriting, don't hesitate to reach out to us and ask.
How can Medicare Life Group help?
We represent Medicare supplement insurance plans from a bunch of different companies. We take pride in offering a top-notch service in explaining your options, assisting with the application process, and staying with you as an advocate over the years. Our service is free to you because we get paid by whichever insurance company you end up choosing, at no added cost. Ultimately, we think you'll enjoy working with us. Don't take it from me, check out our customer testimonials.