Medicare supplement Plan F is by far the most popular Medicare supplement plan level in the United States. While about 52% of seniors who buy any supplement choose this supplement, only about 12% percent pick plan G, the next most popular Medigap plan level. These are the two plans that cover the most gaps in Medicare, and they are usually the most expensive in areas where they are sold. It seems as if most people who purchase supplements are more concerned about protecting themselves from high medical expenses than somewhat higher monthly premiums.
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Most Americans qualify for Medicare part A and B when they turn 65, but a small portion of recipients are younger and qualify because of a disability. The majority of people qualify for part A for free and must pay a modest premium for part B. While this public health insurance plan for seniors and disabled Americans will help pay for a broad range of medical services, it may leave some beneficiaries vulnerable to high costs because of limits, deductibles, coinsurance, and things that Medicare won’t pay for at all.
- Original Medicare doesn’t limit yearly out-of-pocket expenses.
- Part B imposes cost sharing for most services that it helps cover.
- Part A limits coverage for the number of benefit-period and lifetime hospital days.
- These days, lots of healthcare providers want to charge more than Medicare allows, and the responsibility for excess charges rests on the beneficiary.
- Medicare only pays for foreign care in very limited circumstances.
Because of these “gaps” in coverage that might generate high bills, some people refer to Medicare supplement plan F to enhance their coverage. Private health insurance companies offer supplement plans to help bridge the gap for medical costs that part A and B won’t fully pay for. Of all of these Medicare supplement plans, Medicare plan F is the most popular one. If you’re trying to decide how to enhance your own Medicare to fill in these gaps in coverage, learn more about how Medicare works and how Medigap plan F can help you predict and control your costs.
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How to quickly check Medicare Supplement Plan F rates:
Medicare plan F won’t be the best choice for every beneficiary; however, we want to help you decide if it’s the right thing for you, your spouse, or another family member. If you want a quick way to compare Medicare supplement plan F rates, you’re welcome to use our online quote forms or to call via the toll-free number.
Why Consider Medicare Supplement Plan F?
Before discussing the reasons why you might consider buying Medicare supplement plan F, it might help to understand the purpose of all Medicare supplements. Part A and B, also known as Original Medicare, offer beneficiaries a very broad range of coverage for health care costs. Benefits help seniors pay for such essential services as hospital stays, visits to the doctor, and much more. At the same time, Original Medicare was never designed to cover close to 100 percent of medical costs.
According to a research study from The Commonwealth Fund, at least one-quarter of all Medicare recipients spent at least 20 percent of their total incomes on health-related bills. Naturally, folks with more severe health issues have a greater risk. You may be healthy now; however, it’s difficult to predict health decades into the future, and it’s also tough to know how much healthcare costs will increase.
Even though the basic structure of both Medicare and Medicare supplemental plan F rarely change, the same can’t be said for medical costs and the amounts that beneficiaries are expected to contribute for coinsurance, copays, and deductibles. In order to understand exactly how F works, read the following overview of using Medigap plan F with part A and B.
How Medicare Supplemental Plan F Works With Part A
Without any insurance, even short hospital stays generate can high, five-figure bills. Part A helps, but it has limits. One of the main reasons that Medicare supplement plan F may be so popular is that it helps relieve concerns over some of the potentially high medical bills that part A may require beneficiaries to handle if they don’t have another insurance policy to help manage costs.
This list highlights some of the primary protection that plan F helps with:
- Hospital coinsurance
- An extra 365 days in the hospital after the limit of days have been used up
- Hospice and skilled nursing coinsurance
- The yearly deductible
- Initial three pints of blood
- Urgent and emergency inpatient care in other countries
After you’ve been to the hospital or needed skilled nursing, the last thing you or your family probably want to worry about is a stack of medical bills. Medicare supplement plan F can eliminate this concern and offer you peace of mind.
How Medicare Supplemental Plan F Works With Part B
Certainly, inpatient stays are expensive. At the same time, it might be imprudent to underestimate some outpatient costs. People who have to manage chronic diseases may mostly access outpatient clinical or therapy services. One of the most infamous examples of this is the fact many cancer patients receive chemotherapy at outpatient clinics, but each visit might cost in the five-figure range without an insurance policy to defray costs.
Consider these gaps in Part B that Medicare supplement plan F helps pay for:
- Annual deductible
- Charges over Medicare-allowed guidelines
- Foreign-land urgent care
- Copays and coinsurance
The sad thing is that some seniors have put off essential health care because they were worried about bills. They may have been limited in their choice of doctors or specialists because they needed to find providers who accepted Medicare Assignment. With Medicare supplement plan F, you won’t have to put off a check-up or lab work because you’re worried about the cost. You should also enjoy plenty of freedom to base your choice of doctors upon their reviews and experience and not upon how much they charge you for a visit.
Medigap Plan F and Prescription Medication
The designers of Original Medicare designed a stable, robust plan. At the same time, they didn’t account for today’s prescription drug costs. Typically, part A and B only cover medications that a health professional might administer in an inpatient or outpatient facility. They usually won’t help pay for the sorts of drugs that you get filled at your local pharmacy.
Since plan F was designed to work with Original Medicare, it doesn’t usually help you pay the drugstore either. Some of you may be lucky enough to have a credible drug plan from a union or ex-employer. The rest of you will have to buy a part D plan along with your Medigap plan F for the following reasons:
- You need a way to defray the costs of certain prescription medications.
- If you delay enrolling in part D, the government will penalize you with higher rates when you join later.
On a related note, your Medicare supplement plan F won’t help you pay most, hearing, or vision bills. Some providers include value-added benefits in the form of a membership that may help defray some of these costs.
Does Medicare Plan F Use Networks Like HMOs and PPOs?
Many of you will be happy to learn that plan F offers you complete freedom from the network restrictions that many MA plans have. These are some things to know about the benefits of choosing Medigap part F over a network plan:
- You can find providers all over the country who will welcome Medicare and Medigap plan F.
- Medigap part F will even pay 80 percent of the bill for urgent medical services you receive outside of the United States.
- Medicare plan F pays for those excess charges that occur when providers charge more than Medicare allows.
Which Beneficiaries Choose Medicare Supplement Plan F?
People who would just prefer to pay a premium and let the Medicare supplement plan F company worry about everything else are usually quite satisfied with their decision. In particular:
- Anybody who may need to manage a chronic medical condition should find that the most robust of the Medicare supplement plans will help them save money even if it costs the most.
- If you plan to travel around the United States, cross the border, or fly or cruise to other countries, you may enjoy knowing you have a policy that will help you access urgent healthcare in other countries.
- Do you want to plan for your future medical costs? If so, you can simply plan to budget for the cost of Medicare supplement plan F and not most medical expenses.
When Should You Buy Medicare Plan F?
The good thing about Medicare supplement plans is that they don’t limit enrollment to Open Enrollment. On the other hand, you have an Initial Election Period right when you qualify for part A and B that allows you to apply for your supplement without worrying about answering health questions. During this time, everybody is accepted who has part A and B. You may also get other Special Election Periods if you lose job-related medical benefits, lose your plan through no fault of your own, and so on.
If you need to manage any serious or chronic medical issues, those Guaranteed Enrollment Periods will be the best time to consider enrolling in Medicare supplement insurance. Otherwise, your Medicare supplement plan F rates could be higher. In some cases, private insurers might even decline you, so you may want to consider Medicare Advantage plans instead.
Just because you don’t qualify for Guaranteed Enrollment, you shouldn’t assume you can’t buy the best Medicare supplement plan F. Even if you have to manage some typical medical conditions, you might still qualify for standard Medicare supplement plan F rates. If you have specific concerns, discuss them with a qualified Medicare agent. He or she will be happy to work with you to determine if plan F or another insurance option would work the best for you.
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Is Supplement Part F and Medicare Supplemental Plan F the Same?
Medicare has four basic parts:
- Part A and B are the hospital and medical parts of Original Medicare.
- Part C.
- Part D stands for the drug plans.
There actually isn’t a Medicare supplement part F. When people refer to Medicare supplement part F, they are actually referring to Medicare Supplemental plan F. Plans refer to the various types of Medicare supplement insurance. For example, Medicare has standardized plans that are named plan A, plan B, and so on. However, if you call it Medicare part F, you should know that it’s a common slip of the tongue, and we’ll understand what you mean.
Examples of Medicare Supplement Plan F Rates
Note that these are simply example rates that we pulled from major metro areas in selected states. They probably won’t represent the exact quotes that you will get when you compare Medicare supplement plan F rates for yourself. At the same time, we believe these samples can give you a rough guide to plan costs. Your own Medigap plan F rates could vary by your home address, your age, tobacco use, gender, and sometimes, your health.
These Medicare supplement plan F rates are for a women who is 65 and doesn’t smoke:
- Texas: $161.00
- Florida: $277.97
- Pennsylvania: $158.10
Would You Prefer Cheaper Rates with High-Deductible Plan F?
You can see that the policy premium might vary quite a bit by location. By now, you may have decided that Medigap plan F can offer you the security you need to budget for retirement. However, you might have concerns over budgeting for Medicare supplement plan F rates. The best Medicare plan F solution might be the high-deductible version.
The high-deductible supplemental plan F offers you exactly the same coverage as the traditional version. However, it won’t pay for anything until have satisfied the $2,200 annual deductible for 2017. This deductible could change in the future.
Still, if you consider the Medicare supplement plan F rates for our Florida sample above, you see that regular plan F could cost about $278 a month. That same woman could buy the high-deductible version of Medicare part F for about $114 a month. It’s impossible to predict medical needs for decades in the future.
However, many of our clients have found that they can deposit some or all of their savings into an emergency fund to protect themselves for times when they do have to use lots of medical services. Also, that emergency fund can earn interest or gains. If you’re relatively healthy and would rather control your medical costs, you might find that buying the high-deductible version of Medigap plan F helps your finances.
Is the Best Medicare Supplement Plan F or G?
This year, the part B deductible is just about $180, but that could change in the future. In any case, some very simple math will help you decide between plan F and G. The only thing that plan G doesn’t cover is the part B deductible. In some cases, the difference between premiums may more than make up for this expense.
We’d never advise anybody to pay more for their insurance policy than what it actually helps them pay for, so many clients can save money if they opt for plan G. However, this won’t be true for everybody.
How to Find the Best Medicare Supplement plan F
If you plan to apply for Medigap plan F or any of the Medicare supplement plans, we suggest using us to help you compare competitive rates in your local area. As you can see, your quotes can vary by your ZIP code. They also vary by insurance company. Since all plans can only offer the standard benefits that have been laid out by Medicare, you won’t get any more of these by paying more for the same supplement level.
Some insurers may offer family discounts, membership discounts, and other valuable perks. Others might have better reviews for customer service, claims handling, or billing alternatives. We’re familiar with the ins and outs of many top Medicare supplement insurance companies, have kept up with company reviews, and can help you select the best Medicare supplement plan F company for your unique needs and location.
Top Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies
If you obtain quotes directly from one insurance company or another, it won’t save you money. It also won’t give you the competitive information you need to make a good choice. Several insurers may compete for business in your area, but these are Medicare supplement insurance companies that we commonly suggest:
These are all considered nationwide Medicare supplement insurance companies. However, they don’t all market their Medigap plans in every state or city. In addition, rates and discounts may vary by location. That’s why we can’t say that one of these is the best choice for Medicare supplement plans for you without knowing a few more specifics. We compare quotes, check local reviews, and look for membership perks that offer you the best value to make our suggestions.
You Can Compare Quotes for Medicare Supplement Plan F Online
You can use our online quote form to get started comparing premiums and benefits from top providers at any time. In some cases, you may need more help than online reviews and details can provide, and we also offer a toll-free phone number that will directly connect you to an agent.
We’re not here to tell you that there is one right solution for every individual. We offer online tools and experienced agents to help you make the best choice for yourself.