Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F Benefits
Because Original Medicare comes with gaps in coverage, many Medicare beneficiaries look to Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F as a way to get help filling in those gaps.
Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F is one of 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap plans) that help seniors pay medical expenses such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance that Original Medicare does not cover. Original Medicare consists of two parts:
- Medicare Part A: hospital costs such as semi-private room, meals, supplies, and medications (You do not pay a Part A premium.)
- Medicare Part B: medical costs such as doctor’s office visits, clinical laboratory services, durable medical equipment, and emergency room care (You do pay a monthly Medicare Part B premium.)
Medicare Parts A and B, along with Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D, are part of the Federal Medicare Program.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. Part D plans are separate policies. Medicare Supplement plans do not include benefits for prescriptions.
The best time to sign up for benefits from Medicare is during your Medicare enrollment period. This is a seven-month time frame stretching from three months before your birthday month to three months after.
Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F Costs, Coverage and Benefits
Some of the out-of-pocket expenses you are responsible for can be quite steep, such as your Medicare Part A deductible. The 20% Part B coinsurance from multiple doctor’s office visits can add up pretty quickly, too. Those sizable cost-share amounts are why many many seniors seek additional benefits through Medicare Supplement insurance.
Just like Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medigap High Deductible Plan F is considered “first-dollar coverage” because it offers sweeping benefits. Unlike Medicare Plan F, High Deductible Plan F requires a significant cost-share before covering your Medicare Part A and Part B medical expenses.
What is covered by Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F?
Medigap High Deductible Plan F covers all medical services approved by Original Medicare. Those medical services include:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance
- Part A hospital costs up to 365 days after you use up your Medicare benefits
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Part A hospice care
- Medicare Part B coinsurance
- Medicare Part B copayments
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- First 3 pints of blood for transfusion
- Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care
- Foreign travel emergencies (up to plan limits)
What is not covered by Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F?
Medicare Part A and Part B offer healthcare benefits to millions of seniors, but there are some benefits Original Medicare does not cover. Since Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F works alongside Original Medicare, high-deductible Plan F does not cover the following services:
- Cosmetic procedures
- Experimental procedures or drugs
- Hearing aids or exams
- Vision, including routine eye exams and eyeglasses
Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F Rates
Three primary factors determine the price you pay for Medicare Supplement insurance:
- The Medigap policy you choose
- Your demographics
- Pricing method used
The 10 Medicare Supplement plans feature different benefit packages. The more benefits a plan offers, the higher the premium. In comparison to other Medigap plans, Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F, along with regular Plan F, offers the broadest benefits. However, because of its significant cost-share, high-deductible F premiums are in the mid to low range compared to other plans.
The basic benefits covered by Medigap High Deductible Plan F are the same regardless of which insurance company markets the Medigap policy. High Deductible Plan F rates, however, will vary between insurance carriers. The difference in Medigap High Deductible Plan F rates hinges on several demographic factors:
- Zip code
- Health status
- Household discounts
Medigap Plan F High Deductible Pricing Method
To identify the best Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F, you must do more than merely compare the monthly premiums the different carriers quote you. To find the best Plan F, you must also understand and compare the way each insurance company calculates its Medigap Supplement Plan F rates.
This calculation is often called the pricing method, and it involves how an insurance company treats the age of beneficiaries buying Medigap High Deductible Plan F. Insurance companies use one of three ways to set Medigap Supplement Plan F rates:
- Community-rated method: All beneficiaries pay the same premium regardless of age. A 75-year-old buying Medigap High Deductible Plan F pays the same price as a 65-year-old.
- Issue-age method: Your premium depends on your age when you buy the Medicare Supplement insurance plan. The 75-year-old beneficiary will pay a higher premium for the Medigap plan compared to a 65-year-old.
- Attained-age method: Your current (attained) age determines your monthly premium.
It is critical that you compare the pricing method because it affects the cost of your future monthly premiums. If a company sets Medigap plans using the attained-age pricing method, your monthly premiums will rise each year. The initial lower premium under the attained-age calculation might not be the best premium several years down the road. Likewise, a higher initial premium under the issue-age method might result in a lower premium long-term.
Some states require insurance carriers to use a specific pricing method. If you would like to learn more about your state’s requirements, feel free to give us a call. All of the agents at our insurance agency are available to help you compare Medicare Supplement plan quotes and find the best Medicare High Deductible Plan F rates available in your area.
Best Rated Companies Offering Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F
At My Medigap Plans, we have connections to an extensive network of insurance companies offering Medicare Supplement insurance High Deductible Plan F. Over time, our insurance agents have identified the following carriers as the best Medicare Supplement insurance companies to work with:
We feel that these three companies are the best ones for a variety of reasons:
- Financially stable
- Longevity in the health insurance field
- Excellent ratings
- Fast turnaround time
- Excellent customer service
Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F vs Medicare Plan F
Like regular Plan F, Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F provides the most extensive Medicare Supplement insurance benefits available. Here’s a closer look at how the plans compare:
- Benefits: The benefits under Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F and Plan F are identical.
- Rates: Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F rates are lower in comparison to Medicare Plan F. Medigap High Deductible Plan F rates range from $24 to $110 a month. Regular Plan F rates range from $170 to $217. The trade-off for a lower premium is the $2,300 deductible you must pay before the Medigap High Deductible F policy benefits kick in.
- Access to doctor or hospital networks: There is no difference between the two plans as far as access to health care. You have the freedom to get care from any health care provider, even if they do not participate in Medicare.
Does Medigap High Deductible Plan F cover Prescription Drugs?
Like all Medicare Supplement plans, Medicare Plan High Deductible Plan F fills in the coverage gaps left by Original Medicare. Because your Medicare benefits do not cover prescription drugs, Medicare Supplement Plan High Deductible Plan F will not cover them, either.
To get prescription drug benefits, Medicare beneficiaries must buy a stand-alone Medicare Part D drug plan from an independent insurance company. Be aware that if you choose to go without Part D benefits while being Medicare eligible, you can be penalized in the future when you decide to enroll in a prescription drug plan.
When can you enroll in Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F?
You can join a Medicare Supplement insurance plan any time after you turn 65 and are eligible for Medicare. However, the best time to join is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. Your open enrollment period starts in the month that you’re both age 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
If you sign up during your open enrollment period, insurance companies cannot ask you health questions or require medical underwriting. If you join Medicare Supplement Plan High Deductible F outside of your open enrollment period, health insurance carriers can require medical underwriting for approval.
There are a few special enrollment periods where you can join Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F without submitting a health history or answering health questions. Some states have a birthday rule that allows you to change Medigap carriers without underwriting. Those states are:
Every insurance company handles underwriting differently for each particular medical condition. If you have health conditions, it will benefit you to speak with one of our Medicare supplement specialists. We can assist you in finding the best company, the best Medicare Supplement plan, and the best rate that meets your specific situation.
To keep your Medigap High Deductible Plan F in force, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F Review
More than 13 million Medicare beneficiaries have supplemented their Medicare benefits by enrolling in Medicare Supplement plans. High Deductible Plan F is a good value for some Medicare beneficiaries as added protection against the high cost of health care. Let’s review the highlights of who might be a good fit for Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F:
- Someone who has few health expenses during the year.
- Someone with regular Plan F who reaches the break-even point, the point where Plan F premiums are the same or higher than the deductible for high-deductible Plan F.
- Under some circumstances, someone who wants to switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to a Medigap Plan.
Will Medicare Supplement Plan High Deductible Plan F become Guaranteed Issued in 2020?
If you are considering Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F as a way to get relief from health care expenses, be aware that High Deductible Plan F will not be available to seniors who turn 65 after Jan. 1, 2020.
High Deductible Plan F, along with regular Medicare Plan F and Medicare Plan C, is considered a “first-dollar coverage” plan. First-dollar coverage means the plans pay for all covered services, including the Part B deductible. As of Jan. 1, 2020, federal law requires all beneficiaries to pay the Part B deductible. That means that Plan F, high-deductible Plan F, and Plan C will no longer be sold to NEW Medicare-eligible members since they pay the Part B deductible.
Seniors who qualify for Medicare benefits before Jan. 1, 2020, will still be eligible to buy high-deductible F. Seniors enrolled in those plans before 2020 will be able to keep their plans.
One thing to consider with the disappearance of high-deductible F is that future premiums might increase due to a smaller pool of enrollees. Plans H, I, and J, which were discontinued in 2010, have some of the higher premiums in comparison to other Medicare Supplement plans.
Not all health insurance carriers carry High Deductible Plan F. If you are at a loss as to what type of plan might be right for you, feel free to give us a call. Our licensed agents are here to help guide you through the process of choosing a Medicare Supplement plan.
Our insurance agents will help you compare plans, assist you with plan options and limitations, and help you decide whether Medicare Supplement insurance High Deductible Plan F matches your health and financial needs. We’ll also help you compare rates, walk you through potential healthcare scenarios, evaluate each company’s history of premium increases, and help you find the best Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F in your area.
Our Medicare Supplement Plans comparison chart will help you get started on the road to finding the best supplement plan that offers you the best additional benefits.