Changes to Medicare health insurance plans come as no surprise to long-time subscribers and this year is no different. There are some big changes occurring that Medicare users should be prepared for as open enrollment arrives. Supplemental Plan F will see the most change beginning in January 2020, so it is important that those currently on or signing up for Medicare are not blindsided by these changes. Check out Top Medicare Plans Here:
Open enrollment for 2020 Medicare plans runs between October and December 2019. The changes that go into effect for January 2020 affect supplemental plans, especially Supplemental Plan F, which is currently the most comprehensive and popular supplemental plan available for purchase. These changes could have a huge impact on millions of new Medicare subscribers. The biggest change to Plan F is that it could cease to exist altogether.
If this change goes into effect, many seniors would no longer have the option to use certain supplemental plans to fill in the “gaps” that may be present in their current Medicare coverage based on their personal health care needs. This could have detrimental effects on their health care and financial stability, not to mention increased stress related to potential medical expenses. Here is what you need to know about the changes coming to supplemental Medicare plans for 2020. Check out Top Medicare Plans Here:
Changes to Supplemental Plans
Supplemental Medicare plans are also called Medigap plans, as they fill in the “gaps” in Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medigap Plan F is one of the most comprehensive supplemental plans, however, it is also more expensive upfront for subscribers. This is because it covers a wide range of deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance that Original Medicare does not. While this plan is more expensive upfront than other supplemental plans, it can save seniors from paying astronomical out-of-pocket costs.
Unfortunately, Medigap Plan F will no longer be available to new Medicare subscribers. New Medicare subscribers will not be able to purchase supplemental plans that cover the Medicare Part B deductible. This means that another popular and less expensive supplemental plan, Medigap Plan C, will also be unavailable to new subscribers.
Why are Supplemental Plans Changing?
Medicare changes are nothing new and seniors have been dealing with the effects of these changes to their health insurance for decades. Congress made sweeping changes to the Medicare supplemental plans in 1990 and 2010, and now 10 years later they are making even more changes.
Lobbyists have been trying to get Congress to close Medicare gaps and loopholes for years. They are lobbying to make supplemental plans unnecessary, to make sure that doctors who accept Medicare patients are paid fairly and on time, and to ensure that seniors to have adequate and appropriate health care coverage.
MACRA or the Medicare Access and CHIP Reform Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2015 in an effort to increase payment to providers who accept Medicare, which could in turn, entice more doctors to accept Medicare insurance plans. The downside to this bill, in the short-term, is that in order to pay for those increases, Medigap Part F and Part C plans are being eliminated for new Medicare subscribers. Check out Top Medicare Plans Here:
Preparing for Changes to Medicare Supplemental Plans
If you are a current Medicare subscriber to Medigap Plans F or C, you shouldn’t be affected by the new changes to supplemental plans. However, you should always review all aspects of your health insurance policy and compare to your previous year’s plan to ensure that there are not any unexpected changes.
Subscribers eligible for Medicare prior to January 2020 may still be able to purchase the Plan F or Plan C when selecting your plan through Medicare. Although, knowing that Plan F and Plan C could be going away entirely at some point, it would behoove new subscribers to compare all supplemental plans and determine which will be best for you medical needs.
For those new to Medicare in 2020 will not be able to purchase a supplemental Medigap Plan F or Plan C through Medicare. However, Plan F supplemental insurance policies are available for purchase through many other insurance providers. If you know that you will need a supplemental insurance plan, you could explore purchasing one through a different insurance company.
As discussed above, changes to Medicare are not uncommon and have occurred at least once per decade in a way that affects future subscribers. Medicare subscribers should do their best to stay prepared and informed about any changes to their health insurance policies. Even if you are not currently a Medicare subscriber or enrolled for a supplemental plan, it is important to be aware of these changes as they could affect you one day. Check out Top Medicare Plans Here: