Will Medicare Supplement Plan Options Change in 2019?

Medicare Supplement Plan F 2020

Medicare Supplement Changes in 2019

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare (which is another name for Medicare Part A and Part B), then it is possible that you may also own a Medicare Supplement insurance policy. Medicare Supplement – also known simply as Medigap insurance because this coverage helps to fill in many of the gaps in Medicare’s coverage – currently has ten different plans that you can choose from, depending on the benefits you want and need.

But, this program has a few major changes in store for the future. BIG changes.

Medicare Supplement Plans C and F Will No Longer Be Offered

First, while things will remain relatively stable – at least for the upcoming year – 2020 actually has a few key changes in store when it comes to Medicare Supplement insurance plan offerings.

That’s because in 2020, there will no longer be a way to purchase a new Medigap Plan C or Plan F. What this means is that you will not be able to buy either of these plans as someone who is new to Medicare or turning 65. However, if you are already enrolled in either a Medicare Supplement Plan C or Plan F as of December 31, 2019, you will essentially be “grandfathered”, and you may continue getting coverage under your current plan.

At this time, Medicare Supplement Plan F is considered to be the most comprehensive of all the Medigap insurance offerings, and its benefits include the following:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs – up to an additional 365 days after your Medicare benefits have been used up
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment amount
  • The first three pints of blood that may be needed per year
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment amount
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance cost
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible
  • Foreign travel exchange – up to the plan’s limits

There is also a high deductible Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F that is offered (at least as of now) – which can be desirable to those who want comprehensive Medicare Supplement coverage, yet without having to endure the higher premium cost.  Check out the differences by reading an article we wrote about this by clicking here.

This high deductible Plan F requires that you pay for your Medicare-covered expenses up to the annual deductible amount before the plan’s benefits will begin to pay out. For 2018, this annual deductible amount is $2,240.  It increases slightly every year.

What to Do If You Want Medicare Supplement Plan C or Plan F Coverage in the Future

If you want to keep or get a Medicare Supplement Plan C or F coverage going forward, you can still purchase these plans as a new enrollee through the end of 2019. However, it could make sense to change to an alternate Medigap plan.

For instance, as a Plan F alternative, you could consider the purchase of a Medicare Supplement Plan G option. With Medigap Plan G, all of the same benefits are offered as in Plan F, other than the payment of the Medicare Part B annual deductible. (There is also no Medicare Supplement Plan G high deductible option like there is with Plan F).
Similarly, Medicare Supplement Plan D provides many of the same benefits that Plan C currently offers. In this case, the coverage that is provided by Medigap Plan C include:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs – up to an additional 365 days after your Medicare benefits have been used up
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment amount
    The first three pints of blood per year
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance amount
  • Medicare Part A deductible
    Medicare Part B deductible, and
  • Foreign travel exchange – up to the plan limits

This is compared to Medicare Supplement Plan D, which offers all of the same options as Plan C, other than with the exception of the Medicare Part B deductible amount.4

Where to Find More Information Regarding Medicare Supplement Insurance Coverage

While there are many available options in terms of your Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance coverage, it can also be somewhat overwhelming when you are trying to determine which of these options will be the best for you and your specific health care needs. With that in mind, it can be beneficial for you to gather as much information as possible before you commit to any Medicare plan.

If you would like to have more information regarding the upcoming changes to Medicare Supplement insurance – or even if you just simply want to know more about how a Medigap plan could save you in out-of-pocket expenses each year – you can visit Medicare’s website at www.Medicare.gov. Or, you can discuss your Medigap plan options with an insurance professional who specializes in Medicare coverage plans.

Sources

2020 Medigap Changes: No New Plans C and F. By Ray Wilson. Senior 65+. (https://www.senior65.com/medicare/article/medigap-changes-for-2020-no-new-plans-c-and-f)
How to compare Medigap policies. Medigap Plans. Medicare.gov (https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/compare-medigap/compare-medigap.html)