Insurers will no longer be able to sell Plan F and Plan C Medigap policies to people who sign up for coverage in 2020 and later, but current enrollees won’t have to switch.
Medicare supplement (Medigap) policies, which help cover Medicare’s co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs, currently come in 10 standardized plans: A through D, F, G, and K through N. Every plan with the same letter designation provides the same coverage, even though premiums can vary by company. Starting on January 1, 2020, Medigap Plan F and Plan C can’t be sold to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries, but current beneficiaries can keep their plans.
What does this mean for you? If you currently have a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) Plan F or Plan C you DO NOT need to switch plans. But should you?
People who are currently in Plan F can remain in the plan, but they should keep an eye out for changes to premiums in the future as new enrollees will no longer be in the risk pool. It is anticipated that the premiums will increase as the risk pool become older and less healthy. If you are currently healthy, you may want to consider a switch to a different plan (see below for more information) while you can. Remember, it can be difficult to switch plans after you first enroll. Medigap insurers in most states can reject you for coverage or charge more because of preexisting conditions if more than six months have passed after you signed up for Part B (although some states may pass special consumer protections for people who currently have Plan F).
Medicare enrollees who like the coverage of Plan F (which is currently the most popular plan) should consider Plan G, which provides most of the same coverage but doesn’t include the Part B deductible. In 2018, the average premium for Plan F nationally is $2,204 per year, while the average Plan G costs $1,786, according to Weiss Ratings Medigap, which provides personalized reports to help people shop for Medigap policies. Premiums can be higher or lower depending on your state, and they can also vary from company to company. To get an up to date quote, and Medicare Roadmap for free, which includes the comparison of the different available plans, click on the Free Quote icon above.
This change is part of a 2015 law that prohibits Medigap plans that cover the deductible for Part B (medical insurance) from being sold to new Medicare enrollees starting in 2020. The hope is that people will be more careful about using medical care if they have to pay a deductible, even if it’s small (the Part B deductible is $183 in 2018). Plan F and Plan C cover the Part B deductible.