There are currently 44 million Americans enrolled in Medicare. However, the individual Medicare plans that target the disabled and elderly populations can be complicated. Each plan, associated with a letter, will cover different services for each beneficiary.
This guide will focus on Medicare plan F, otherwise known as a Medigap policy. Keep reading to learn what distinguishes this plan from other Medicare plans, and why it might be more comprehensive than your employer's insurance coverage.
What is Medicare Plan F?
The US Healthcare system is changing rapidly, and staying informed of all the changes can be a challenge. So, understanding Medicare plans can be tricky. First, you should know about Medicare plans, A, B and D. These are the basic parts of Medicare that cover hospitals (Part A) and doctor's care (Part B.)
Many patients will have Part D, which covers prescription drug costs. Parts A and B will have various deductibles, coinsurances and copays. Each beneficiary is responsible for these fees.
Some people are fine with covering extra costs that aren't covered by their basic parts, while others are willing to pay the monthly premium to have those costs covered. For example, some beneficiaries might know they have an expensive and ongoing health issue, and having that coverage will be worth the extra premium rather than constantly paying out-of-pocket.
This is where Medicare Plan F can help.
This is known as a Medigap policy. It will cover services not already covered under parts A and B. It will leave members with very little costs to cover, outside of their monthly premiums. However, the premiums can be costly, so a high deductible is an option.
This high deductible will cover everything the Plan F will, but the Medicare member will have to pay a certain out-of-pocket fee before the plan will pay for anything. But once that cost has been paid, the coverage is the same as Plan F.
What Does Plan F Cover?
If your employer offers a health insurance coverage package, it might benefit you to look at how Medicare Plan F could compete, or even be a better choice. Many different insurance companies can offer Medicare Medigap and supplemental plans. And because of federal law, all plans must offer the same coverage within their Plan F.
For example, that means that three different insurance companies can offer Plan F, and each Plan F will offer the same benefits to the member. So, what does Medicare Plan F actually cover?
Plan F covers the Medicare Part A coinsurance for hospitalization fees and also pays for a full year of hospitalization after Part A coverage stops. Medical expenses are covered by Plan F under Medicare Part B coinsurances.
Plan F also covers deductibles for Parts A and B. Excess charges on Part B, for when your doctor bills you for the difference between their charges and what Medicare actually covers, are also covered. This means that Plan F will pay the 20% that Medicare Part B requires a member to pay.
Also, doctor's office copays are covered by Medicare Plan F. This is what helps make this plan so popular. It covers all those gaps in parts A and B. And if you have many doctor's office visits, this takes care of your extra expenses.
Your employer's health insurance package likely has a similar level of coverage to Medicare Plan F. But if you have found that it's lacking some perks, you might be surprised to discover that Plan F could cover you.
What Other Benefits?
By now, you might be pretty interested in learning more about Medicare Supplement Plan F. But there are even more benefits. You can choose your own doctor from over 880,000 physicians nationwide.
Referrals are not required. Plan F allows you to see any specialist within the Medicare system, whenever you choose to. Your primary care physician does not need to refer you! And your renewal is guaranteed. Your coverage will not be cancelled due to any changes in your health status or with how many claims you have filed.
It also offers skilled nursing facility coinsurance, chiropractic adjustments, and travel insurance coverage up to 80%.
What Does Plan F Cost?
Medicare Plan F costs will vary based on what county you reside in and the insurance companies that sell Medigap coverage there.
The High Deductible plan (mentioned at the beginning of this guide) is for members who are okay with paying out-of-pocket costs up front. This cost is $2,240 for the year 2018. After that's paid, the plan begins to pay for all your Medicare-covered fees. Your benefits with the high deductible plan won't vary from the regular Plan F.
The high deductible plan might have lower premium costs than the standard plan F. This is because your out-of-pocket costs may be higher until you've reached the deductible.
You could find other Medigap plans with lower premiums, but if you deal with chronic health issues that require many doctor's visits or treatments, Plan F will be the most comprehensive with the least financial burden.
It does not cover dental, vision, or hearing services.
Medicare Plan F: Not So Complicated
This guide has given you an overview of what the Medicare Plan F can cover for you if you're a Medicare beneficiary. It's the most comprehensive Medigap plan. It's a good idea to check with your state and county to see what other Medigap services are offered.
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