Medicare Plan F
There have been 10 Medicare Supple plans designed. Medicare may create these plans, but they are sold by private insurance companies. These plans all cooperate with Original Medicare to offer additional coverage for medical expenses. Of the plans that offer this additional coverage, Medicare Plan F offers the most.
Plan F is a medical insurance policy that offers a lot of coverage for seniors looking to improve their basic Medicare plan. However, Plan F is known for having a high price attached to it. You may find it more economical to sign up for a different plan. In this article, we are going to be talking about what Plan F covers, how it compares to other popular plans, and how you can sign up for it. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what plan would be best for you.
Plan F: What is it?
Supplement plans are often referred to as Medigap plans. That is because they fill in gaps that are left behind by the basic Medicare coverage. Original Medicare covers a lot of medical expenses that are common, and oftentimes, major. However, you are still left with a lot of out-of-pocket costs. These costs are known as gaps, and Plan F is the only plan out of the 10 to fill in all of these gaps. Other Supplement plans will fill in a few gaps here and there, but you get full coverage from only Plan F. So those gaps, you are either going to pay them out-of-pocket, or you can get a Medigap plan to help offset those costs.
That being said, Plan F is only available if you already have Original Medicare. If you happen to sign up for Medicare Plan F prior to applying for Original Medicare, then the Plan F coverage will not take effect till you have basic Medicare coverage. These two plans work in conjunction with each other. So Original Medicare is needed for Plan F to function properly.
It should be noted that there are some plans that you will not be able to have while signed up for Plan F. For example, no Supplement plan is compatible with another. You can’t Have any two at once. Medicare Advantage (Part C) is another plan that you can’t sign up for a while you have Plan F or any Supplement plan. Lastly, Union/Employer medical insurance will most likely have overlapping coverage with Plan F. So, you will have to drop it in order to keep this coverage.
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What Is The Coverage of Plan F?
As we stated before, while Original Medicare covers a lot of expenses, it leaves behind some major ones too. There are a lot of medical expenses that are covered by Plan F, giving you a blanket of coverage that leaves you with little to no out-of-pocket costs. The exact items that are covered will be discussed here, and you can decide whether or not you need to have any of them covered by Plan F. Just keep in mind, while Plan F ranks the highest in coverage, there are 9 other plans that may be a better fit for your particular medical needs.
Medicare Parts A & B leave deductibles behind, Plan F covers them. These deductibles are yearly expenses that you would normally be responsible for.
Plan F will also handle the co-payments of Medicare Part A and B. These co-payments are expenses that you would have to settle with each visit to the hospital or doctor. What is covered by which Part of Medicare is classified under the two Parts themselves? Part A will handle general long term care. Part B is focused on short term care. Further details of these different parts of Medicare can be found on the Medicare website.
Often times, when a medical facility doesn’t completely honor the Part B coverage of Medicare, there are excess charges left behind. These charges can be costly or minor. However, they can also be covered by Medicare Plan F.
The hospice care coinsurance from Part A is also covered under Plan F. This is a greater amount of coverage than you would have with the Basic Medicare plan. In Fact, you get 365 more days of coverage. It doesn’t replace the basic Medicare coverage for these particular expenses. Instead, it adds on to the coverage that you have.
The coinsurance for skilled nursing care is also covered. This is only applied to approved nursing care facilities.
Basic Medicare coverage does offer some help with blood use each year. However, you get an additional 3 pints of blood are covered a year with Plan F.
Lastly, Foreign travel exchange. This is when you are given emergency medical transportation services outside of the U.S. Up to 80% of those costs are covered, with a lifetime cap of $50,000. It is worth noting that other Supplements that cover this item cover it to the same maximum.
Comparing Plan F Coverage
Like we stated before, you are required to have a basic Medicare plan in order to receive Plan F’s coverage. Many people get signed up automatically for Medicare once they have their 65th birthday. However, with Supplement plans, you have to choose to sign up for these. Not only do you have to find the right plan for your needs, but you have to find the right provider for the plan. Meaning, Medicare Supplement plans are not available through Medicare. They are only found from Medicare-approved private insurance providers. You have to go to the website or call the number of the chosen company to apply for a Supplement plan. Once you have approval, you can receive the coverage. It will last for one entire term, which is normally a year.
Before you decide to apply for any Supplement plan, you should know about the qualifications. For starters, you have to be a citizen of the U.S. Also, you need to be at least 65. After those requirements are met, then being approved for the plan you want shouldn’t be too difficult. Your chances of being approved are greatly increased if you sign up within 6 months of your 65th birthday.
While your next question is probably “Is Plan F the best plan for me?”, we can’t answer that. That is something you, and only you can answer. Do you have a lot of out-of-pocket costs that are covered by Plan F? Are there other plans that better suit your coverage needs? Is Plan F within your Budget? These are questions you need to answer in order to find out if it is the best plan for you.
An alternative to Plan F is Medicare Plan G. It covers almost everything that Plan F covers, with the exception of the deductible for Part B. Every other supplemental expense is covered by Plan G. But what makes this a great alternative are the rates that are normally set for this plan. The price comparison between Plan F and Plan G is obviously favoring G. Since you are covered for less under Plan G, the price will be less. What you are required to pay out-of-pocket with Plan G is only a $183 deductible. Compare that deductible to the cost of covering it with Plan F, and you may be surprised at how much cheaper it is to pay it out-of-pocket.
Plan N is another high coverage option with a more economical price. It covers a bit less than G, but it still costs significantly less as well. Most of the time.
It may take a while to decide whether or not Medicare Plan F is the right choice for you; you need to consider other plans just in case. Not just comparing the plans, but the prices and providers too. You need to know that you are comparing the prices of the plans with each other, as well as the provider prices you will be paying for the plan you choose.