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Understanding the Medigap Plan F High Deductible Plan

Written by David Maxwell

If you have reached eligibility for Medicare either by turning 65 or because of disability issues, then you are able to take advantage of the affordable and great protection that Medicare Part A and B provides.

Part A includes a long list of coverage for hospitalization, while Part B of Medicare offers coverage for medical and doctors’ services. Because Medicare Part A and Part B were the two original parts of the Medicare program, they are often referred to as Original Medicare.

But, even though you may have Medicare health care coverage, there are many out-of-pocket requirements when using this program. These can come in the form of copayments, coinsurance, and/or deductibles – and, depending on just how much healthcare service you need, they can equate to thousands of dollars per year or more.

If you have Medicare Part A and Part B – or, if you will soon be covered by this program – it is important to understand that there is a way to help yourself from having to pay all of these additional charges. That is through a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.

What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

medigap plan FMedicare Supplement insurance can provide Medicare enrollees with a way to protect themselves from the high cost of Original Medicare’s copayments, coinsurance, and deductible charges.

This type of insurance is specifically designed to work in conjunction with Original Medicare and to fill in Medicare’s coverage “gaps.” Which is where the term, Medigap, comes from.

In some cases, a Medicare Supplement insurance plan may also provide protection from services not covered by Original Medicare, such as medical care when you are traveling outside of the United States.

If you are covered under Original Medicare, and you also have a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for your covered health care costs, and then the Medicare Supplement plan will pay its share of the expenses.

It is important to understand that Medicare Supplement insurance is not the same thing as a Medicare Advantage plan – even though their names are very similar. A Medicare Advantage plan offers an alternate way of receiving your Original Medicare coverage, while Medicare Supplement fills in Medicare’s coverage gaps.

What Plans Are Offered For Medicare Supplement Insurance Coverage?

There are currently ten different Medicare Supplement insurance plans that are offered. Unlike Medicare Part A and Part B, Medicare Supplement coverage is not provided directly by Medicare, but rather by private insurance carriers that have been approved by Medicare for doing so.

All of the Medicare Supplement plans that are offered are named after a letter of the alphabet, with Plan A being the most basic, and the other plans offering these same core benefits, along with additional coverage options.

With Medicare Supplement Plan A, the following core coverage is offered*:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital expenses – up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits have been used up
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • The first 3 pints of blood per year
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

Medicare Supplement Plan B offers these same core benefit offerings that are provided in Medigap Plan A, along with added coverage, such as:

  • Medicare Part A deductible

With Medicare Supplement Plan F, however, there is a much wider array of benefits that are offered. This plan provides the following*:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital expenses – up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits have been used up
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • The first 3 pints of blood per year
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Skilled nursing home facility care coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charge
  • Foreign travel exchange – up to the plan’s limits (80 percent)

While there is a higher premium Plan F, there is also a high deductible Plan F, as well. Each of these plans provides the very same benefits – however, with the high deductible Plan F option, you will have to pay for your Medicare-covered costs, up to the deductible amount, which in 2017, is $2,200. Once you have done so, the Medicare Supplement plan will begin to pay out its benefits.

It is important to note that, if you reside in the states of Massachusetts, Wisconsin, or Minnesota, Medicare Supplement insurance plans are structured somewhat differently. It is also important to state that, while Medicare Supplement insurance can provide you with a long list of coverages, none of these plans offer prescription drug coverage. Therefore, if you need or want this type of coverage, you will need to apply for Medicare Part D – prescription drug coverage.

Like Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D is not offered directly through Medicare itself, but rather through private insurance companies that Medicare has approved to provide these benefits.

Also, because Medicare Part D is provided by private insurance carriers, both the benefits that are offered, as well as the premium that is charged, can differ from one plan to another and one insurance company to another.

Why Consider The Medigap Plan F High Deductible Option?

While there are many different Medicare Supplement insurance options to choose from, there are several reasons why going with the high deductible Medicare Supplement Plan F may be right for you.

For example, because Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the more comprehensive set of benefits, this could be a viable option for someone who uses health care services fairly often (or someone who anticipates doing so in the future).

How Much Does Medicare Supplement Coverage Cost?

There are a variety of factors that can go into how much your Medicare Supplement insurance coverage will cost. These include your age and gender, as well as the Medigap plan that you have chosen. In addition, depending on when you initially apply for Medicare Supplement coverage, your health could also be considered.

For example, if you apply during your initial open enrollment period, the Medicare Supplement insurance company cannot deny you the coverage – or even charge you a higher amount of premium – if you have an adverse health issue. Your initial Medicare Supplement open enrollment period will begin when you are both age 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B coverage. This open enrollment period will last for six months.

If, however, you apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance policy after your open enrollment period has expired – and you have certain health issues – then it is possible that the insurance company may charge you a higher premium rate, or even decline you for the coverage altogether.

The insurance company through which you purchase your Medigap coverage can also make a difference in the amount of the premium that you pay. This is because, even though all of the Medigap plans of the same corresponding letter are required to provide the same benefit mix, the prices that are charged for this coverage can vary – sometimes quite significantly – from one insurance carrier to another.

With that in mind, it is important to ensure that you have a good understanding of the plan that you may need and that you shop and compare premium prices from several different insurers before moving forward. It can also be important that you apply for this coverage during your initial open enrollment period – particularly if you have a health condition.

Doing your Medicare Supplement insurance comparison shopping can be somewhat time-consuming if you take on this task yourself and you go from one single insurer to another. With that in mind, the process can be made much easier, and more convenient, if you work instead with an independent insurance brokerage or agency that specializes in Medicare Supplement insurance.

Doing so will allow you to more directly compare the insurance companies, as well as the premiums that they are charging for high deductible Medicare Supplement Plan F, or any of the other Medigap plans that you may be considering.

If you opt to purchase Medicare Plan F’s high deductible option, you will have the following costs to consider:

  • The monthly premium for the Plan F coverage (which will typically be lower than going with the regular Medigap Plan F)
  • The cost of the annual deductible before the Medigap benefits begin to pay (this deductible is $2,200 in 2017)

Where To Get The Best Premium Rates On The Medigap Plan F High Deductible Plan

If you are in the process of shopping for a Medicare Supplement Plan F – or for any of the ten Medigap insurance plans – we can help. Our agents have contracts with the finest carriers in the country and we will help you make a well-informed Medicare Supplement purchasing decision.

We can do this for you very easily and conveniently – directly from your computer – and without you having to go and meet in person with an insurance agent. If you are ready to look at the plans and premiums that are available to you, then just simply fill out the quote form on this page.

There is a long list of plans and benefits to choose from – and you need to know you are going with the plan that is best for you and for your specific needs – as well as one that will fit in with your budget. But, finding the right Medicare Supplement insurance plan for you can be much easier with an ally on your side.

Source: Medicare.Gov
About Growth 360, LLC
About Growth 360, LLC

We work with individuals across the nation to secure the best Medicare Supplement rates.

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