How New Legislation Affects Medicare Supplements
The reason the changes are occurring is because of some new legislation called MACRA. What this does is affect who can sign up for certain plans, and it introduces a new plan. Plans F and C from the Medicare supplemental insurance lineup are both going away, and Plan G is getting a new version.
Plan F is the one full coverage plan that Medicare Supplements can offer. It’s been consistently one of the most popular plans for long time now, but that is all going to change with this new legislation. Now, Plan F will still be available to those who have it right now. They can choose to renew their coverage, but they are the only ones who can access Plan F.
Everyone else will have to choose a different plan. You cannot sign up for Plan F as your new plan at this point. There are plenty of other ones to pick from, though. An important thing to note about Plan F is that it is going to see some serious price increases soon. The Supplement plans like Plan F are all individually priced by the insurance companies that sell them, but those companies will have no choice but to increase the prices, because they won’t have any new subscribers for their Plan F. Expect drastic price increases soon, and if you have Plan F right now, then you should consider changing plans.
The other change we mention from MACRA is the addition of a new Plan G. This is going to be called High Deductible Plan G, and it is a great alternative to Plan F. In fact, it was created as a substitute for that plan, since new subscribers can no longer choose Plan F.
The High Deductible Plan G will not offer any new coverage when compared to the regular Plan G. It is the same plan coverage-wise, but the pricing is very different. It will have a higher deductible, of course, but the monthly premium you pay with this plan should be much lower than the typical Plan G premium.
Medicare Supplement Plan G will provide cover for the Medicare Part A deductible, the Part B excess charges and the nursing care coinsurance costs. It also covers the cost of Medicare Part A’s copayment, Part B’s copayment as well, and the Part A coinsurance costs for hospice services. It also covers the cost of the first three pints of blood for the year (the rest of your blood is covered by Medicare) and the cost of foreign travel exchange (for up to 80%).
Plan F provides all that coverage, plus one more item- the Medicare Part B deductible. That deductible will run you $185 for the year, so it’s not a big difference in coverage between the two plans. That’s why most people choose Plan G over Plan F, since they understand Plan G will typically save them a lot more money.