What Should Former Medicare "Plan F" Beneficiaries Know In 2020?

Posted on: 28 January 2020

Medicare Plan F, often termed the "Cadillac supplement," was eliminated effective January 1, 2020. For those who entered the new year with a valid Plan F, it may be possible to remain "grandfathered in" to this plan; but once the beneficiary selects a different Medigap policy, Plan F is lost forever. Learn more about what Plan F beneficiaries should know in 2020 and beyond.

Can Plan F beneficiaries keep this plan? 

Plan F is a "first dollar" plan, which means that it covers the first dollar of any medical expenses. As a practical matter, this can go a long way toward eliminating copays and medical bills entirely, a major selling point for Medicare recipients who have reoccurring medical expenses or hefty prescription costs. 

The amendment to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 only restricted insurers' ability to market and sell Plan F policies to newly eligible Medicare recipients. This means that anyone who is grandfathered in can continue to renew and re-purchase their Plan F going forward, even decades after it was phased out for new users.  

But canceling a Plan F policy or switching to another Medigap plan, even for a short time, can eliminate the beneficiary's ability to select Plan F in the future. Those who do opt to jettison their Plan F should take this step only after careful consideration of the benefits they could be giving up.

What if You'd Like to Change to Another Plan?

If you've made the decision to give up your Plan F for good, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind.

First, there's no need to wait until open enrollment. None of the available Medigap policies have a traditional open enrollment, which means that you can add or drop such a policy at any time. This flexibility allows you to take as much time as you need to evaluate whether you'd like to drop your Plan F coverage.

Next, you'll want to review your Medicare and Medigap statements for the last few years to get a better idea of your expected medical expenses. You may discover that your expenses are next to nothing, making a cheaper plan a better idea. In other cases, you could learn that any other Medigap supplement besides Plan F will cost you more money (through premiums, higher out of pocket costs, or both). There's no one-size-fits-all solution, so it's important to factor your needs, habits, and retirement assets into your decision.

Learn more about Medigap plans today.


Always Prepare for Medical Emergencies

Everyone needs medical insurance, but choosing the right health insurance policy can be a tough task. Every medical insurance policy has its unique advantages and disadvantages. Some have higher premiums and lower deductibles, while others offer lower monthly premiums, but have higher coinsurance payments. In addition, many medical insurance policy marketing materials include complicated financial and medical jargon that the everyday person may not understand. We created this blog to help everyone choose the right medical insurance policy for them, whether they are choosing their very first policy or just trying to find a new one. We also plan to post tips on how to update insurance policies to add new dependents and other tips on preparing for medical emergencies. Come back often for new posts that we hope can help you.


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