How Are 2020 Medigap Plans Changing? Plan C, Plan F and More

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans in 2020 are changing in at least one notable way: Medigap Plan C and Plan F will no longer be available to Medicare beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020.

Learn more about how this big 2020 Medigap change will take place, and find out other things to look for when you consider Medigap plan options in 2020.

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Plan F and Plan C are not ending completely in 2020

Two Medigap plans — Plan C and the highly popular Plan F (along with the high-deductible Plan F option) — will no longer be available to new Medicare beneficiaries who become eligible after January 1, 2020.

Medigap Plan F was the most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in 2016, with 55 percent of all Medigap beneficiaries enrolled in the plan that year.1

7 percent of Medigap beneficiaries (close to 900,000 people) were enrolled in Plan C in 2016.1

Can I keep my Plan F after 2020?

If you enroll in Plan C or Plan F before 2020, you will be able to keep your plan.

If you become eligible for Medicare before 2020, you may still be able to buy either Plan C or Plan F after January 1, 2020, but only if either plan is available where you live.

Why are Plan C and Plan F changing?

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 prohibits Medigap plans from completely covering the Medicare Part B deductible. The 2019 Part B deductible is $185 per year.

Congress passed the legislation partly due to the belief that Medicare beneficiaries with no out-of-pocket requirements might be incentivized to overuse the health care system.

By requiring beneficiaries to satisfy a deductible before their Medicare coverage kicks in, they may reconsider visiting a doctor when it’s not absolutely necessary.

One counter view to this argument is that a mandatory deductible could discourage some people from receiving “early detection” care that could prevent more costly conditions later on.

In any case, the changes to Medigap Plans C and F go into effect in 2020.

Medigap Plan C should not be confused with Medicare Part C

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan C is very different from Medicare Part C.

  • Medicare Part C is another name for the Medicare Advantage program. Medicare Part C plans are not affected by the Medigap 2020 plan changes. Medicare Part C plans will still be available to new qualified Medicare beneficiaries in 2020.

    Medicare Advantage plans provide all the same benefits as Original Medicare. Many Medicare Advantage plans also offer benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as coverage for prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing and more.

  • Medigap Plan C helps cover certain out-of-pocket Medicare costs, such as Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles and coinsurance.

    Medicare Supplement Insurance does not offer any medical benefits or coverage for prescription drugs and other services. Medigap plans only cover certain Medicare Part A and Part B out-of-pocket costs.

Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans are very different things. You cannot have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.

2019 Medigap plans comparison chart

There are 10 types of standardized Medigap plans available in most states. Each type of Medigap plan offers a standardized set of benefits.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans 2019
Medicare Supplement Benefits A B C D F1 G K2 L3 M N4
Part A co-insurance and hospital costs
Part B co-insurance or co-payment 50% 75%
First 3 pints of blood 50% 75%
Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment 50% 75%
Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility     50% 75%
Medicare Part A deductible   50% 75% 50%
Medicare Part B deductible                
Medicare Part B excess charges                
Foreign travel emergency     80% 80% 80% 80%     80% 80%
1. Plan F offers a high-deductible plan. This plan requires you to pay a $2,300 deductible in 2019 before it covers anything.
2. Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $5,560 in 2019. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
3. Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $2,780 in 2019. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
4. Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
View an image version of this table.

Is Medigap Plan G better than Plan F?

Medigap Plan G is very similar to Plan F.

Plan G covers all of the same out-of-pocket Medicare costs than Plan F covers, except for the Medicare Part B deductible (which is $185 per year in 2019, or $15.42 per month).

This means that if you find a Medigap Plan G option that costs only $15 more per month (or less) than Plan F, it might be a better value over the course of the year than Plan F if you meet the Part B deductible.

Plan G was the fastest-growing Medigap plan in 2016, with a 41 percent increase in enrollment from 2015 to 2016.2

When can I sign up for Medicare Supplement Insurance?

A great time to enroll in Medigap is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP).

  • Your Medigap OEP lasts for six months. It starts as soon as you are at least 65 years old AND enrolled in Medicare Part B.

  • If you sign up for Medicare Supplement Insurance during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, insurance companies cannot use your health status to determine your eligibility for a plan. They also can’t charge you more for a Medigap plan based on your health.

You may be able to sign up for a Medigap plan anytime outside of your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. You may face medical underwriting if you do so, unless you qualify for a guaranteed issue right.

If you have a guaranteed issue right, Medigap insurance companies can’t use your health to determine your eligibility or plan rates. A licensed insurance agent can help you determine whether or not you qualify for a guaranteed issue right. Not all plan types may be available for purchase if you have a guaranteed issue right.

How do I enroll in Medigap?

Whether you are switching to a new Medigap plan or enrolling in one for the very first time, a licensed insurance agent can help you explore plans that are available where you live.

Learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, including how 2020 changes may affect certain plans.

 

Find Medigap plans in your area

Visit MedicareSupplement.com

Copyright 2019 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. All rights reserved.

1 AHIP. The State of Medigap 2018. (June, 2018). Retrieved from www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/State_of_Medigap18_FINAL.pdf.

MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts; enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.

Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.

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