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Frequently Asked Questions About Plan F and Plan G

IMPORTANT: Plan F will no longer be available to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries after January 1, 2020.

Q. Why is Plan G a better choice than Plan F?

A. There are several significant reasons that Plan G is more advantageous:

1. First and foremost, you need to understand the coverage differences.

There is only ONE difference in coverage between Plan F and Plan G and that difference is the coverage of the Medicare Part B calendar-deductible. This deductible is $183 in 2018 and applies to doctor's office charges. Plan F covers this deductible while Plan G does not. 

2. Second, do the simple math on comparing Plan G and Plan F.

In most cases and with most companies, Plan G is less expensive than F. Since there is only the one benefit difference that was mentioned above, you can easily do the math to see which plan makes the most sense for you. If the premium difference can save you money, then Plan G makes the most sense. Depending on your age and gender, you can save $300, $600 or even $1,000 per year in exchange for having to pay out the $183 calendar year-deductible. That's a no-brainer!

3. Third, understand the ramifications of "guaranteed issue" underwriting.

Possibly even more importantly, Plan F is offered in several instances on a "guaranteed issue" basis. This means that no medical questions are asked. This is a federal requirement, so companies have to take people into Plan F that they might not otherwise accept or approve. This is not the case with Plan G, which does not fall under this "guaranteed issue" requirement. Because of this, most people agree that Plan F premium increases are likely to be higher than those on Plan G in the future.

4. Last, Plan F will no longer be available to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries after January 1, 2020.

What does this mean for you? If you already have Plan F or are considering getting Plan F, you should be aware of the new law. The federal government will no longer allow newly eligible beneficiaries to obtain a Medicare Supplement that covers the Medicare Part B deductible after January 1, 2020. 

The good news: If you already have Plan F, you can keep it and will not be forced to move to another plan since this law only affects newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries. 

The bad news: In the future, the Plan F premium rates will increase at a higher rate than the other plans. Why is this? Each plan is individually rated based on the costs (e.g. claims processed). After 2020, when Plan F is no longer accepting new applicants, the pool of Plan F members will begin to age more than other plans, which will result in higher proportionate claims costs and thus drive up the premiums for Plan F. 

So what should you do? Most experts recommend Plan G now, which: ♦ has lower premium rates than Plan F and not impacted by the new law, ♦ provides the same coverage as Plan F, except for the $183 Medicare Part B annual deductible in 2018. 

Act now: If you are healthy and over age 65, it is important that you act now since you will have to go through medical underwriting in order to switch your Medicare Supplement Plan. If you wait until a later time, you risk potential health issues that could prevent you from changing your Supplement Plan.

Comparing Plan G and Plan F is not difficult to do. However, many people do not take the time to do it, and thus end up paying out much more per year than they need to. By following these simple steps, you can see which plan makes the most sense for you and make an informed choice.

 
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