Medicare Supplement Plan F
Anyone in the United States who has worked and paid into the tax system is eligible to receive Medicare once they turn age 65, or if they qualify for Social Security disability. Medicare especially helps any young people with disabilities and people with end stage renal disease who normally would have extremely limited access to health insurance.
Medigap Plan letters vary in coverage and are lettered A – N to categorize them. There are several choices in plan letters one might have once eligible for Medicare, and the largest determining factor of what is available is the state someone resides in. Anyone age 65 or older may enroll in any of the 10 Medicare Supplement plans available.
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There are several plans to choose from, and coverage includes:
• Part A covers hospital care
• Part B covers outpatient medical services
• Single payer health care that covers both Part A and Part B
• Medicare Advantage (Part C) offered by private health health insurance companies, typically HMO or PPO’s
• Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs for outpatients through Medicare Advantage or through private plans that include prescription drugs
Medicare Supplement Plan F Offers The Most Benefits
Without a doubt, this plan gives the most comprehensive coverage that is available. With this plan, there are no out-of-pocket expenses for doctor’s office and hospital care. Plan F has no copays or deductibles, and the twenty percent coinsurance not covered by Medicare is included and paid by the plan as well.
Medicare Supplement Plan F covers Medicare’s basic benefits which are:
• Hospital care by paying Part A coinsurance including lifetime reserve coverage days
• The cost of the first three pints of blood every year
• Coinsurance with Part A for hospice care
• Coinsurance with Part B for medical expenses which is usually 20 percent of the Medicare-approved costs or hospital outpatient services
Additional benefits covered by Plan F include:
• Deductible for hospitalization in Part A
• Deductible for hospital outpatient and medical for Part B
• Care in a skilled nursing facility
• Excess charges from the doctor or medical practitioner that are not covered in Medicare
• Emergency help for traveling abroad
Medigap Plan F also offers the option for people to choose a high deductible version as well. The deductible is the amount the policy holder pays before the plan F begins to pay, however this is confusing to most people. Many feel that with this plan they will receive no coverage until the deductible is met which is simply not true. Medicare Part A & B will still provide their stated benefits, however it is not until the beneficiary’s out-of-pocket expenses reaches the deductible amount that the Hi-deductible Medigap Plan F will actually start paying.
If this amount is high, the monthly premiums will be lower, but for 2013, the amount is $2,110 and this can go up every year. Policy holders need to make sure they can cover the deductible amount before selecting a high deductible policy.
In general, Medigap policies offer some of the very best insurance coverage that seniors can possibly get. Keep in mind that not even a Medicare Plan F covers long-term care in a nursing home or with a private-duty nurse, dental or vision care, eyeglasses or hearing aids.
How to Buy a Medigap Policy
To be eligible to buy a Medigap policy, the policy holder must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. Those who have a Medicare Advantage Plan are not eligible for Medicare Supplemental insurance as you may not have the two policies at one time. The switch from an advantage plan to a Medicare supplement can only take place during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). This period runs each year from October 15th through December 7th, and is also the only time that a Part D drug plan can be changed. Medigap policies apply to just one person, therefore if a spouse also wishes to enroll it must be a separate policy.
Medigap plans are standardized, meaning the coverage has identical benefits regardless of which insurance company is used. Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Minnesota standardize supplement policies in a different way from other states.
For those turning 65, Medigap coverage should be purchased during the open enrollment period time frame. It is a six month period and begins on the first day of the birth month when the person turns 65. Some states have other open enrollment times, but during this time, the insurance company cannot refuse to sell whichever plans they offer. They also cannot charge more to people with health problems than they charge to people with no health problems. Thankfully for people with health conditions, insurance carriers aren’t allowed to assign waiting periods during this open enrollment period for coverage.
A Medicare Supplement Plan F is an outstanding choice for those who prefer 100 percent coverage to supplement their Medicare insurance. To get instant rates for this plan simply enter your zip code below and compare quotes from top companies such as AARP, Gerber Life, and Mutual of Omaha!