Due to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), Medigap Plan F and Plan C were discontinued starting on January 1, 2020. Medicare Supplement Plans, such as Medigap Plan F and C, have been discontinued due to budget cuts decided by Congress. Congress discontinued these supplement plans not only to be more cost-efficient with spending on healthcare but to be able to get better pay for doctors who took pay cuts in order to be a provider in Medigap services.
This action was taken in order to encourage doctors to stay as providers in Medicare programs. In its current state, many doctors who acted as Medicare providers were focused on the number of patients they gave service to rather than their quality of service because they needed to gain more patients to get their expected pay. With a decrease in pay cuts for doctors, they are encouraged to pay more attention to the quality of their care and will be ranked on their care.
These rankings will determine their pay under the new provisions to Medicare. The MACRA Act focuses on the quality of care and access to Medicare. With the discontinuation of Plan F and Plan C, Congress hopes to move the healthcare industry from being low cost-oriented to being cost-efficient and still have a high quality of care.
What Does That Mean for My Coverage?
If you are currently covered by Medicare Plan F or C, you are still able to hold the coverage you currently have and use its benefits. You will also be able to apply for Medicare Plan F or C if you were eligible for coverage prior to January 1, 2020, even if it is after the discontinued date. If you are of age, above the age of 65, before the change enacted at the start of the new year, you will still be able to qualify for Medicare Plan F or C although it has been discontinued. However, if you want to apply for Medicare Plan F or C starting January 1, 2020, and do not meet these requirements, you will not be able to.
Overall, without Plan F, applicants will need to cover a Part B deductible in any other Medicare Supplement Plan. However, Medicare has multiple plans, options, and tiers that may suit your healthcare needs if you were looking to apply to Medicare Plan F or C and are unable to. Additionally, there are other healthcare options outside of Medicare that are competitive to the Medicare prices and quality of care offered but that may suit your needs and budget better.
Is There a Replacement Plan for Medigap Plan F?
If you are currently not eligible to apply for Plan F or C, do not already hold a plan, or need to change your plan, there are other Medicare Supplement Plans that are similar to Plan F and may fit your budget and needs. One similar supplement plan under Medigap is Plan G. Plan G offers the same benefits as Plan F except it does not include the Part B deductible. Nationally, Plan G has an average monthly premium of about $150 which is comparable to Plan F’s average national monthly premium of $186. Other supplement plans that are comparable to the benefits of Plan F are Plan D and Plan N. Plan D and N do not include a Part B deductible, do not cover Part B excess charges, and both require a copay for foreign travel. Additionally, besides Plans F and C that are now discontinued to new applicants, there are 8 other Medicare Supplement Plans that are available. However, if these supplement plans do not cover your needs or do not fit your budget, there are insurance plans outside of the Medicare system that may be suitable for your lifestyle.
How can I find the right plan for me? When deciding what healthcare plan and supplement plan is best for you, it is important to first understand what is important to have in your healthcare plan depending on your healthcare needs and lifestyle. After you decide what you need to have in your healthcare plan, you must compare rates across multiple insurance providers that fit your needs. All plans have similar benefits, so it is important to look at rates including monthly payments, deductibles, and copays to find the best plan for your budget. The quality of care should not change with the cost you are paying under new Medicare policies, so pick the best plan suited for you. This may be confusing at times or overwhelming when there are so many healthcare options to choose from. For more help comparing plans, prioritizing benefits and finding accurate quotes, visit www.Medigap.com to find out which plan is best for you.