Medigap Plan F is, without a doubt, the most common Medicare Supplement plan available. It is also the most comprehensive – it covers everything that Medicare doesn’t cover so that you don’t have any out of pocket costs. While there are certainly other plans that will offer a lower premium, none compare in level of coverage to the Plan F. When comparing the various Medigap plan options, it is important to understand what each plan, including Plan F, covers, so that you can determine if it is right for you.
So, what exactly does Plan F cover? Well first and foremost, it covers “Basic Benefits” (all supplement plans do). This includes the 20% coinsurance that Medicare doesn’t cover under Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Basic benefits also includes your first three pints of blood needed each year and hospice Part A coinsurance (the 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover). Additionally, Plan F covers the skilled nursing facility coinsurance, which is the 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover, as well as both Medicare deductibles. The Medicare Part A deductible is $1,132/benefit period for 2011, and the Part B deductible is $162/year.
Medigap Plan F also covers the Medicare Part B Excess charges. This is not a common occurrence but can be problematic if you are going to a doctor that does not accept Medicare “assignment”. This means he doesn’t accept the Medicare-approved amounts for a service or procedure, and he or she passes on the “excess charges” to the patient. Plan F covers those charges. Plan F also covers foreign emergency travel, which is a good benefit to have for someone who travels abroad often.
Altogether, with a Plan F, in conjunction with your Medicare Parts A & B, you should not have any out of pocket costs at the doctor or hospital. With this plan, you have predictable out of pocket costs (just pay the premium and nothing else) over the course of the year.
That is the greatest advantage to the Medicare supplement F plan – it allows you predictability and reliability. That is why many people choose this plan; however, it is always good to look at your specific financial means and health needs to see which plan is right for you.
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