Medicare Supplement Plan F

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Stethoscope Resting on Medicare Billing StatementChoose Medicare Supplement Plan F when only the best will do

If you have decided that purchasing a Medicare supplement is the way to go, you may be wondering which supplemental plan is best. This question is easily answered if you are not severely limited on your health care budget.

As of December 2011 4.6 million people with Medicare had purchased Medicare supplement Plan F. That’s up 9.6% over the previous year.

Medicare supplement policies, or Medigap as it is also known, are available as standardized plans. Each standardized Medicare supplement will fill the gaps left by Medicare. Which plan you choose will determine to what extent the gaps are filled. Medicare supplement plan F is the most comprehensive plan and will leave you with the least amount out-of-pocket.

Medicare Supplement Plan F Benefits

Medicare Part A:

  • Part A hospital deductible
  • Part A hospital coinsurance
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Blood
  • Hospice co-payment/coinsurance

Medicare Part B:

  • Part B outpatient deductible
  • Part B outpatient coinsurance
  • Part B excess charges – 100%
  • Blood

Other Benefits

In addition to these benefits, some providers will offer additional value added benefits. For example,  AARP Medicare supplement Plan F will also include:

  • Vision discounts
  • Nurse health line
  • Pharmacy services discounts

Even though Plan F is the most comprehensive, it still has its limits. Unless a company is offering some ancillary benefits and discounts, don’t expect Plan f to cover non-Medicare expenses. The limits to Plan F are inherent in what a supplement is intended to do.

The best time to by a Medicare supplement

The best time to by a Medigap policy is during open enrollment when you first become eligible for Medicare enrollment. During this time you cannot be denied coverage for any pre-existing health conditions.

If you have a special circumstance, such as losing employer group insurance, leaving a Medicare Advantage plan within the first year or moving out of an Advantage plan’s service area, you will have a guaranteed issue period where you are able to purchase any policy that a company sells.

It’s also important to note that you will need to choose a Medicare Part D plan to accompany your Medicare supplement. Unlike an Advantage plan, such as AARP Medicare Complete, you will not have drug coverage included in your supplemental insurance plan.

If you do not enroll in a Part D drug plan when first eligible,  you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty should you decide to enroll at a later date. Also, keep in mind that unlike a Medicare supplement policy, you will be subject to enrollment periods with Medicare Part D insurance.


Comparing Medicare supplement Plan F policies

Since Medicare supplement plans are standardized, you will find that each companies plans will have identical benefits. Medicare supplement Plan F includes the same benefits no matter which company you choose.

This makes shopping for a plan simple.  Since Medigap insurance is basically a commodity, it is easiest to compare Medicare supplement plans
online. Most people would find it time consuming and somewhat redundant to meet with several agents when the only difference in plans will be the cost and the perceived level of customer service.

Monthly premiums can vary considerably between companies for Medigap Plan F, so do your homework and look at several companies before you make your choice.

97 comments

  1. we are 65 for me and 68 for my husband and have medicare A.
    we are retired in mexico but will go back to usa and wish
    to seek extra insurance – I do not understand anything
    as what to add for supplements b f m n.
    For instance could we acquire N with just medicare A.
    We are very healthy but who knows what life will be later on and I am worried for the futur and would like to live
    securily when it comes to health care. I have no clue of what to do – all is so complicated to understand.
    Sincerely

  2. France, You would benefit from a face-to-face meeting with an insurance agent you can trust.

  3. would you consult via email
    at least reading your blog I can gather I am not alone
    and I wonder how hospitals and doctors deal with such
    complicated laws. I heard on the news the Obama care
    mentioned but same here I have no understanding of what
    it will entitle. We ar now on retirement and social security is a change of life but we have a house and savings.. My belief is that we should all have the perfect insurance at your age after having paid our dues to our government – so what to do to respect a budget and also not to loose all our savings – to have a secure end of life and no worry about hospital and medication. thank you

  4. France, I’m sorry, I do not consult on an individual basis. Once in Texas, you could consult with a local agent in your area.

  5. Hi,
    I turned 65 in January and will be signing up for Medicare Plan B tomorrow. I am considering AARP’s Plan F, but an agent from Mutual of Omaha called me. I am tempted, but I am concerned about possible horrendous increases I could not possibly afford, should they occur, as happened to George.

    “I am retired and I have a Mutual of Omaha Supplement Policy Plan F. I got an increase on Jan 1, 2011 and just got another notice of Increase effective in May, 2011. The net increase of both notices is a whopping 43.3% increase in Premiums. I went from $119/mo to over $170/mo in 90 days?

    Is this a distinct possibilty in Virginia, where I live. I understand that AARP promises no increases. Please help. I need to make a decision fairly quickly. Thank you for you input
    Rachida

  6. Rachida, I’d seriously look into the promise by AARP that their Medicare supplement rates will remain frozen. Check to see if your State’s Department of Insurance can give you any insight to how rates have been raised over time, after all, they have to approve rate increases.

  7. Does Plan F cover out of country medical expenses

  8. V Williams, Yes. But coverage is up to plan limits (generally $50,000) and for emergency care only. Here’s an article.

  9. David, thanks for all your help! You seem very knowledgeable and I have a question.

    If I was on a High Deductible F and wanted to switch to a Regular F, within in the same company, would I be eligible for a guaranteed acceptance? or vice versa, going from a regular F to a high deductible F.

  10. Sorry, forgot to mention…

    When I ask this, I meant to include, Guaranteed Acceptance WITHOUT underwriting?

  11. Mike, It may depend on the company. My experience has always been that if you were moving to a plan with richer benefits (high deductible F to regular Plan F, for example) you will most likely be subject to underwriting.

  12. I am awaiting a renewal card for my SUPPLEMENT F program.
    I believe my membership # 213382781.

    ALSO—where are the invoices & return envelopes??????

  13. Hello,
    Mutual of Omaha just raised my monthly rate by $25.00 for
    plan F. I have payments withdrawn from my checking acct.
    monthly. I want to cancel this insurance. What are my rights in Texas? and where can I find a good supplement
    for Medicare? How does the off enrolling season affect
    my situation or am I at the mercy of the insurance co. I have A and B Medicare.
    Thanks,
    Susann

  14. Susann, You can cancel a Medicare supplement anytime. It would be wise to apply for and be approved for a new plan before you cancel the Mutual of Omaha Plan F. You can shop online or call 888-310-0376 to get quotes on multiple plans.

  15. James H. Burnham

    I am on Medicare and I will be 67 this Sept. and I thought that I had a supplement Policy with the mill where I worked, but as it turned out it did not cover with Medicare. So now I need to get a supplement policy so could you give me ome advice on what to do and what to buy, I have Part A & B and a drug policy with UniCare. Thanks For your help, James Burnham

  16. James, To get a good overview of Medicare plan options enter your email address to sign up for our free mini-course. To receive a comprehensive needs analysis and recommendations you should speak with a licenses agent. Call (888) 310-0376 to speak with an agent in your area.

  17. Have Medicare A and B and have Mutual of Omaha plan F. Can’t seem to find out if these pay for Remicade infusion for Rheumatoid Arthritis. And need to know if they pay for the infusion and the the Remicade. Thank you for any help you can give me.

  18. Cyndy, The easiest way to find out if Medicare covers Remicade infusions is to ask the provider. Their desire to get paid will give you a quick and accurate answer. If infusions are covered your Mutual of Omaha Plan F will pay your share of the costs. Plan F will not pay anything independent of Medicare. Medicare supplements fill in the gaps and do not provide coverage for expenses not covered by Medicare.

  19. I have Medicare A&B, Plus Medicare Sup Plan F by United Health. Do I need Medicare D???? I am over 65.
    Thanks!

  20. Glenda, Most insurance professionals would highly recommend that you enroll in Part D. You currently have no coverage for prescription drugs. A very small percentage of people on Medicare are in your situation. The enrollment period begins on October 15th and continues through December 7th. You can compare multiple plans and get quotes by calling PlanPrescriber at (888) 310-0376.

  21. I have aarp united plan F now, what is the difference in coverage and cost with a PP0? Glenda

  22. Glenda, Plan F is a Medigap policy and a PPO is a Medicare Advantage plan. Check this out to get some answers.

  23. We live in a motorhome and are traveling the country. We have a home that is occupied by others in Oregon…which is our home of record. What do we do for a plan F that would work anywhere in the country?

  24. Dan, Once you have purchased plan F it will be accepted anywhere where Medicare is accepted. You will need to purchase a policy with a listed permanent residence and the agent will need to be licensed in that State. If your home in Oregon is your home of record that should work. Explain your situation to an agent licensed in Oregon and they will make it happen.

  25. well i dont know how they expect you to make a payment if you can find the page to go to i typed in aarp medicare plan f.com and I can’t find anything!!!!!!!!!

  26. Debbie, This site in not owned or operated by an insurance company and no payments are accepted.

  27. I got on Medicare 1/1/12 due to disability. I am not sure what Medicare supplement to go with. I was considering AARP Medicare supplement. How can I learn which Plan would be best for me? I am not familiar in this area. Thank you.

  28. Larry, If you are under 65 you should check the insurance laws in your State. Not all States require insurance companies to sell Medicare supplement insurance to people under 65 and on Medicare due to a disability. If it is available, expect to pay a higher premium than someone who is just turning 65 and eligible for Medicare. If it is available check out Plan F if you want the most comprehensive coverage.

    If you find that it’s not available (or too Pricey) you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan such as AARP MedicareComplete.

  29. Generally speaking, once you have selected a Plan, for example N, and have been on it for say a year, how hard is it to switch to another plan, say Plan F, within the same company or switch to another company’s plan.

  30. Joe, For changes within the same company it will generally depend on whether you are trying to switch to a plan with greater benefits. You will normally be subject to underwriting and may be denied a move up in benefits. Conversely, moving to a plan with less benefits will generally be a lot easier. When changing companies, you will generally be subject to underwriting unless you qualify for some type of guaranteed issue period. The plan that you are enrolled in at company A will not be relevant to the underwriting process of company B.

  31. DO I NEED A certificate of credible coverage WHEN APPLYING IF NO PRE-EXISTING CONDITION EXSISTS?

  32. Kurtis, Most applications will generally ask about prior coverage. Depending on your eligibility status ( open enrollment, Guaranteed Issue Rights) you may be asked to supply such information.

  33. David, My husband turns 65 soon. He is healthy and currently pays his full health insurance premium (self-employed) with a $5,000.00 deductible (HSA eligible), 100% after that paid by insurance company, (CIGNA). My dear friend, a private hospital case manager, said he should not consider a Medicare Advantage Plan as several providers where we live in Florida do not accept them. We are used to the gamble of medical costs, as we can afford the $5,000.00 and it keeps the premiums lower. Is it true that more providers deny the Advantage plans? If not, are there strong plans that limit OOP to a max of, say, $5,000.00 (ncluding premiums)? And what, exactly is the biggest advantage/disadvantage of the Advantage Plans? Thank you in advance for your reply.

  34. Marsha, Good question. Advantage plans can vary from County to County and I’m sure you can find some with less than $5000 Maximum out-of-pocket. But, healthcare reform legislation is set to lower reimbursement to medical providers. Expect more providers to not accept all plans. If I was in your husband’s shoes and was used to paying the premium for a 64 year old, I would buy Medicare supplement plan F while in the Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

    He will still need to enroll in a Part D plan, but the two combined premiums will be a fraction of what he is paying now. With a supplement, there’s no need to worry about providers accepting it. If they accept Medicare, they’ll accept the supplement. For Medicare-covered services, your husband will be set, with nothing more than the premium out-of-pocket. Check this Part D Plan Finder site to see a comparison of Part D plans. You can also call PlanPrescriber for a supplement and Part D at (888) 310-0376. They represent dozens of companies and can handle everything professionally and quickly.

  35. I was told by a United Health Care rep through AARP that if my doctor has even mentioned the possibility of hip replacement, I must answer “yes” to the question about hip replacement in the pre-existing medical issues questionnaire for a supplemental policy. Then someone from another company just told me that the surgery had to be scheduled, or at least consultations begun, for me to have to answer “yes” . What do you think? I don’t want to go for hip replacement in a couple of years and find that my coverage is denied! Thanks–Cynthia

  36. Cynthia, Good question… and a little grey area. You might try to find out what your doctor actually put in your medical records. If a claim was made and an insurance company wanted to verify it was not a preexisting condition, they would request written medical records from your doctor. Also, most preexisting conditions are limited to a 2 year look-back. If you are not currently discussing this option with your doctor, you will probably be fine if a hip replacement was required a couple years down the road. What ever you find, I would definitely b e truthful (to the best of your knowledge) on the insurance application.

  37. Do you have to dis-enroll in the Advantage Plan when you go
    to a Supplemental Plan or is that done automatically by the
    new insurance company? Also, do you have to notify
    Medicare of the dis-enrollment? Thank You.

  38. Judith, You should dis-enroll from the Medicare Advantage Plan. If you do not, you will be automatically re-enrolled for the following year. Contacting the Medicare Advantage Plan is sufficient. Save the confirmation letter to show that you have dis-enrolled. Unless you are entitled to Guarantee Issue Rights, you may want to submit the application for the Medicare supplement sooner rather than later and request an issue date of January 1st. This will allow you to pass underwriting and know that you have a plan in place.

  39. I am 100% total disabled thru uncle sam department civil service agent in 1992 i was given Medicare A &B, age of 44 years. I am now turning 65 years i find out now that i must change health supplements so my brother checked with his friends what plan they took when they turned 65 they mentioned AARP plan F . Let me ask is not this AARP UnitedHealthcare if so 11% of doctors are leaving this plan! If AARP is a plan itself than great! I make less than 1000.00 monthly so I should qualify for Medicare B however i was declined. What is AARP Humana Plan F?

  40. Maryfaith, The United Healthcare Plan that are a having an issue with dwindling provider networks are Medicare Advantage Plans. I mean no disrespect but your questions lead me to believe that you have some misunderstandings about your Medicare options. You may want to seek out a trusted advisor. Or get a hold of your local Area Council on Aging office… they will be a great help to you.

  41. I have care plan F with united health care but I need my certificate of proof. have had it 4 yrs. . My husband has applied for plan F but was talked into a policy with colonial penn. which he had to to pay 254.00 to apply. I in the first place paid nothing. I have been told he has the better since his is a policy and mine is just a certificate????? colonial Penn for supplement. witch is better?

  42. Judy, If you both have Medigap Plan F your benefits are the same. Medicare supplement policies are standardized and the only thing that will vary from company to company is the premium and maybe the addition of some extras like a vision discount. Who told you that your husband has the better policy? The Colonial Penn agent? If someone is trying to “talk you into a policy” you need a new agent.

  43. I’m 67 and still employed with full BCBS insurance coverage benefits. I’m going to retire and I have RA. I get remicade infusions at the Drs. Office. Will I find a plan F medicare supplement policy that will cover this?

  44. Sally, Plan F benefits will be the same from all companies. Medigap plans are standardized. Plan F is the most comprehensive plan and as long as Medicare will pay for your Remicade infusions at the doctor’s office, Plan F will as well.

  45. I am researching Medigap policies looking at a Cigna Plan F. Is there any way to check on the rating of the F plan of this company and whether they will pay the benefits in a timely manner? I understand that no matter what company I choose a plan F will be the same coverage. I’m just having trouble finding company specific reliability on benefit payments, premium cost increase trends and customer service.

  46. Debbie, CIGNA is Rated “A” by A.M. Best. Getting claims paid by companies offering Medigap policies like Plan F will give you no problems. If Medicare pays a claim and your policy included the benefits for which the claim was paid… your Medigap policy will pay without fail. Check out PlanPrescriber to get quotes or call them at (888) 310-0376 and speak with a licensed agent.

  47. Thank you so much David! You have given me a lot of piece of mind that I haven’t found in all my research.

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