Medicare

Two Medigap Plans to Be Phased Out

Insurers will no longer be able to sell Plan F and Plan C medigap policies to people who sign up for coverage in 2020 and later, but current enrollees won't have to switch.

Question:

I understand that medigap Plan F is going away in 2020. I’ve had Plan F for years. Does that mean I have to pick a new plan?

Answer:

No, you don’t need to switch plans. Medicare supplement (medigap) policies, which help cover Medicare’s co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs, currently come in 10 standardized plans: A through D, F, G, and K through N. Every plan with the same letter designation provides the same coverage, even though premiums can vary by company. Medigap Plan F and Plan C can’t be sold to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries after January 1, 2020, but current beneficiaries can keep their plans.

This change is part of a 2015 law that prohibits medigap plans that cover the deductible for Part B (medical insurance) from being sold to new Medicare enrollees starting in 2020. The hope is that people will be more careful about using medical care if they have to pay a deductible, even if it’s small (the Part B deductible is $183 in 2018). Plan F and Plan C cover the Part B deductible.

New Medicare enrollees who like the coverage of Plan F (which is currently the most popular plan) should consider Plan G, which provides most of the same coverage but doesn’t include the Part B deductible. In 2018, the average premium for Plan F nationally is $2,204 per year, while the average Plan G costs $1,786, according to Weiss Ratings Medigap, which provides personalized reports to help people shop for medigap policies. Premiums can be higher or lower depending on your state, and they can also vary from company to company. Many state insurance departments post lists of the premiums for each company’s medigap policies sold in their state. See this map for links to your state insurance department. For more information about what each letter plan covers, see Medicare.gov’s How to Compare Medigap Policies.

People who are currently in Plan F can remain in the plan, but they should keep an eye out for changes to premiums in the future, when new enrollees will no longer be in the risk pool. However, it can be difficult to switch plans after you first enroll. Medigap insurers in most states can reject you for coverage or charge more because of preexisting conditions if more than six months have passed after you signed up for Part B (although some states may pass special consumer protections for people who currently have Plan F). For more information about the current rules, see the Kaiser Family Foundation’s study on the topic, Medigap Enrollment and Consumer Protections Vary Across States.

Most Popular

Senate Passes $3,000 Child Tax Credit for 2021
Coronavirus and Your Money

Senate Passes $3,000 Child Tax Credit for 2021

The provision would temporarily increase the child tax credit to $3,000 or $3,600 per child for most families and have 50% of it paid in advance by th…
March 6, 2021
Senate Passes Bill with More "Targeted" Stimulus Payments
Coronavirus and Your Money

Senate Passes Bill with More "Targeted" Stimulus Payments

The Senate finally passes the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill. But fewer people will get a third stimulus check under the Senate version than under th…
March 6, 2021
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021

Recommended

What the Democrats' Agenda Will Mean for Your Pocketbook
Politics

What the Democrats' Agenda Will Mean for Your Pocketbook

With President Joe Biden in the White House and a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, Democrats have a clearer path…
January 30, 2021
12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket
Coronavirus and Your Money

12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket

President Biden's "American Rescue Plan" includes several proposals to assist people financially harmed by the pandemic.
January 20, 2021
Jim Patterson on The Kiplinger Letter’s 2021 Forecasts
Economic Forecasts

Jim Patterson on The Kiplinger Letter’s 2021 Forecasts

What to expect from the U.S. economy, the new Congress and next administration, as well as the outlook for bitcoin, self-driving trucks and more.
January 19, 2021
A Retiree’s Guide to Key Dates in 2021
Basics

A Retiree’s Guide to Key Dates in 2021

It's critical -- and financially sound -- to hit these important financial deadlines spaced throughout the year.
January 8, 2021