You may be familiar with Medicare Parts A through D, but if you’re looking for the most comprehensive coverage available, you need to know about Medicare Supplement Plan F, sometimes called “Medicare Part F.”
Considered the “Cadillac of Medicare supplemental coverage,” this Medigap plan picks up where other Medicare plans leave off. It still has its own limitations, and it is important to gain an understanding of your options to select the right policy for your needs.
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Medicare Part F Benefits
- No deductibles to pay before coverage kicks in
- No co-payments at the time of service
- No coinsurance to share the cost of healthcare
What Does Medicare Plan F Cover?
Medicare Plan F covers many different things, and as long as Medicare approves the charge, you will typically have no out-of-pocket cost at all.
Some of the Medicare gaps that Plan F covers include:
- Your deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments for Medicare Parts A and B
- One year of additional hospitalization coverage at no additional cost
- The first three pints of blood you may need if hospitalized
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- A foreign travel emergency benefit (after a $250 deductible) up to $50,000, which is a great addition to your plan if you’re an active traveler in your golden years
Where other medical expenses are concerned, if even one penny of Medicare is paid towards a hospital stay, doctor visit or medical procedures, Plan F will pick up the remaining cost.
Most importantly, Plan F is the only Medicare supplement plan, among all of the Medigap Plans that covers Medicare Part B excess charges.
These are costs that a physician charges that Medicare doesn't cover. For example, this can happen if you must see a specialist whose services are not covered by Medicare.
What Is Not Covered by Supplement Plan F?
Plan F is one of the most comprehensive Medicare supplement plans you can purchase, but it doesn’t cover everything. This plan will not cover the following:
- Things that Medicare doesn’t normally cover, like acupuncture, vision exams and dental work, are not included in Plan F coverage
- Plan F also does not cover skilled nursing care after the first 100 days
- Hospitalization after the first 90 days (which are covered by a combination of Medicare and Plan F) and the subsequent additional 365 days (which are fully covered by Plan F); essentially, you have about 455 covered hospitalization days before your coverage with this plan is exhausted
- A $250 deductible for foreign travel emergency costs, paid annually
How Much Does Medicare Plan F Cost?
Medicare Plan F is regulated by the federal Medicare program, which means your coverage will be exactly the same no matter which insurance company you go with.
All insurance companies have different rate structures, however, so your Medicare Plan F premiums will depend on where you’re located and which insurance company you choose to work with. It’s essential to compare policies in your area to get a good idea of what Medicare Plan F will cost for you.
In addition to your premium, you may have several other out of pocket expenses. For example, to use the Plan F foreign travel coverage, you will need to pay a deductible if you use emergency services while traveling.
If you use up your additional year of hospitalization coverage, you are responsible for all additional charges. This is also true if you need more than 100 days of skilled nursing services.
How to Choose a Medicare Supplement Plan
When trying to find the right Medicare supplement plan for you, there are several important items to consider. While Medicare Plan F has excellent coverage, it may be more than you need. If you’re a healthy individual who rarely visits the doctor or hospital, you might overpay for coverage you never use.
Also, if you do need extensive coverage but can’t afford the premiums for Plan F, it may not make financial sense to purchase this plan. There are several other supplement plans you can evaluate that provide supplemental Medicare coverage at a more affordable price.
Choosing a health insurance policy involves comparing costs and benefits, and finding the right balance for you. Take time to research your options and get advice from qualified independent insurance agents.