In 2020, a few changes are coming to Medicare. I’ve been hearing a lot of clients say that they heard the Plan F is completely going away, which is not necessarily true. I want to clear up some of this misunderstanding and explain what exactly is happening
What is happening to Medicare in 2020?
The changes coming were actually passed a few years ago with The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Some of these changes include removing Social Security numbers from everyone’s Medicare card (red, white, and blue card) for security reasons as well as changing the way Medicare pays health care providers. The big change is, in 2020, newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries will no longer be able to obtain a Medicare Supplement that covers the Part B deductible. Medicare Supplement Plan C and Plan F are the only plans that cover the Part B deductible, and they will be the only plans affected by this change.
What does this mean for Medicare Beneficiaries?
Before 2020, anyone can continue to buy Plan F and Plan C. If you are signed up for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you will be allowed to continue buying and switching to Plan F and Plan C, even after January 1, 2020. Basically, nothing changes for these people.
Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries will be the ones impacted by this change. Newly eligible is anyone who turns 65 years old on or after January 1, 2020 or anyone who first becomes eligible for Medicare benefits on or after this date. For these people, the Plan F and Plan C will not be available anymore. They will not be able to buy them when they first start Medicare and they will not be able to switch to them.
What can I do if I turn 65 after January 1, 2020?
Even if you qualify as newly eligible, you do not have to worry. While you will not be able to purchase a Plan F, there are still great options available. The Plan G is the most comparable plan and is usually the best value. It covers everything the Plan F covers, except for the Part B deductible, which is $183 in 2018. The premiums for Plan G’s are usually a little bit lower than Plan F’s, making the Plan G a better value in the long run. Remember, each lettered plan is the exact same company to company; the only difference is the price. Make sure to shop around every year or so to get the best price. You can get your personalized Medicare Supplement rates without giving any personal information by going here.
All the information out there can be confusing, but hopefully I helped clear some of that up for you. If you have any other questions or want anything further explained, fill out the form below or call 919-535-8261. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have!
Hans Scheil is the author of “The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement” and the accompanying workbook. He can be reached at Hans@CardinalGuide.com.