Medigap Plans Covering Part B Deductibles Are Being Phased Out


Medigap plans F and C are two of the most popular Medicare supplement plans available. The main reason for their popularity is the fact that they cover Medicare Part B deductibles. Unfortunately, these plans will soon be a thing of the past.

Starting in 2020, new Medigap applicants will not have the option of choosing Plan C or Plan F (including high deductible Plan F). However, those who are already enrolled in these plans will be able to keep their coverage. In addition, those who are eligible for Medicare Part A before January 1, 2020, will be able to enroll in Plans C and F later if they wish. 

This isn’t the first time Medicare and Medigap plans have been changed, but it is the latest. This change is a result of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. The good news is, there are a few great options for those who will not be eligible for Medigap until 2020 or later. Our insurance experts can help you find the perfect plan for your budget, lifestyle and healthcare needs. Call us at (678) 807-8414 or contact us online to learn more about Protecting What’s Ahead.

Why Is This Change Happening?

Changes and modifications to Medicare are nothing new. Ever notice all the missing letters in Medigap plan options? That’s because E, H, I and J were eliminated in 2010. In 1990, Medigap plans were standardized, meaning they were made the same no matter what company is selling it. 

This most recent change is known as the “doc fix” law. Congress passed this law in an effort to make sure doctors were fairly paid for providing medical services under Medicare. However, Congress needed money to make that happen, so they decided to eliminate plans that would allow for Medicare Part B deductibles to be covered. 

In short, Congress said they made these changes because they wanted to make sure Medicare recipients had enough “skin in the game.” They reasoned that if someone has deductibles for both Part A and Part B covered, they would go to the doctor for every tiny issue since they don’t have to pay any money to do so. 

With the elimination of plans that cover the Part B deductible, new Medigap applicants will have to consider whether going to the doctor for a minor issue is worth it. In 2019, the Part B deductible is $185, and it will likely increase by a few dollars in 2020. Patients must now meet this annual deductible before the government will cover their expenses. 

While some say this measure will save money, critics are worried that older Americans will avoid going to the doctor or delay treatment as long as possible even if they’re facing serious health issues. This could lead to what might have been a minor issue becoming a critical one. Not only is this dangerous for older Americans, but treatment for these now-serious issues will likely be more expensive, thus costing the government more money in the long run.

So What Are My Options Now?

If you are currently eligible for Medicare in 2019, even if you are still on a private insurance plan or otherwise have delayed enrollment, you can still purchase a Medigap plan that covers Part B deductibles after 2020. After all, MACRA only applies to applicants who newly qualify for Medicare after January 1, 2020. If you already have Plan F or C, you won’t be kicked off your plan. It’s not known if prices for these policies will inflate after they are phased out.

If you do not qualify for Medicare before January 1, 2020, there are still great Medigap options available to you. Medigap Plan G provides all of the same benefits and coverages as Plan F, except for the Part B deductible. As such, it’s poised to become the best and most popular option moving forward.

If you are okay with a little cost-sharing, Plan N can also be a great option. This plan is growing in popularity, and for good reason. While it does not cover your Part B deductible or Part B excess charges, it covers all of your other Medicare-related expenses. However, there is a copay up to $20 for most doctor’s visits and a copay up to $50 for emergency room visits (this E.R. copay is waived if you’re admitted for inpatient care).

In addition, Medicare Advantage can be a great alternative to Medigap plans altogether. This is a private insurance option that is approved by the Medicare program and provides many of the same benefits as Medicare. There may be an increased cost associated with Medicare Advantage, but many find the benefits well worth the expense.

We Can Help You Find the Right Insurance Options

Choosing a Medigap plan or other Medicare option can be tricky. There are currently 10 different plans, offered by dozens of companies at different price points. That’s a lot of information to go through to find a plan that fits your budget, lifestyle and health needs.

Our professional industry brokers are here to help. Call us at (678) 807-8414 or contact us online to learn more about Protecting What’s Ahead.