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What is Medicare Supplement Plan F?

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Plan F is the most comprehensive Medigap plan offered and also one of the most popular. You may also see it referred to as “Medicare Part F”, but this is not the official terminology and can cause confusion regarding what Plan F is and is not. Plan F is, as stated above, supplemental insurance, meaning that it is not a standalone policy but rather one which can be added to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) to reduce one’s out-of-pocket medical expenses. Plan F covers all of the major gaps left by Original Medicare. Specifically, it covers:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to a year after Medicare benefits are used up
  • Part B coinsurance/copayments
  • Blood transfusions up to 3 pints annually
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance/copayments
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charge (from doctors who do not accept Medicare assignment)
  • 80% of foreign emergency care (up to a certain limit)

In practical terms, Plan F will help pay for hospital-related costs such as blood transfusions and skilled nursing as well as other expenses like doctor’s visits, lab work, surgeries, x-rays, medical supplies, and more. You will not owe deductibles on Medicare Parts A or B under this plan. Enrollees in Plan F will have minimal – if any – out-of-pocket expenses compared to those using Original Medicare on its own or with one of the other, less comprehensive Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans.

Current Availability

Insurers selling Medicare Supplement coverage are required to offer Plan F, so you will likely have a few different options to choose from. Make sure to compare plans offered by multiple companies to find the one that is best for your budget. Note that while Plan F is one of the most comprehensive plans available, it also tends to be one of the most expensive. You can reduce the cost of the plan’s premiums by opting for a high-deductible Plan F, though as its name suggests, you will be paying higher deductibles for this type versus what you would pay with a standard Plan F. If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, note that your state’s Medigap Plans will not be standardized with the usual letter system (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N), and thus there may not be a “Plan F” in your area.

Future Availability

The Medicare Part B deductible benefit included in Plan F will be discontinued as of January 1st, 2020, and Plan F itself will no longer be offered beyond that point. Current enrollees will not be affected, and you may still sign up for the plan before that date and receive coverage normally. Those who are eligible for Medicare prior to that date may be able to purchase Plan F even after January 1st has passed, though we recommend that you enroll sooner rather than later. Those who become eligible for Medicare in 2020 and beyond will not be able to enroll in Plan F. Following this discontinuation, Plan G will be the most comprehensive of the Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, as it covers everything Plan F does except for the Medicare Part B deductible.

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