Another massive change that’s coming as a result of the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) has to do with Medicare Supplements. Specifically, two of the more comprehensive Medigap plans are being discontinued. These plans are Medigap Plans C and F, both of which are notable because they cover the Medicare Part B deductile. In fact, these are the only two Medicare Supplements that cover the Part B deductible, which is why they’re being discontinued. As part of MACRA, Congress voted to eliminate “first-dollar coverage,” which these two plans provide. Luckily, if you’re currently enrolled in either of these plans or enroll in one of them prior to 2020, you can keep your plan.
Why Are They Going Away?
In a concerted effort to reduce costs to the Medicare program and properly compensate doctors who accept Medicare assignment, Congress voted to eliminat with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.
Plans C and F are as popular as they are because they cover so much and therein lies the problem. Since the first-dollar coverage encourages frequent doctor visits, the plan became expensive for Medicare and doctors. Meanwhile, critics of this move say it will cause seniors to seek medical attention less often, which may lead to even more expensive treatments later.
Anyone with Medicare who belongs to a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare drug plan (Part D) should keep using their Medicare Advantage and/or Medicare drug plan cards like they always have when they get health care services or fill a prescription.
Beginning January 1, 2020, new Medicare Plans C and F cannot be sold or issued. The new law only effects new Medicare enrollees and seniors who aren’t already in the plans, which means Plans C and F aren’t truly going away for everyone.
Even after the plans have been phased out, current enrollees in Plans C and F will be able to remain on their plans. If either plan sounds like something you’re interested in, you have until 2020 to enroll.
After the plans are eliminated, there are still options for similar coverage. Of all the Medigap plans, Plan G is perhaps the closest remaining Medigap option to Plan F. It covers everything that Plan F has, including the Part B excess charge, without the Part B deductible coverage. If you liked the look of Plan C, check out Plan D, which covers all the same things except the Part B deductible coverage.
While two of the most popular Medigap plans are being phased out in a few years, you’ll still have plenty of options for coverage. Whether it’s in the form of a different Medigap plan or a different type of Medicare plan, you’ll be able to find the coverage you need. If you have further questions or want to explore your options, do not hesitate to contact us!