Your choices in Medicare Supplement insurance plans may be changing on January 1st, 2020.
Medicare Supplement plans add coverage from a private insurance carrier to shield you from the risk of large medical bills that Medicare may not fully cover. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that Medicare pays about 80% of covered expenses; the remaining 20% is paid by you. While this may not be a large outlay for office visits, 20% of the costs of a weeks-long stay in a hospital is a big number! With a Medicare Supplement plan, that financial risk is taken by the insurance carrier. Medicare Supplement plans are standardized by the Federal government, and are known by a letter – for example Plan C, Plan F, or Plan G.
Two of the plans, Plan C and Plan F, cover the Medicare Part B (doctors, labs, outpatient procedures ) deductible, which is $185 for 2019. Those plans would start paying Part B expenses when the first dollar was spent. With some of the other plans, you’d have to pay the first $185, then they would start paying Part B expenses.
Congress decided that we should all have some “skin in the game”, and that Medicare Supplement plans should not be allowed to pay your Part B deductible. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), a bipartisan law signed in April of 2015, made a number of changes in the way doctors and hospitals are paid, and it also mandated that starting January 1st, 2020, Medicare Supplement Plans C and F can no longer be sold to persons becoming newly eligible for Medicare. In other words, if your birthdate is after January 1st, 1955, you will not be able to purchase Plan C or Plan F.
What about people who already have Plan C or Plan F? Will they lose their plan? No. Anyone who already has a Plan C or Plan F plan can keep it. The change only affects those newly eligible for Medicare.
What to do, then, if you’re newly eligible for Medicare? Consider Plan G. Plan G includes all of the same coverages as Plan F, but just does not cover the first $185 of Part B expenses. Monthly premiums for Plan G are lower than Plan F premiums.
Give us a call at (865)622-2265 and we’ll show you your options. There’s never a charge for our services, as the insurance carriers pay us. And because we are independent, we can offer you options from many top Medicare Supplement insurance carriers.