Medigap Plan F
2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
Medigap Plan F - just what is it?
The U.S. government provides Medicare programs to its citizen. The program involves provision of health insurance to individuals aged 65 years and above. Although, it is quite helpful, Medicare takes care of only 80% of the medical cost. The other 20% should be paid via other means. To alleviate this problem most health insurance companies that are privately owned offer optional supplemental coverage policies usually referred to as Medigap. To protect consumers from scams and exorbitant prices the U.S. government took the initiative of standardizing the Medigap policies to 12 plans that are lettered A to L. However, only Medigap Plan F and G protect individuals from additional unplanned for expenses.
All Medigap plans should offer part A Medicare which consists of the basic benefits. In addition, Medigap Plan F offers Medicare Part B deductibles and excess charge. In this instance the excess charge refers to the remaining amount of money that cannot be paid by the Medicare plan. This ensures that individuals do not have to pay for out-of-pocket costs, that is, they have the advantage of accessing treatment that is not catered for under the Medicare program. Moreover, Plan F provides a high deductible rate which contributes in the further reduction of the overall costs that individual’s incur.
In a nut shell, the Medigap Plan F offers the following benefits.
Part A coinsurance coverage which is the basic hospitalization costs. This benefit is extended for a period of one year after the expiry of the Medicare coverage. It also offers Part B coinsurance coverage which is the 20% approved Medicare cost comprising outpatient services. Moreover, the plan covers the first three pints of blood that an individual receives in a year. Individuals are also liable to skilled nursing home care, Medicare Part A and B deductibles for hospitalization and health care outpatient expenses respectively and the excess charge for Medicare Plan B. In addition, individuals are provided with medical emergency help when out of the country.
However, it is important to note that the Medigap Plan F policy does not offer coverage to preventive care and at-home recovery expenses which are not insured by the Medicare program. Just like all the supplemental policies individuals are also supposed to pay a monthly premium for this policy. Its cost depends on the insurance company offering it. Remember, the plan is only provided by private healthcare insurance companies therefore, standardizing its price is difficult. Furthermore, individuals are advised to buy the program within the first six months after turning 65 years to obtain maximum benefits.
Do remember the all medigap plans are standardized by the government so all plans offer the same coverage no matter what insurance company you but from. Hence, it is wise to shop around for the best price since the coverage will be exactly the same.
Conversely, before purchasing the Medigap Plan F supplemental program individuals are advised to counter check with their Medicaid providers to ensure the missing benefits in Medicare are not covered in the Medicaid program. They should also do an extensive research on companies offering the plan to ensure they get maximum policy benefits at low-cost. On the average the Medigap policies cost between $1,159 and $3,443 per year plus of course a few extra charges depending on the package of the supplemental plan purchased.