Will Plan F and Plan C Medicare Supplements become a crisis in 2020?

So you may have heard that the Medicare Supplement Plan F is not going to be available in 2020.  Or this may be the first time you are hearing about, is the Plan F Medicare Supplement going away?   The short answer to your question is ………. Yes, it is going away for any NEW Medicare enrollees in 2020.  Hi, I am Mitch Winstead with Allstar Senior Benefits. Call us today with any questions you might have about Medicare or Medicare Supplements. If you would like a quote with no obligations on a Medicare Supplement or life insurance, please ask about that also.  Our toll-free number is 866-598-8170 or 910-538-4547. Our email address is mitch@allstarseniorbenefits.com.  Our website is www.allstarseniorbenefits.com.  Our Facebook page is www.facebook.com/medsuppguru. Our agency is Veteran owned. We have been helping people for over 34 years. We have a background in healthcare.  I have been helping people for 24 years with Physical Therapy. That is what I did before I went into the insurance profession.  I co-own a Physical Therapy practice called Physical Therapy for Life. I still help a few people each week that have had strokes, total knee and hip replacements and Parkinson’s disease just to name a few diagnoses.  One of my points is that this agency has a (heart) for helping people.  I want to ask you some questions.  How many agents can raise their hand and say this?  I have been on 2 Medicare visits going out to a patients house to observe me doing physical therapy.  This is a called a Medicare Audit. How many agents, brokers have been a Rehab director at a Skilled Nursing Facility when Medicare walks in unannounced and starts auditing patients records and asked you questions about the records.  How many agents, brokers have actually billed Medicare for their services?   I can answer all of those questions with a yes. Because of my extensive knowledge in the healthcare field, we know much more about Medicare than most other agents. I am very well qualified to help you also.   Now back to the subject of Medigap Plans 2020.  Medigap is the same thing as Medicare Supplements when discussing a Medicare Supplement plans comparison chart.  Anyone who has the Plan F and by the way a Plan C (which not a whole of people are talking about) currently prior to 2020 may keep it. Just an FYI, Plan C pays the Part B deductible also. The only difference between a Plan F and Plan C is that Plan F does cover Part B excess charges.  Please try not to get Plan C and Part C confused. Plan C is a Medicare Supplement. Part C is one of the 4 parts of Medicare. Part C is usually known as the Medicare Advantage part of Medicare. People who have a Plan F or C can shop around and switch to a Plan F or C that has lower rates. At least that’s what I have read. I am not sure how that is going to work?  I wish our Federal government would make things easier and quit making changes. The Plan F has been around for a long time and so has the Plan C. Plan C used to be popular in the early 2000’s. It used to be a better bargain than Plan F. Plan F is a popular Medicare supplement because there are no deductibles, no co-pays, no fees are associated with it other than a person’s premium. Another reason this is a popular Medicare Supplement use that when a person goes to the doctor or any outpatient services, it is called first dollar coverage. This means that because of no deductibles or co-pay paid out by the Plan F owner, the (first) dollars go to the outpatient or doctor without having to jump through a lot of hoops. A lot of people like this because it’s just simple. A Plan F owner does not have to worry about a deductible that needs to be met, how much it is and how will I pay it or to whom do I pay it. It’s just all wrapped up in a nice neat tiny little box.


A lot of insurance agents/ brokers, sold this Medicare Supplement because of the simplicity. It was easy to sell because there were no ifs ands or buts about what is going to be covered and how it’s going to be paid. All a person had to worry about is paying their premium. All the rest of the details and the heavy lifting was taken care of by the inner workings of the Plan F policy itself.  A lot of agents/brokers just concentrated on selling the Plan F and they sold no other plan. Why, because that’s what people wanted. They didn’t want to hear about a deductible or a co-pay or anything else. I can’t really blame the client or the insurance agent because the Plan F is a good Medicare Supplement policy. It is a good Medicare Supplement policy, as long as the rates are low and no other Medicare supplement could give them the best benefits and a lower cost. I can remember back in 2000 a Medicare Supplement Plan F was as low as $67.16 monthly. This was a great bargain! Everyone was jumping on the Plan F wagon. Whenever you would try to pitch a plan D or Plan G and even if it was cheaper, the clients would just say no I still want a Plan F. I could save people $120 to $200 a year by offering them a Plan D or Plan G. But because the Plan F was so cheap and so simple everybody just took that.

Now let’s fast forward 18 years. from the time I started selling Medicare supplements. In the last few years a lot of agents are finally selling the Plan G or Plan D. So I say to those agents welcome to the bandwagon! What took you so long to figure this out? Whenever I did my training, I was actually shown the Plan G and Plan D. I actually was offering it to clients instead of the Plan F. Now all of a sudden everybody and their brother who’s an agent is selling a plan G.    In some cases, the Plan D is actually a good buy in certain states. I know in one state that I am licensed in, a Plan D policy surprisingly was lower than a plan G price.


The Plan D has almost the same benefits than a Plan G.  The only thing a Plan D is missing is Part B excess charges.  Which in my opinion does not matter a lot?

So my question again is why weren’t agents selling Plan D and Plan G Medicare Supplements?  Now they are going to be forced into selling these plans because the Plan F and Plan C is going away in 2020.  Let’s talk about what happens if you are a current Plan F owner. You can keep your Plan F or C if you have one now.  However, I would not recommend keeping it. Here is why: it will increase in price more rapidly than Plans D, N and G.  A little history. Before the Part D plans were offered, there used to be a Plan J. The Plan J was a super duper version of the Plan F. It had all the regular benefits of Plan F and it covered medications also.   So back in 2005-2006, the powers that be took the Plan J off the market just like the Plan F will be off the market soon. Clients were advised to switch to another plan as soon as possible. Since no new Medicare enrollees could no longer enroll in Plan J, prices started going up more than normal. So what does that mean?  Most everybody gets a rate increase in premium each year on their Medicare Supplements. A normal rate increase is approximately 10%. Since the Plan J is not available to new people the rates increase to 20% +. Since there is no new “blood” so to speak and no new money going into the Plan J pool, insurance companies can’t pay claims as used to.   When Plan J was available a claim comes in-there is plenty of money because there are a lot of people in the plan and they can pay out expensive claims. Now since the well is “drying up” and the plan pool has fewer funds than it did, companies have to raise their rates much higher in order to be able to pay claims and stay in business. I still have one dear lady that has her Plan J and cannot change plans because of a health condition.  Fortunately, she can afford to keep her plan. Most people cannot. So essentially the same thing is happening to the Plan F.


Why take away Plan F?  My theory and a lot of information nowadays tell us why.  There are 10,000-13,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day! People  enrolled in Part B have to pay a Part B deductible each year. This year the Part B deductible is $183.  It can fluctuate every year. So let’s look at it like this- Plan F paid the Part B deductible . Plan D or G does not.  By making people pay the deductible themselves starts a cause and effect. Now no Medicare Supplement plans that are first dollar coverage.  That means Medicare people may be a little more hesitant about going to the MD. Why, because now they have a Part B deductible coming out of their own pocket. They cannot go to the MD for a cough or runny nose.  By the way, these are not my words when I talk about people going to the doctor with a cough or runny nose. I know that may sound mean. There are people spreading those words around. It also means Medicare itself will be spending less money on MD visits in and of itself.  Less MD visits means more money saved by Medicare. It is estimated this new way will save Medicare Billions. We’ll see. So from the calendar year of January to January each year, in order for Medicare of the Medicare Supplement will not cover the visits to the doctor as they once did. There are just too many people turning 65 for the Plan F to keep up with.  The federal government is going to push the Part B burden onto the new Medicare enrollees in 2020. I don’t think if there weren’t so many baby boomers turning 65 no changes would be made. I think that the Part B deductible will start increasing each year now to pay for ALL of the baby boomers so Medicare can stay somewhat solvent. I do not see a way around that.  Some of possibilities is raising everyone’s taxes in addition to raising the Part B deductible each year. I will be willing to bet that there will be new ways invented to help pay for Medicare to keep the Medicare system going. It is certainly going to be interesting to watch. Plan G will still give Medicare enrollees the same benefits as a Plan F. Again the only difference is that instead of the Plan F paying the Medicare  deductible for you. You will be paying that on your own. Also, you will be saving money! This again takes some of the burden financially off the insurance company with a Plan F paying the deductible for you. Now that some of the pressure is off of them, most insurance Plan G or D premiums will be lower. A lot of my clients are making the change from a Plan F to a Plan G. I have heard this is the route other agents are steering their clients also.  I would also encourage Medicare enrollees look into the Plan D too. Like I mentioned, in some states the Plan D has a lower premium. The Plan D is missing the Part B excess charges benefit. However, I have never had an issue with this from any of my clients. Most doctors have agreed to accept what Medicare pays them. There will be a doctor every once in awhile that may not accept Medicare. From what my clients tell me, they just find another doctor who does accept Medicare. There are not many doctors who are not accepting Medicare. This article was written by Mitch Winstead from Allstar Senior Benefits.  Or toll-free number is 866-598-8170 or 910-538-4547. Our email is mitch@allstarseniorbenefits.com.  Our website is www.allstarseniorbenefits.com  Our Facebook page is www.facebook.com/medsuppguru. Call us today with a quote with no obligations on a lower cost Medicare Supplement or life insurance. Or if you have questions about changes coming to Medicare in 2020.  Or Medicare.gov Plan F 2020 questions. For over 34 years our agency has saved thousands of clients money, especially on Medicare Supplements.  Ask me what 2 free ways I can help you save more money. Thanks for reading!