Why is Plan F Being Discontinued?
Beginning in January 2020, Medicare Supplement Plan F will no longer be offered to newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries. For most people, this means if you're turning 65 after 2019, you won't be able to enroll in Plan F. For those already enrolled in Plan F, there will be no changes to your benefits, although premiums are expected to rise.
But why is Plan F being discontinued? The elimination of Plan F for new Medicare members is the result of portions of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (known as MACRA) going into effect on January 1, 2020. Specifically, MACRA eliminates Medicare Supplement plans that pay the Medicare Part B deductible. Plan F and Plan C both pay the Part B deductible, so they'll no longer be an option for newly-eligible Medicare enrollees.
One of the government's arguments for discontinuing Plan F is that studies showed beneficiaries were more likely to visit the doctor for "social visits" (meaning when it wasn't medically necessary) if they didn't have to pay a deductible. The idea is that by requiring enrollees to pay the Part B deductible, wasteful Medicare spending will be reduced.
The good news is that other Medicare Supplement plans often end up saving clients more money than Plan F when monthly premiums are taken into account.