Throughout the year, we take calls from clients saying that someone called them saying things along the lines of “there are changes to Medicare and you’re not receiving the benefits you are entitled to,” or “if you have the Plan F, it is going away and you will lose your coverage.” Today, I want to clarify what these people mean and what they want from you so that you aren’t worried for your coverage or make a change to your coverage that may be irreversible.
“My Plan F will be cancelled?!?!”
Firstly, NO. If you have the Plan F, you can keep it and it will NOT be cancelled or taken away from you. The news you hear about F going away pertains to people turning 65 AFTER 1/1/2020. There are lots of agents and call centers that are using false statements about the F “going away” in order to try to get you to buy something from them. The hard and quick fact is that if you are turning 65 after 1/1/2020, you will not be able to buy the F. That is all. Again, if you have the F, you get to keep it. Some agents and call centers are also assuming that Plan F premiums will skyrocket and are using that as a high-pressure sales tactic. When we look historically at other plans that were discontinued and their rate of premium increase, it does not justify the assumption that the F will “blow up.” If you have concern for the future of your rate stability, we can discuss with you the option of moving down to the Plan G (same as the F except you pay the Part B deductible) and if you would pass underwriting (health questions/recent medical history) to do so.
“Changes to Medicare and your plan doesn’t cover them.”
Every single time someone calls you or sends you mail that says there are changes to Medicare’s coverage and that your plan has holes/doesn’t cover new services, they are going to try to sell you a Medicare Advantage plan (MAPD) or a home-healthcare policy. There have been no changes in Original Medicare’s coverage that a Medicare Supplement would not cover. When Medicare updates its deductibles/copays/co-insurance, your Supplement automatically reflects any changes and your benefits remain the same. Advantage plans and home-healthcare policies are not bad things, but they may not be suitable for your particular situation or be the type of insurance you want because the costs are different.
A lot of marketing callers like to tout the routine vision/dental/hearing and over-the-counter benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan, which are great additional benefits that you don’t get with a Supplement, but you have to make the trade-off of always having copays for visits/services and a network of doctors. Lots of people love their Medicare Advantage plan and the extra benefits that you can access from them, but MAPDs aren’t for everyone and not everyone feels comfortable with the potentially high accrual of copays in the event that a serious or unexpected change happens in your health. If you think that your Supplement is no longer suitable for you and would like to investigate a Medicare Advantage plan, call us because we have been here for you and always look out for your best interest. We want you to receive ALL the pros and cons and be well informed before you make a coverage change because sometimes, depending on your health, changing can have long-term consequences to your options.