Due to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), Medigap Plan F and Plan C were discontinued starting on January 1, 2020. Medicare Supplement Plans, such as Medigap Plan F and C, have been discontinued due to budget cuts decided by Congress. Congress discontinued these supplement plans not only to be more cost efficient with spending on healthcare, but to be able to get better pay for doctors who took pay cuts in order to be a provider in Medigap services.

This action was taken in order to encourage doctors to stay as providers in Medicare programs. In its current state, many doctors who acted as Medicare providers were focused on the number of patients they gave service to rather than their quality of service because they needed to gain more patients to get their expected pay. With a decrease in pay cuts for doctors, they are encouraged to pay more attention to the quality of their care and will be ranked on their care.

These rankings will determine their pay under the new provisions to Medicare. The MACRA Act focuses on the quality of care and access to Medicare. With the discontinuation of Plan F and Plan C, Congress hopes to move the healthcare industry from being low cost-oriented to being cost efficient and still have a high quality of care. 

What Does That Mean for My Coverage?

If you are currently covered by Medicare Plan F or C, you are still able to hold the coverage you currently have and use its benefits. You will also be able to apply for Medicare Plan F or C if you were eligible for coverage prior to January 1, 2020, even if it is after the discontinued date. If you are of age, above the age of 65, before the change enacted at the start of the new year, you will still be able to qualify for Medicare Plan F or C although it has been discontinued. However, if you want to apply for Medicare Plan F or C starting January 1, 2020 and do not meet these requirements, you will not be able to. 

Overall, without Plan F, applicants will need to cover a Part B deductible in any other Medicare Supplement Plan. However, Medicare has multiple plans, options, and tiers that may suit your healthcare needs if you were looking to apply to Medicare Plan F or C and are unable to. Additionally, there are other healthcare options outside of Medicare that are competitive to the Medicare prices and quality of care offered but that may suit your needs and budget better.

Is There a Replacement Plan for Medigap Plan F?

If you are currently not eligible to apply for Plan F or C, do not already hold a plan, or need to change your plan, there are other Medicare Supplement Plans that are similar to Plan F and may fit your budget and needs. One similar supplement plan under Medigap is Plan G. Plan G offers the same benefits as Plan F except it does not include the Part B deductible. Nationally, Plan G has an average monthly premium of about $150 which is comparable to Plan F’s average national monthly premium of $186. Other supplement plans that are comparable to the benefits of Plan F are Plan D and Plan N. Plan D and N do not include a Part B deductible, do not cover Part B excess charges, and both require copay for foreign travel. Additionally, besides Plans F and C that are now discontinued to new applicants, there are 8 other Medicare Supplement Plans that are available. However, if these supplement plans do not cover your needs or do not fit your budget, there are insurance plans outside of the Medicare system that may be suitable for your lifestyle.

How Can I Find the Right Plan for Me?When deciding what healthcare plan and supplement plan is best for you, it is important to first understand what is important to have in your healthcare plan depending on your healthcare needs and lifestyle. After you decide what you need to have in your healthcare plan, you must compare rates across multiple insurance providers that fit your needs. All plans have similar benefits, so it is important to look at rates including monthly payments, deductibles and copays to find the best plan for your budget. The quality of care should not change with the cost you are paying under new Medicare policies, so pick the best plan suited for you. This may be confusing at times or overwhelming when there are so many healthcare options to choose from. For more help comparing plans, prioritizing benefits and finding accurate quotes, visit www.Medigap.com/quotes to find out which plan is best for you.

The short answer is no – yet, truth be told, it is a little more complicated than it seems. As of now, 15-25% of men 65 years and older currently struggle with symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, Original Medicare coverage does not include prescription drug coverage. 

But that’s just for Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B). If you sign up for prescription drug coverage with Medicare Part D, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase additional coverage that could provide you with coverage for your ED medication. But that may depend on a variety of factors.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is tasked with providing discounted, affordable prescription drug coverage for seniors enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. In Part D, the federal government funds private insurance companies that provide prescription drug coverage. As of right now, this program only covers a narrow range of prescription drugs, and coverage will be given to the following:

  • Original Medicare
  • Certain Medicare Cost Plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans
  • Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans

Given the long research and certification process required for most prescription drugs, the process to certify prescription medication covered under Medicare Part D means options are limited. Moreover, experimental medication will almost always be excluded from coverage. 

With this in mind, the patient should understand that insurance plans will vary between carriers. This makes estimating exact prices difficult. In the present moment, the monthly average for premium prices is estimated to be $33.19. But that will vary based on variables like your age, your location, and which company is supplying you with your coverage. 

In addition to this premium charge, some insurance providers will enforce a separate prescription deductible that doesn’t contribute towards the payment of prescription. You’ll have to pay that deductible first before your medical benefits will kick in and reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

These prescription drugs will be arranged into a tier system based where premiums and copayments will vary depending upon the medication you need. As a result, the more specific the medication, the higher your costs will be.

Overall, in contrast to other insurance plans under the Medicare system, Medicare Part D offers an opportunity for patients suffering with erectile dysfunction to receive a form of treatment coverage. 

Medicare Part D and Erectile Dysfunction 

Before considering and choosing an insurance plan, it is important to understand what the potential causes of erectile dysfunction are. Numerous health issues can contribute to ED, and it’s just as important to treat the root cause as it is to manage the day-to-day symptoms. The following conditions have been closely associated with ED symptoms:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism 

With proper medical treatment of these conditions, symptoms of erectile dysfunction are lessened drastically. You may be able to alleviate symptoms by focusing on lifestyle changes which emphasize exercising regularly, dieting, and even smoking cessation. While Medicare may not cover ED medication directly, it is important to note that Medicare does cover treatment for health conditions that are associated with ED – and getting that treatment can help alleviate your worst symptoms.

Viagra Coverage and Medicare Part D

Viagra is a crucial medication often used to treat individuals that suffer from erectile dysfunction. This medication’s usefulness is unparalleled for a lot of patients seeking treatment. Despite all of this, it is difficult to find a plan under Medicare Part D that offers coverage of Viagra.

Treatment Examples Covered?
Medication – Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor pills Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil), Stendra (avanafil) If prescribed for ED: No If prescribed for another condition: Maybe
Medication – self-injections Caverject, Edex (papaverine, phentolamine and/or alprostadil) No
Medication – urethral suppositories MUSE (alprostadil) No
Vacuum erection devices   No
Penile implant (prosthesis)   Under certain circumstances.  See below.  

Nevertheless, generic versions of the drug that contains Viagra’s active component, sildenafil, may be covered by some Part D insurance plans. This also applies for drugs similar to Viagra like Cialis and Levitra, where their own corresponding generic versions (Vardenafil, Tadalafil).

Another option outside of Medicare Part D is Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage is a health insurance plan offered by a private company that maintains coverage for:

  1. Medicare Part A and B benefits 
  2.  Limited prescription drug coverage from Part D. 

Fortunately, with Medicare Advantage, a few plans do cover Viagra and depending on the plan itself, the individual could pay little to no money. Otherwise, when crafting and selecting a Medicare insurance plan, one should take note of all available plans in order to decide which insurance company offers the most ideal deal options for you. 

Are There Other Potential Options Beyond Medicare?

In the case that an individual isn’t able to afford or have their Viagra supplements covered due to expenses, there are alternative ways of mitigating the issue. For instance, options such as:

  1. Lifestyle Changes – any lifestyle changes you can make that promote better health (such as getting better sleep, losing weight, or quitting smoking) could alleviate your symptoms so that you don’t need Viagra anymore.
  2. Treatment for Underlying Conditions – If you suffer from health conditions which are known to contribute to erectile dysfunction (Diabetes, Heart Disease, Alcoholism, etc.), touch base with your doctor and come up with a comprehensive treatment plan to alleviate symptoms for better health.
  3. Coupons & Discounts – Depending on the drug manufacturer, certain companies like Pfizer offer discounts on as many as 12 of their Viagra supplements per year. Besides this, Pfizer also provides an assistance program for certain drug purchases.
  4. State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program – Throughout the United States, some state programs offer assistance to their residents by paying for their medications.

What Should You Do If Viagra Is Not An Option?

If you can’t afford a Viagra prescription, or if you can’t get it filled at your local pharmacy for whatever reason, then it’s important to consider your alternatives. For instance, penile implant surgery is a safe form of treatment given that Medicare and Medicare Advantage offer coverage for the procedure. 

Furthermore, Part B of Medicare will cover 80% of the cost, while allowing the patient to pay the remaining 20% of the procedure. In the event the patient isn’t open to penile implant surgery, Medicare Part B offers plans that include pumps. 

On the other hand, a disorder such as anxiety can produce symptoms similar to erectile dysfunction, which wouldn’t require the use of Viagra or penile implants. If anxiety is the main cause, then cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or certain antidepressants can help alleviate the condition. You may also want to try CBD or cannabidiol supplements. These drugs drastically reduce anxiety levels in many of the patients who try them. Not only does CBD tackle ED symptoms by lessening anxiety, it also gives men a different option outside of prescription medications. Under those circumstances, CBD serves as a short-term solution that gives fascinating results.

All things considered, if you suspect that you’re suffering from symptoms that are reminiscent of erectile dysfunction, then you should consult with a doctor immediately. In any event, you’ll be more likely to discover the root cause of your problem and tend to it with the most optimal solution.

There’s been a lot of talk about Medicare for All in the news lately. But what is it, specifically? Is it a law yet? Will it become law soon? And what does it mean for you and your family? Get the facts about Medicare for All right here and now in this article.

What is Medicare For All?

The Medicare for All Act was proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2017. The 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate wants to provide one source of health insurance for all Americans so that they can all be provided with care. Millions of Americans are currently not insured which has caused many fatalities that may have been prevented otherwise. Medicare for All has become one of the hottest topics on the news lately, especially with the election drawing near. After much controversy about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, politicians and citizens of America have been searching for a better alternative for health care nationally. This decision will indeed affect everyone, as it will change the way we view health care in this country – and will ultimately change the kind of care we will receive, too.

The coverage that will likely be provided includes:

  1. Hospital services, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, 24/7 emergency services, and inpatient prescription drugs
  2. Ambulatory patient services
  3. Primary and preventive services, including chronic disease management 
  4. Prescription drugs, medical devices, and biological products 
  5. Mental health and substance abuse treatment services
  6. Laboratory and diagnostic services
  7. Comprehensive reproductive, maternity, and newborn care, including abortion
  8. Pediatrics 
  9. Dental health, audiology, and vision services

Medicare for All – Who Want It (The Public Option)

There are two proposals for Medicare for All: a public option, and single-payer system. The public option includes automatically enrolling all eligible American citizens in health care. Citizens will only be able to opt-out of it if they have private, government-approved health care replacement coverage. Another aspect is the cost of the public option. If you fall below 200% of the poverty line, you will not have to pay additional health care taxes. If you fall above, there will be an income-based annual health care tax. The idea here is to tax those that are in a better financial state because they will be more likely to afford it. Those who are fully funded will be covered by both the Federal government and other taxpayers. 

The public option gives citizens the opportunity to choose whether they want universal health care or not instead of forcing it on them. According to current legislation proposals, the public option would function similarly to the way the ACA works now. But critics of the public option point out that letting private, for-profit health insurance companies continue to play such a large role in the healthcare system will likely keep medical costs higher than they need to be. 

Medicare for All – Mandated (Single-Payer System)

The latter option for Medicaid for All is the single-payer system. This mandated system would be funded by corporate taxes, marginal taxes from wealthy citizens, and income tax from both state and federal health insurance companies pre-existing. Most out-of-pocket costs are subject to be eliminated with the single-payer system. This proposal will attract many Americans because that means the majority of them will not have to pay directly. Therefore, instead of paying your health care, the federal government will pay the cost to your providers instead. 

The Pros of Medicare for All

So why is the topic of Medicare for All controversial? Won’t it benefit everybody? Not necessarily. There are plenty of good reasons to support legislation like Medicare for All – but at the same time, it’s not without its caveats.

Pro #1: More Americans Will Receive Medical Care

The age eligibility for Medicare for All will gradually go from 55 to 0 within a 4-year transition. This transition plan will allow all members to have full coverage. In year two it will go to 45, year three will be 45 years old, and year four everyone residing in America will be eligible for Medicare for All. Yet, during year one, resident children from newborn to eighteen years old can apply to the Universal Medicare Program. This allows for all children to still have access to health care before the transition period is over. The Original Medicare program did not include aid for children and families, unlike Medicaid. So, including people of all ages would be a step in the right direction for the country. 

Pro #2: No More Restrictive Medical Networks

Patients get to choose their doctor/hospital providing they are participating in Medicare for All. Similar to indemnity plans, members will be able to have more say in their health care. Having the choice of doctor and hospital can make all the difference in choosing a health plan. For example, someone who has been diagnosed with cancer would want their primary physician to specialize in patients with cancer to ensure they will receive the best care. Medicare for All will include hearing, dental, and vision care (which is not the case currently). This plan will cause fewer issues with insurers, less paperwork, and less time spent on administrative tasks – thereby freeing up more time to treat patients. 

Pro #3: Alleviates Health Insurance Burdens for Companies

Medicaid for All will take most of the onus off of employers to provide health insurance for their employees. By doing this, employers will not have to worry about providing their staff with health care and instead focus on bettering their business. Not only that, many Americans have admitted to staying at a job they do not like simply for the health benefits in may entail. This causes many working adults to be overstressed and underwhelmed with their careers, leading to unhappy workers. With that being said, it will still be an option for employees to have private health care if they choose to purchase qualifying coverage instead. Additionally, private insurance would only be used as a supplement for services and treatment that are not offered through Medicare for All. 

The Cons of Medicare for All

Yes, there are some less-than-positive sides to a Medicare for All system. And all American citizens should educate themselves as to what they are before this proposed legislation comes up for a vote in Congress.

Con #1: Some Out-of-Pocket Costs Will Remain

The Medicare Single-Payer System proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders still includes co-pays for things like brand-name prescription drugs. Although it may be an improvement from ACA, any kind of co-payment tends to deter customers away from a plan. Depending on a patient’s condition, co-payments can start to add up in the long run. Increasing access will most likely increase costs and it will not be the same for everyone. 

Con #2: Some New/Increased Taxes Will Be Necessary to Pay for Medicare for All

Another negative aspect of this plan is that the public will pay for this health care through taxes. Taxpayers in higher income brackets will feel the cost of this plan the most as they will be paying for it alongside the government. In 2017, health care costs in the U.S. were nearly $3.5 trillion. The projected amount of money likely to be spent throughout the next decade is $45 trillion. The common misconception is that the single-payer system will eliminate the costs of healthcare; but in reality, it shifts the financial burden away from those who can’t afford it and more toward those who can.

Current local, state, and federal tax revenue programs for Medicare and Medicaid will be redirected into the general fund for Medicare for All. Those funds – along with increased corporate taxes and a nominal annual tax on those in upper-middle-class tax brackets and above – will all contribute towards covering the costs of Medicare for All.

Con #3: The Healthcare System May Be Overburdened (at First)

Automatically enrolling all American citizens into health with the public option may seem like a good idea at first, but some may not want to use this. Some say that putting health care at such a low cost and giving access to everyone will put many providers out of business. It will be more difficult for them to care for very sick patients without immediate funding for it. There has been research done with other nations who participate in the single-payer system in regards to the need for co-payments and it has been found to not negatively affect cost control. 

How do I learn more about Medicare for All?

With 27 million (almost 1/10th) of Americans uninsured, it is essential that we find a solution to this problem. It is important that all residents have access to health care. Countries that participate in single-payer health care include Canada, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Taiwan, and Sweden. It might be a good idea to research the different ways they were able to make it work and implement these ideas for ourselves. At the moment, Medicare for All is still just an idea and nothing has been confirmed. To stay updated on the status of Medicare for All and other health care decisions, you should follow the financial state and budget of the government, read/watch the news often, and make sure to keep yourself informed on the government officials who are these decisions.

Your Medigap Rights

Medigap rights ensure that you are able to obtain insurance in situations where it would have otherwise been impossible. In short, your rights include:

– The ability to purchase Medigap insurance even if you have a pre-existing condition
– Medigap insurance must cover your pre-existing condition
– Medigap rates cannot be raised based on present or past health conditions
– Additionally, in many cases a Medigap insurance company is obligated to sell you a policy if you have lost or dropped some other form of health care coverage

Following are some more important facts about your Medigap rights. This information can help you know when you are entitled to Medigap insurance and which forms of insurance you cannot be prevented from buying.

If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan and this plan leaves Medicare, goes bankrupt or stops providing coverage for your area, you have the right to buy a Medigap A, B, C, F, K, or L health care plan. This can be done as early as sixty days before the end of your present health care coverage or as late as 63 days after your former plan has expired.

If you are enrolled in an Original Medicare plan, employer ground health plan, COBRA coverage, retiree plan or union plan and said plan is ending, you have the right to buy Medigap plan A, B, C, F, K, or L. What is more, you may have additional rights under state law.

When you have an original Medicare and Medicare SELECT policy and move out of this policy’s service area, you have the right to purchase any one of the Medigap plans noted above. You can buy one of these policies either from the state you are presently residing in or the state you are moving to.

It is important to note that there are some cases where a person who drops or loses health care coverage is not entitled to purchase a Medigap policy. In order to ensure that your Medigap insurance purchase is not rejected, it is advisable for you to keep a copy of any letters, notices and/or claim denials that you have received from your present or former health care provider. Be sure to keep the envelope as well, as it will prove when the papers in question were mailed to you. Whenever possible, purchase your new Medigap policy before your current policy expires, as doing so ensures that you have the health coverage you need, when you need it.

Medigap – the official Medicare supplemental insurance program – is used by nearly 25% of individuals who are on Medicare. Due to the gaps in coverage found in the traditional program, Medigap insurance helps to make medical expenditures a bit more predictable for those who it covers. This particular document covers not only the basics of Medigap, but also covers some of the information that would-be recipients may need to know before purchasing a plan.

Enrollment

Medigap insurance enrollment numbers have changed relatively little over the last few years. About one in four individuals who receive Medicare have this sort of policy, but these numbers vary by state – some states see less than five percent enrollment, while others exceed fifty percent. Most recipients have plans that cover Part A and B deductibles, covering so-called “first-dollar” costs.

Medigap Rates

For most, Medicare rates are under two-hundred dollars per month. Premiums vary, of course, but most costs are fairly low. As you might expect, plan costs tend to see the most variation across states, with prices varying from about one-hundred and fifty dollars a month to two-hundred dollars per month. Premiums do seem to be rising, but at the same rate as general Medicare spending.

Premium Variations

As with most types of insurance, Medigap plans do tend to vary in cost by factors such as gender, age, and whether or not you smoke. Costs are higher for those under 65, while costs tend to be particularly lower for those eighty-years old or older. Men have higher rates than women, and (as expected) smokers see greater costs than those who do not smoke.

Enrollment Distribution

Most people who have gap coverage tend to have plans with low premiums. Most beneficiaries actually enroll in the plans that have the lowest overall costs. Regardless of other coverage, it seems that most individuals who seek out this sort of coverage tend to do so in a way that minimizes their costs.

Conclusion

Medigap insurance is an incredibly important supplemental program for those with Medicare but without retirement coverage. One in four individuals has this form of coverage, and those who live in rural states tend to be more likely to have coverage than those elsewhere. As the future unfolds, it seems particularly likely that that this form of coverage will remain important. The only foreseeable issues will arise if those in the government seek to actively discourage the use of these products.

Medicare Supplement Plan F is popular and definitely the most comprehensive policy offered under Medigap insurance. The details of this ‘first dollar’ coverage remain the same no matter what state regulates its implementation. However, there are differences in the Medicare Plan F Premiums insurance and two factors that impact the cost.

The Gender Issue

An analysis of Plan F across five states showed a difference in premium payments between men and women. There was also a link to age as the premiums for younger female adults were higher than the male young adults. However, once the focus shifted to premiums paid by 65-year olds, there was a dramatic change in gender-specific payments.

On the average, men in the five states reviewed were paying eight percent higher than women for the same policy and benefits. The actual range of differences in premium costs according to gender is quite large. There are companies which charge the same rate for both genders and there are other insurance providers which charge men up to 20 percent more than women. Specific moderate examples are the six percent men are charged more than women in Florida and the ten percent more in Louisiana.

It is interesting to note the findings reported in the 2009 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicare costs per male policyholder are eight percent more than for a female policyholder of Medigap benefits. The fact that male beneficiaries of Medigap receive more healthcare services might be a rationalization for increased premiums.

The Smoking Factor

The MCBS 2009 Cost and Use File also reported that Medigap insurance policyholders who were smokers cost Medicare 16 percent more than the non-smokers. This significant discrepancy in cost of healthcare services is reflected in the range of Medigap rates charged to smokers and non-smokers. Although there are some Medigap plans that charge the same premium for smokers and non-smokers, the smokers usually have to pay more for the same coverage. There are some premiums that are 50 percent higher for smokers.

The average premium is 12 percent higher for smokers given the same policy and benefits. Two specific examples are the differences of 6 percent in Florida and 14 percent in Louisiana in the non-smokers’ favor. It is easy to conclude that gender and smoking have an impact on the Medigap rates for insurance, particularly Plan F. However, it must be noted that neither factor is as significant as age.

Medigap insurance policies can range in pricing. The same amount of coverage and policy limits can vary from one insurance company to the next. If you are shopping around to compare prices, make sure you are comparing the same type of Medigap policies.

Premiums are set in place by each individual insurance company for Medigap plans. You can inquire with each company as to how they price their Medigap plans. Their method of pricing can make a difference in how much they charge for policies now and in the future. There are three separate ways that Medigap plans can be priced or “rated”:

Community-Rated or No-Age Rated

With this type of pricing, everyone who is insured under the policy will see the same monthly premium, no matter their age. However, premiums can increase due to inflation and other factors. This means that if you are 65, but your spouse is 75, you will both still pay the same monthly Medigap policy premium.

Issue-Age-Rated Policies

For this type of policy the premium is based on the age of the policy holder at purchase. Younger policy buyers will see lower prices. The premiums will not change as you get older, but can increase for other reasons, such as inflation or other factors. For example, you buy a Medigap plan at age 65 for $140 per month. However, your neighbor is 78 when he purchases his policy, so his monthly premium is $185.

Attained-Age-Related-Policies

Unlike the other two pricing policies, this plan is based on your current age. This means that your policy premium will go up as you get older. In addition, they can increase based on other factors, such as inflation. For example, you are 65 when you buy your Medigap policy. You will pay $120 per month to maintain your coverage. Your premium will go up each year as you get older. At age 66, you may pay $126 per month. At age 67, it might increase to $132. At age 72, you might be paying $165 per month. However, if your sister is 72 at the time she purchases her Medigap plan, her premium might start higher at $165 per month. It will then go up from $165 each year as she gets older.

Other Factors that Influence Cost

Many other factors can contribute to the price of your Medigap rates, either at the time of purchase or anytime throughout the life of your policy. Certain insurance companies can offer various discounts based on gender, marital status and whether or not the policy-holder smokes. Some will offer discounts if you pay with electronic funds transfer. Selecting a policy that requires you to use certain care providers may reduce your monthly Medigap premium amount. Increasing your deductible for Medigap Plan F can also decrease the monthly premium amount.

For most people over 65, Medicare coverage is vital, to ensure you are able to receive the basic medical services you need as you get older. However, there are several areas of medicine for which Medicare doesn’t cover you, and in order to provide this additional coverage, you can choose to buy a separate policy, called Medigap. There is a choice of 10 different Medigap plans, plans A-N, and the one chosen by the largest number of people is Plan F.

What it Covers

So what makes this plan so right for so many people? Medicare coverage has gaps in 9 specific areas, many of which could be very important as you get older, and if you find you need these, you will have to pay for them yourself, unless you have Medigap insurance. Plan F is actually the only one of the Medigap plans that covers all 9 of these areas.

Even Plan F doesn’t cover everything — you still have to pay your Part B premiums every month, plus your premiums for Part D drug coverage. However, the great thing is that all these are taken directly from your Social Security payments once they start, so you don’t need to worry about them. What’s more, when you receive a service that’s covered by the plan, you don’t have to file a separate claim — Medicare sends your claim directly to your Medigap insurance provider for payment. So Plan F is made as stress-free as it possibly could be.

Alternatives to Plan F

Although Plan F is the most popular, it may actually turn out that a different plan is more advantageous for you. One reason this may happen is if the difference in Medigap rates between Plan F and another plan is greater than the extra benefit you receive from Plan F. For instance, the only difference in coverage between Plan F and Plan G is the Part B deductible of $147 per year, but if the premiums for Plan G cost you $20 less per month, this would work out at $240 less per year, which would more than cover the $147 difference — so Plan G would be more beneficial for you. In order to find the plan that is best for you, you can let us help you get a Medigap quote.

All this no doubt seems incredibly complicated, but we at CompareMedicalSupplements.net are here to help you. Our aim is to ensure you find the best Medigap insurance plan for your needs, whether it’s Plan F or a different one. Please feel free to get in touch with us at any time, with any questions or concerns you may have.

Medigap aims to provide additional medical insurance coverage for people on a Medicare plan, especially those who do not have the option to enjoy pensioner benefits (as provided by employers). This also applies to people who do not meet the requirements for Medicaid insurance. Just under a quarter of all Medicare clients have supplemented their medical insurance with Medigap insurance policies. Not surprisingly, there are a higher number of Medigap clients living in rural areas. Between 2006 and 2010, the rate of Medigap enrolment has remained mostly stable, even though other forms of medical insurance coverage have become available. Most people under the swathe of Medigap plans enjoy the benefit of being covered for Plan A and B deductibles as well as a few other Medicare cost-sharing obligations. These plans are fairly popular because they drastically reduce the potential for unexpected additional costs.

A few policymakers have suggested that Medigap coverage be discouraged. This would be their attempt at lowering the debt and deficit which causes the company so much trouble. The aforementioned restrictions would in turn necessitate more cost-sharing responsibilities. Naturally, these additional obligations could push policyholders to avoid looking for additional services provided by Medicare. Some want to charge the maximum allowable price for both Medigap and employer-sponsored pensioner health schemes. Others would only prohibit a first-dollar policy to new customers, leaving existing policyholders in the clear.

What These Discussions Could Mean for You

For beneficiaries, there would be cost implications hand in hand with proposals aimed to restrict Medigap plans coverage. If a premium surcharge happens, as many as five million 2010 first-dollar policy holders could have raised medigap rates. Premium surcharges would not affect current policyholders and fewer beneficiaries would choose the first-dollar option in the future. As could be expected some beneficiaries may experience lower out-of-packet costs while others who suffer comparatively poorer health or who have multiple hospital visits could be faced with more expensive care in years to come.

In the future, Medigap might continue to do great work in supplementary medicare, especially if Medicare Advantage crumbles in the face of reduced ACA payment or if employees slow on providing pensioner coverage. If cost-sharing needs rise to lower deficits, the demand for Medigap may rise as people seek more financial protection. Alternatively, demand could slow as time goes on if policymakers bring about changes to discourage or totally prohibit the purchase of Medigap policies in a part of a wider effort to stop an increase in Medicare spending.

For many seniors, the combination of Medicare and Medigap policies means freedom from worry about medical treatment costs. A Medigap policy typically pays “first dollar,” which means that these plans cover the deductibles and coinsurance that Medicare does not. Seniors with a good Medigap policy can receive the treatment they need, both inpatient and outpatient, at no additional cost to the premium payments.

Recently, these policies have been blamed by some analysts as a cause for rising government debt, since critics feel that some policy holders may seek unnecessary treatment and their doctors may order unnecessary tests. They believe that seniors who have to pay deductibles and coinsurance will be unlikely to seek unnecessary medical attention simply because they will not be able to afford the doctor visits.

As proponents of Medigap insurance point out, these additional costs may well discourage seniors from seeking necessary medical help. Low Medigap rates allow seniors to seek care when they need it and not when they can afford it. Financial constraints can certainly cause the elderly to ignore physical symptoms that should be treated, resulting in serious illness and lengthy hospital stays.

Since states have standardized the benefits of Medigap plans, seniors face simplified choices for coverage. Many choose the most inexpensive plans simply due to family budget constraints. However, some in government have suggested these policy holders be required to partially share in the cost of their deductibles and coinsurance, but The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) studied the proposals for cost sharing and decided that no such plan was currently necessary.

The number of people who will need Medigap insurance may well be on the rise, since many employers no longer give coverage to those on Medicare. Also, the cost of Medicare Advantage fluctuates, and seniors cannot afford uncertainty where their medical expenses are concerned. The safest route for most to take is the combination of Medicare Part A, Part B, and Medigap. Prescription coverage through Part D is also a wise choice for many.

Will Medigap Bankrupt the Healthcare System?

Medigap insurance enables those on Medicare Part A and Part B to receive the medical attention they need without worrying about the cost of deductibles and coinsurance. These plans are affordable for many and play a vital role in maintaining the health of the nation’s elderly. While some abuse of the system may occur due to this “first dollar” coverage, the benefits of these plans currently outweigh the negative consequences of this system.

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