Posted on September 25, 2018
Why the top-selling Medicare advantage Plan F is being discontinued
So many years in a row, out of all ten available advantage plans, the advantage plan F has been the best-selling one. The majority of people choose to enroll to this plan, one of the main reasons being, that is covers pretty much everything! Once enrolled to this plan, all you will need to pay for is the premium cost of the plan monthly, along with the cost for the original Medicare Part A or B. This is a benefit that many value, because it gives you the freedom of getting the health care services you might need without having to worry about what it will cost. There are no hidden expenses and no surprises: you pay your insurance monthly and know that whatever comes your way medically, you are covered. So, why is it being discontinued?
In 2015, Congress discussed about passing a legislation, that will outlaw selling plans who cover the 183$ Medicare part B deductible after the 1st of January 2020 (or on this day). The reasoning behind it was, that because people enrolled to these plans don´t have to pay for anything additionally, they visit the doctor´s office even more often than necessary. The belief is, that if a small amount still needs to be paid, many will reconsider going to the doctor and the number of patients visiting only due to, for-example, flu-like symptoms will be greatly reduced. The benefit in this is for Medicare itself, if there will be less doctor´s visits (ones, that are considered to be unnecessary), the expenses will also decrease. There have been many opponents and many arguments against this. One of the main arguments being, that Medicare advantage plan F is also the most expensive one and people are paying for their right to get the health care they believe to be necessary, whenever they want to. Despite all the arguments that the opponents have presented, the legislation passed and will come to force in 2020. This new legislation will not only affect the advantage plan F, but the advantage plan C as well. As both these plans pay for the deductible Medicare part B, they will no longer be sold.
If you are already enrolled to plan F, you are probably thinking: what should I do now? Does this mean that I need to look for a new advantage plan? You can be at peace, as people who are already enrolled in the plan can continue using its benefits even after 2020. Many are nonetheless worried, that once the plan is discontinued, the premium rates will drastically increase, as there will be less new members paying for it, while the existing members will only get older and older. While you can still switch before this even happens, you can also wait and see whether this predicament really comes true. Some states allow for the members to switch policies without any underwriting for a window of thirty days after their birthday.