Recently I was asked a question by J. R. who purchased my book: Medicare for the Lazy Man; Simplest & Easiest Guide Ever! And who thoroughly perused my site: MedicareForTheLazyMan.com.
"I read your book... And found this excerpt from the Federal Medicare booklet from your site.
Why do you think they are stopping F from covering the Part B deductible?
Starting January 1, 2020, Medigap plans sold to new people with Medicare won’t be allowed to cover the Part B deductible. Because of this, Plans C and F will no longer be available to people new to Medicare starting on January 1, 2020. If you already have either of these 2 plans (or the high deductible version of Plan F) or are covered by one of these plans before January 1, 2020, you’ll be able to keep your plan. If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but not yet enrolled, you may be able to buy one of these plans.
"Thank you for writing.
The stated reason is that this is an effort to reduce "utilization" by causing people seeking treatment to share part of the cost. The expressed hope is that people will think twice before seeking treatment for minor or insignificant aliments. There are several reasons why this is probably not the whole story, including the elimination of my beloved High Deductible Plan F, the plan I own and recommend to everyone who will sit still and listen for a minute. Those who are covered by HDF share 20% of the outpatient cost after the Part B deductible so this plan is exactly what the doctor ordered when it comes to reducing utilization.
Why then is it also being eliminated (for new enrollees)?
I have heard that there will be a replacement for HDF derived from Plan G but have seen no details yet. If a low cost, high powered replacement is not brought out for the discriminating shopper, I will be concerned that larger more insidious motives are at work behind the scenes.
In the meantime, I will stifle my concerns and promote the heck out of our two best plans while we still have them.
Once again, thanks very much for writing!
In my opinion, there are several possible reasons for the government decision to withhold Plan F and High Deductible Plan F from new enrollees. All of them are disturbing.
These are the two most desirable Medicare Supplement plans on the market. Plan F is the single most popular while HDF is by far the most cost effective for the majority of Medicare enrollees.
I strongly urge those shopping for Medicare Supplement coverage to seriously consider one of these excellent plans.