Another Concerned Call about Plan F

I just received another call, posing the same concerned question I have heard many times within the past few months. The question goes something like this: “I heard that Plan F is going away; what should I do?”

The panic is evident. After all, Plan F has been the favorite Medicare supplement for some time, only recently being supplanted by Plan G as the favored plan. Added to that is the fear that a person with Plan F may not be able to health-qualify to move to another plan.

So what to do?

2020 & the Plan F Medicare Supplement

The first step is to grasp a proper understanding of what is happening with the Plan F Medicare supplement. So, is Plan F going away? The answer to that question depends on what is meant by “going away.”

As of 2020, Medicare will not be offering Plan F to new Medicare recipients. However, the key to understanding that announcement is the term “new Medicare recipients.” This applies to people coming onto Part B Medicare as of 2020. It also applies to people trying to purchase Plan F in 2020. But it does NOT apply to people who already have Plan F prior to 2020.

Can I Keep My Plan F?

Anyone who has the Plan F Medicare supplement can keep it. (Though this is reminiscent of President Obama’s promise that, “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” that promise is not supposed to be applied in the same way, if you know what I mean.) If you have Plan F, and you like how it works for you (and don’t mind the higher premium), you can hang onto your plan—even beyond 2020. In fact, according to Medicare, you can keep your Plan F for the rest of your life.

Medicare Supplement Premium Increases

Of course, Medicare supplement premiums increase each year; that is just what they do. But supplements with some insurance companies increase more than supplements with other companies. There are some insurance companies that are better than others at holding down premium increases, meaning that some insurance companies handling Medicare supplement plans have lower rate increases than do other companies. However, there are two other factors that determine, to a large measure, premium increases. (Lest you think I have veered off into another subject, read on; you will see the convergence soon. In other words, what follows will help you understand what will eventually happen to the Plan F Medicare supplement.)

The first of those factors determining how high your rate increase could be is the amount of people who have the same plan you do in a particular area (which could be determined by county, state, or region). This amount of people on a particular plan in a given area is called a “pool” of insureds. The larger the pool (that is, the greater the number of people with that particular plan in a particular area of coverage), the less claims will affect the rates. So, for example, if an insurance company has 20,000 insureds in East Texas with the Plan F Medicare supplement, claims against that plan will not affect rates nearly as much as an insurance company with 2,000 insureds in East Texas with the Plan F Medicare supplement.

The second factor influencing premium increases is claims against a particular plan. However, assuming an equal amount and size of claims against companies with Plan F, the insurance company with the largest pool of insureds will normally have the lowest rate of premium increase. This leads us to what will eventually happen with Plan F.

What Will Happen to the Plan F Rates?

Because Medicare will no longer allow insurance companies to add to their Plan F pool of insureds as of 2020, the size of the pool will decrease. This will occur because some people with the Plan F Medicare supplement will move over to Plan G or even to a Medicare Advantage Plan, and some insureds will pass away. (It happens.) Thus, the pool will not remain stable; instead, it will decrease.

Now, to apply the lesson we just learned: What will happen to a decreasing pool with the same amount of claims coming against it? (Actually, as that same pool grows older, the chances are that claims will increase.) You’re right: Rates will increase.

So, eventually, rates will increase on Plan F more than they have increased in the past. Once that begins to occur, expect those rates to increase by a higher percentage each year, as that pool decreases even more each year. It will only be a matter of time. (We have seen this phenomenon occur with the Plan J Medicare supplement, which Medicare stopped offering several years ago.)

In the Meantime, . . . ?

But, for now, if you like your Plan F Medicare supplement, and if the premium is affordable for you, you can keep your plan; and there is no time frame in which you need to change it. Down the road, if the premium increases become too much, you may want to change from Plan F. Until then, enjoy your plan.

Linda WilliamsLinda Williams
10:08 12 Jul 23
I had a 5 star experience and would recommend him. Always returning my calls promptly, very helpful and informative, listened to what my needs was regarding my Medicare. I truly felt comfortable with John's help to navigate through the maze of Medicare
Cindy KulakCindy Kulak
14:51 18 Jun 23
John is very knowledgable, honest and ethical in helping clients evaluate Medicare options and get enrolled. He made the process extremely easy for myself and my husband.
Leeann MoosLeeann Moos
17:26 06 Apr 23
When I became eligible for Medicare, my phone was constantly under attack from Medicare options sales folk. Since I needed help understanding my options and life is too short to do business with annoying people a little research was in order. Thats how I found John. His other customers seem very pleased with his service and I decided to give him a try. I was NOT disappointed! He did an excellent job for me, is extremely personable and I could not be happier. Thank you John
Rose WrightRose Wright
16:07 05 Apr 23
I am so thankful for the help that Mr. John was able to assist me with medicare information. After being bombarded with letters and phone calls you just need someone who can walk you through the confusion. And after getting all the info and the best plan and benefits for what i needed. I am glad that He was there for me.Thank you so very much,Rose Wright
Steve HenselSteve Hensel
21:08 04 Apr 23
Claeys Group is great to work with. John is truly professional, knowledgeable and makes the entire process flow so much more smoothly than I expected. I would highly recommend him.
Deborah RounsavallDeborah Rounsavall
14:25 07 Mar 23
I changed from my person finance planning group to John for help. Others led me astray. John is very responsive and follows up promptly. Even helped me on the weekend at the end of year to get all my documents in on time so I didn't lose insurance coverage. Explains all the options in a manner that us rookies can understand it. I highly recommend John.
Setella ParksSetella Parks
13:12 07 Mar 23
John's knowledge is invaluable when it comes to navigating the murky water of Medicare plans. He answered all our questions in a manner we could understand and helped us compare benefits between plans, services, and providers readily available in our area. I am so happy we called on him to assist us! He handled EVERYTHING professionally and patiently and has followed up to make sure we are good. Highly recommend his 5 star service!
Sherry JonesSherry Jones
21:01 23 Feb 23
John was recommended by my sister-in-law, who spoke very highly of him. He wrote out the differences between policies and explained it step by step to me so I could understand which policy would be best for my needs. He was professional but also down to earth so I could be at ease. He did this at my bed side which was such a blessing for me. I highly recommend John for your Insurance needs.
19:40 20 Feb 23
We were recommended by friends to call John Claeys for our insurance. He came twice to gather information on what we were looking for and returned with information and details. We are delighted to have John Claeys as our agent and would recommend to our friends and anyone else to call John Claeys today.Tom and Debbie
Joyce SandvikJoyce Sandvik
20:32 30 Aug 22
John Claeys came to our house to talk about all aspects of Medicare. He wrote out some information on a notepad as he talked and answered our questions. He gave us the handwritten notes along with printouts of more information specific to my needs. My husband and I took o a few days to discuss the options. John took a list of my medications and researched all the available prescription insurance policies for me. He narrowed it down to the best policy (best prescription prices) for me. It was so easy and I felt confident I was getting exactly what I need when I turn 65. Every September, he will research prescription policies from my updated list of medications to find the best policy for my needs. Thanks to John Claeys for making this transition extremely easy and effortless.
Marilyn ScottMarilyn Scott
09:35 23 Jul 22
John enrolled my husband into Medicare 4 years ago. I knew then I wanted him to help me with my Medicare when it was my time to enroll. John helped me recently. He is very knowledgeable, humble and so patient. He made sure I had the best plan for me. He genuinely cares about his clients. He is the best insurance consultant! I highly recommend John for your Medicare needs!!
James MartinJames Martin
20:31 20 Jun 22
John did a great job of providing many options for my insurance. He is very thorough.
Judy MarkmanJudy Markman
17:02 20 Jun 22
John goes above and beyond to find the best insurance to fit your needs at an affordable price. I definitely recommend!
Dave LemingDave Leming
16:56 20 Jun 22
John was referred to my wife and I as we began to transition to use Medicare as our insurance options. He was very knowlegeable about all things related to government programs and supplemental options as well. I would strongly recommend his services to anyone requiring such support.
Ed HareEd Hare
14:16 08 Jun 22
John was recommended to us by a friend as we were turning 65 and having to make decisions on our medicare and advantage plan choices.John was thorough, informed, patient and engaged in helping us wade through all the minutia we were receiving to package the best set of programs for our future healthcare needs.We are happy and confident as healthcare needs arise having John at our side.Debi and Ed Hare
Julie SimpsonJulie Simpson
02:36 14 May 22
We selected an awesome advisor in John Claeys! John was dedicated to our needs in counseling our new Insurance choices with Medicare. He is sincere in getting his customers into the program that is best for their situation. John was sincere in explaining the process and we are happy to refer him to others! Steve and Julie Simpson
Sherry HilliardSherry Hilliard
16:55 18 Feb 22
John was extremely helpful when I had to select my Medicare supplemental policy. He is very knowledgeable in the various insurance products. I would recommend John to anyone needing insurance, and in fact, I have recommended him to several of my friends.
Margie SmithMargie Smith
01:08 16 Feb 22
Highly recommend Claeys Group Ins Service, John has assisted with my Medicare supplement and RX choices for past couple years. He is very knowledgeable of the various companies and policies available. Saved money and introduced me with a 5star company.
16:56 10 Feb 22
John came to my house and explained the process of signing up to Medicare in an understandable way. He gave me the steps to take and assisted in the planning. With his help, I got it done. Before he came, it all seemed overwhelming. He's so genuinely nice, and I felt like I had known him for a long time. I highly recommend him, and in fact, already have recommended him to friends and family.
Rebecca NelsonRebecca Nelson
21:00 04 Feb 22
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Dorys GardensDorys Gardens
12:20 23 Jan 22
John was so pleasant to work with. He explained everything clearly and did not pressure me to make a decision one way or the other. He shopped for the best customized drug plan which will be saving me money in the long run. I highly recommend letting him guide you through the medicare process.

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