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Discontinued Medigap Plans Through the Years


Through the years, Medicare has discontinued several Medigap plans. Some of these plans have been notoriously popular among enrollees. One of the primary things to know about Medigap plans is that the different plan options vary by letters. The letter plans are A through N. Over the years, several letter plans are no longer available. 

Which Medigap Plans Are Discontinued?

  • Plan F
  • High-Deductible Plan F
  • Plan C
  • Plan E
  • Plan H
  • Plan I
  • Plan J

In 2010, Plans E, H, I, and J became no longer available on the market due to the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA). In 2020, Plans C, F, and High-Deductible F became unavailable to newly eligible beneficiaries per the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). We’ll go over the reasons these plans left and what it means for you.

MIPPA – Reduction of Standardized Plans

Beginning on June 1, 2010, Plans E, H, I, and J became no longer available. This came as a result of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA). The Act reduces the number of available plans. The federal government standardizes all Medigap plans.

Plans H, I, and J are no longer available due to the addition of a prescription drug benefit, Part D, to Medicare after a 2003 act became a law. They went away because they duplicated existing letter plans but added a drug benefit. The drug benefit became unnecessary with the availability of Part D.

Plan E was essentially the same as Plan D but with preventive care. This plan is no longer available per MIPPA, as MIPPA also got rid of preventive care as a benefit available through Medigap plans.

An additional result of MIPPA was the introduction of Plan M and Plan N. Plan N remains one of the most popular Medigap plans today. 

MACRA – Elimination of First Dollar Coverage Plans for the Newly Eligible

When a plan provides first-dollar coverage, that means it covers the Part B deductible. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) became law to end first-dollar coverage for newly eligible beneficiaries.

Why Plan F Went Away?

MACRA made Plan C, Plan F, and High-Deductible Plan F unavailable to new beneficiaries. This is in the Act’s attempt to limit medical overspending and pay doctors fair wages. If Medicare doesn’t pay doctors fairly, they won’t want to work in the program anymore, which can be a significant problem. If you’re newly eligible, you won’t be able to enroll in any of the three first-dollar coverage plans.

Luckily, there remain many other Medigap plan options to choose from. For example, Plan G provides all the same benefits as Plan F, except Part B deductible coverage. In the same way, Plan D can be an alternative for Plan C.

If you have any of the first-dollar coverage plans, you’ll be able to keep your plan. If you’re not newly eligible, you can also still enroll in Plan C, Plan F, or High-Deductible Plan F.

FAQ’s

Why was Medigap Plan F discontinued?
Per MACRA, first-dollar coverage plans will no longer be available to new beneficiaries. This is due to an effort by Congress to curb medical overspending and provide adequate wages for doctors. If you currently have Plan F or are not newly eligible, you can still enroll.
Why was Medigap Plan H discontinued?
Plan H went away because it provided identical benefits to Plan D, plus a drug plan. The availability of Part D prescription drug coverage eliminated the need for this plan.
Why was Medigap Plan I discontinued?
Plan I was eliminated because it was identical to Plan G but with drug benefits. With Part D, this plan became redundant.
Why was Medigap Plan J discontinued?
Plan J was discontinued due to the fact that it offered the same benefits as Plan F but with a drug plan. Part D prescription drug coverage made this unnecessary.

How Does a Discontinued Medigap Plan Impact You

You might not be eligible for all the Medigap options, but depending on the coverage you have and the date you Medicare starts for you, there are certainly plans available. Whether you're newly eligible or simply interested in a new plan, we're here to help with all your Medigap needs.

To compare plans today, call the number above. Or, fill out our rates form to see your rates. We've helped many navigate the Medicare maze and find the right plan for their needs and budget. We hope to do the same for you.

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Lindsay Malzone

Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

19 thoughts on “Discontinued Medigap Plans Through the Years

  1. Thank you for the information you provided. Too bad you do not work for the government directly. Your article and answers to questions were concise and on point.

  2. I am presently on Medicare with Plan F. My wife will be 65 in OCT and will be going on medicare. Are we both required to have separate plans or can I add her to my plan?

    1. Hi Ken! Thank you for your question. Your wife would need to get her own plan, Medigap plans are for single individuals.

  3. I enrolled in Nov 2019 and was advised that Plan G is the very same as Plan F but cheaper. Please advise if I was told correctly,

    1. Hi Nancy! So, Plan G is very similar to Plan F, but it’s not the same. Plan F is considered first-dollar coverage, Plan G is not. This is because Plan F covers everything, including the Part B deductible of $198. Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible. So if you have Plan G, you’ll be responsible for paying the $198 deductible. However, many have found that Plan G is the better value because they would’ve spent more in monthly premiums with Plan F that would’ve cost more than the Part B deductible. I hope this helps!

  4. What was an elegantly simple program has been turned into a complicated shell game. See if you can find your health care under one of the shells.

    1. Hi Joe! Premiums and deductibles are two different things. A premium is what you pay for the plan, a deductible is a set amount you pay every year towards your medical bills before your plan pays 100%.

  5. plan g best same benefits except part b deductible not included savings in premiums more than covers the $185 part b ded

    1. Hi LP! That is correct for most! However, in some states, the difference in monthly premiums may not cover the cost of the Part B deductible. Premiums for the same plans vary across states & carriers.

  6. I am covered by my spouse at this time. When he retires, will need to switch to my own Medicare… will I still be able to qualify for Plan F. thanks!

  7. I also have Plan F, but my monthly premiums are around $245/month, even higher than Sherry’s. I’m don’t know why there is such a variation in premium amounts. Can you help me out? Thanks much.

    1. Hi Sally! This is a common question we get. The premiums are determined by many different factors, including location and how the carrier rates the policy. You may pay $245 in monthly premiums where you live now, but for that same plan, it could cost way less in a different state. Give us a call, we’ll be happy to compare the same plan with other carriers in your area to see if we can get you a lower premium. We can also see what the rates would be for you with another plan that’s close to Plan F, like Plan G. The new High-Deductlbe Plan G may also be a good option for you.

  8. My husband and I both are on Plan F and are THANKFUL everyday we chose to go this route rather than an Advantage Plan. Albeit, our premiums are relatively high ($189 and $218) but we have already seen the benefit. We both have been very healthy up until this year. Both of us have had extreme back issues and the husband had spine surgery. It was those unforeseen medical issues that we worried about and so glad we did! Our motto is: “Pay now or Pay later”……which is what we would be doing now were it not for the fact we chose the Plan F.

    1. Hi Sherry! Thank you so much for sharing your story. It truly helps others in your situation who are unsure if they should go with Medigap or Medicare Advantage. If you had a Medicare Advantage plan in this situation, your out of pocket costs would’ve been way more then what you’re paying in monthly premiums for Plan F. We have a great Facebook community that I know would love to hear this, you can join here!

  9. I’ll do my best to enroll in Plan F before it disappears. I refuse to visit the doctor’s office unless I absolutely have to other than an annual physical. I am sure these changes will not affect in any manner the folks in the Congress who already have the best plans anywhere in the world. Another nice gift from the party which has an elephant in its logo.

    1. Hi Eyup! As long as your Medicare-eligible now, or before 2020, first-dollar coverage plans are not disappearing for you. You can still enroll in Plan F now as well as after 2020.

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