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, but only ten are available to everyone eligible to enroll. The reason for this is because several letter plans are no longer available. So, which plans are part of Medicare’s chopping board? Why are they gone? And, how does this impact you? Well, let’s answer all these questions.
Which Medigap Plans Are Discontinued
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.
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.
Why was Medigap Plan F discontinued?
Per MACRA, first-dollar coverage plans (Plan C, Plan F, High-Deductible Plan F) 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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