Blue Shield Plan F Extra Medicare Supplement Explained

Plan F Extra now covers hearing and vision benefits

by Katie Banks+ on Nov 13, 2019 | 7 Comments

Blue Shield of California is now offering Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan F Extra with hearing and vision benefits. Following the lead of Anthem Innovative F launched last year, Blue Shield now has a Medigap Plan F Extra with additional benefits that are not covered by traditional Plan F. So just to clarify this has the same exact network of doctors and medical coverage as every other Medigap plan F but also includes the benefits below.

Blue Shield often opens up period of time when they let everyone enroll in their Medigap F Extra so be sure to check regularly for updates on this possibility.

Besides, as of July 1, 2020, a standardized plan and an Innovative plan are considered equal in benefits. This means if you have a standard F you can switch to Innovative F or F extra during the California Birthday Rule.

This article was updated on November 12, 2019 to reflect new information.

Get a Blue Shield F Extra Medigap Quote

Apply for Blue Shield F Extra Medigap

What does Blue Shield F Extra include?

  • Comes with a membership to Silver Sneakers gym program

  • ROUTINE EYE EXAM (Every 12 Months)
  • Plan pays 100% after $20 copayment

  • GLASS FRAMES (Every 24 Months)
  • Plan pays up to $100 allowance for frames

  • GLASS LENSES (Every 12 Months)
  • Plan pays 100% after $25 copay

  • CONTACTS (Every 12 Months)
  • Plan pays up to 100% 

  • HEARING EXAM (Every 12 Months)
  • Plan pays 100%

  • HEARING AIDS (Every Year)
  • Plan offers you discount on two Vista Hearing aid models
    -Vista 610 model you pay $499
    -Vista 810 model you pay $799

More on Blue Shield F Extra Hearing Aids

Vista hearing aids are available in the following styles:
- In the ear
- In the canal
- Invisible in canal
- Behind the ear
- Receiver in the ear

No cost for Hearing aid fittings, counseling, and adjustments
– Ear impressions & molds
– Hearing aid device checks
– Two-year supply of batteries per hearing aid
– Three-year extended warranty on some models

Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) – Your PERS benefits are provided by Lifestation.

  • One personal emergency response system
  • Choice of an in-home system or mobile device with GPS/WiFi
  • Monthly monitoring
  • Necessary chargers and cords

If you are interested in enrolling in Blue Shield of California Plan F Extra, please get an instant Plan F Extra quote here or contact Senior65 to learn more and enroll over the phone.

You can also Compare Anthem Blue Cross Innovative F vs HealthNet Innovative F vs Blue Shield F Extra. If you are new to Medicare after January 1, 2020 you will not be able to purchase any Medigap F including Blue Shield F Extra. However, you are still able to purchase Medigap Innovative G in Nevada or Medigap G Extra and Medigap Innovative G in California. This last plan features chiropractic/acupuncture benefits.

Learn More about MedigapGet a Medigap QuoteApply for Medigap

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Reader Comments and Questions

By John on February 19, 2020

Am I eligible for Plan F extra if I am not enrolling in medicare until August 2020?

It depends on when you became eligible for Medicare. If you turned 65 before 2020, then you will be able to get Medigap F Extra once you enroll in Medicare.

Give us a call when you decide to enroll. We will help you get Medigap and we charge nothing for our services.
-Michelle from

By Anthony on August 09, 2019

Can I get back into plan F if I am not comfortable with plan F extra?

You can but you will have to go through medical underwriting UNLESS you make the switch during the California Birthday Rule. We can help you switch when/if the time comes.
-Eric from

By Susan on May 14, 2019

Blue Shield Plan F extra is only for a limited time. Then what. Can we still choose a plan F with any company when Plan F extra ends?

Blue Shield Plan F extra is not only for a limited time. As we always say: Plan F is NOT going away. Current enrollees (those qualified for Medicare before January 1, 2020) with Plan C, F, High Deductible F or F Extra are able to keep their plan with no problem at all. On top of that, "newly eligible" seniors can still purchase any of these plans provided they are Medicare eligible before January 1st 2020. Check out our article on Plan F 2020 Rules to learn more.
-Chris from

By Tania on May 06, 2019

Please let me know if the two innovative F and Blue Shield F Extra allow switching with guaranteed issue into a regular Plan F of other Medigap companies.

In CA, those with an Innovative F or F Extra can switch standard F without health review using the Medigap birthday rule. Those with an standard F can switch to Health Net's innovative F using the birthday rule (but not Anthem Innovative F or Blue Shield's F extra).

We like to think of ourselves as switching experts so please give us a call if you would like help switching plans. We guarantee the lowest price allowed by law and we never charge a fee.
-Michelle from

By Elaine on March 22, 2019

Is the new Medicare Supplement Plan F extra a PPO or HMO?

Hi Elaine,
All Medicare Supplement Plans including the Blue Shield F Extra are neither PPO nor HMO plans. They have no unique network. Any doctor that accepts the Medicare Assignment will have to accept you Medigap plan. You want to think of all Medigap plans as secondary payers to Medicare rather than seperate stand alone insurance with separate networks. The only exception are Medigap Select Plans which F Extra is not.
Now that you know F Extra taps into Medicare's network (the largest doctor network in the nation), let's get you enrolled. Click here to apply for Blue Shield F extra.

-Michelle from

By Chris on November 16, 2018

Is it possible to switch from Plan F to Blue Shield's Plan F Extra using the birthday rule? Are Plan F and Plan F Extra considered equal? Are they considered the same and therefore, I can switch with being medically underwritten and having guaranteed issue?

You cannot use the Birthday rule to switch from a standard Plan F to Blue Shield's Plan F Extra (or Anthem's Innovative Plan F for that matter). Both companies state that since their new plan F's have added vision and hearing benefits they are considered higher than regular F.

HealthNet also offers an Innovative F and they are currently allowing our clients to switch from regular F to their new plan.

If you are interested, give us a call and we can help you switch at no hidden cost or fee.

-Chris from

By Karen on November 09, 2018

I just enrolled in Medicare on Sept. 1, 2018. I have the Anthem Blue Cross Supplement called "Innovative F." How does my Innovative F from Anthem Blue Cross compare with Blue Shield Plan F Extra? I am wondering if it is worth it to switch from Anthem Blue Cross to Blue Shield. It looks like the vision care with Blue Shield may be slightly better in that it allows for progressive lenses up to $120, while Blue Cross makes you pay a $90 copay for progressive lenses. The only other difference that I can see is that Blue Shield offers a Personal Emergency Response System, which I don't really care about at this point. I am paying $122/month for my Anthem Blue Cross Supplement. They gave me a discount for this first year and then it should go up to $140 next year. I think that the Blue Shield Plan F Extra is $140 this year. Any thoughts on this matter?

As you understand, the benefits from both Blue Shield's Plan F Extra and Anthem's Innovative F are exactly the same except the added benefits such as vision and hearing benefits. So moving from one plan to the other will not change your core medical benefits. We have just put together a great article that compares Innovative F with Plan F Extra side by side. If you think the Blue Shield plan has richer vision for your needs, you can switch to that plan in the following ways:

1) Apply for the Blue Shield plan in the first 6 months of your Part B effective date/65 birthday. Even if you currently have Anthem Innovative F, you can apply for a new plan and they will have to take you if it falls in the first 6 months of your initial enrollment

2) Switch during your Birthday Month. You can always move from the Innovative F to the Blue Shield F extra in California using the Birthday Rule.

3) Apply at anytime for Blue Shield F extra and answer the Medical Underwriting questions.

We can help you navigate the switching 100% over the phone with no cost to you. If you find our site helpful, please consider working with us!
-Chris from

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot comment on specific Medicare claims. Contact Medicare directly if you are trying to see if your issue is covered.

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