Blue Shield Plan F Extra Medicare Supplement Explained

Plan F Extra now covers hearing and vision benefits

by Katie Banks+ on Oct 16, 2018 | 3 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, um…, extra benefits that are not covered by traditional Plan F benefits. 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.

NOTE: Have a plan but thinking about switching to F Extra?  Blue Shield is temporarily allowing those with a Medigap plan to switch to Medigap Plan F Extra without underwriting approval. 

This “free switch” opportunity ends April 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.

Get a Blue Shield F Extra Medigap Quote

Apply for Blue Shield F Extra Medigap

Blue Shield F Extra Includes the following:

  • 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

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

If you are interesting in enrolling in Blue Shield of California’s 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.

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Reader Comments and Questions

(Click here to leave a comment)

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

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