Anthem Blue Cross Innovative Plan F Medigap

Anthem Blue Cross now offers Medigap Plan F with vision and hearing benefits.

by Senior 65+ on Nov 12, 2019 | 32 Comments

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Anthem Blue Cross Innovative Medigap Plan F Overview

Innovative F Medigap is a new Medicare Supplement plan offered by Anthem Blue Cross in California and Nevada starting Jan 1, 2018. This plan covers all the benefits offered by traditional Medigap Plan F with the exact same network of doctors but now includes new vision and hearing benefits. The most noteworthy addition to Innovative F is a $750 hearing aid coverage.

There are two more options in California for an Innovative F plan with hearing and vision benefits. Check out the chart comparison of all three. You can also compare Innovative G vs G Extra. Innovative G now features chiropractic/acupuncture coverage.

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.

Quote and Apply for Innovative Plan F 

Innovative F Vision Details

Anthem has added vision benefits using the Blue View Vision Access network. You may receive covered benefits outside of the Blue View Vision Access network but you might have to pay more. Below you can see what is covered:

  • Routine Eye Exam (with dilation as needed) once every 12 months. You pay $25 for this benefit.
  • $100 Eyeglass Frames Allowance toward new frames once every 24 months. You pay any cost over $100.
  • Lenses: (once every 12 months). You pay a $25 copay.
  • $100 allowance for Contact Lenses (in place of eyeglass lenses) once every 12 months. You pay all costs over $100.

Innovative F Hearing Details

Offered through Anthem’s Hearing Care Solutions network of providers, this coverage provides an annual hearing exam and hearing aid(s). This includes a 60-day evaluation period for hearing aids.  Here is a snapshot of what is covered under hearing benefits:

  • Hearing Exam – Coverage for one routine hearing exam every 12 months.
  • $750 allowance towards Hearing Aids – Includes fitting evaluation for a hearing aid(s).

Innovative F Other benefits

  • Silver Sneakers Gym Program
  • Welcome to Medicare Discount (New to Medicare get $20 off each month for first year)
  • 24 Nurseline
  • Rate Lock (On Jan 1, 2018 Anthem said rates wont change before March 2019)
  • Household discount for spouse/partner
  • Autopay discount
  • Optional Dental

Click here to get a quote and apply for Innovative plan F

Innovative F Medigap Complete Benefit Details

Benefits Original Medicare Alone Original Medicare With Innovative Plan F
Doctor Network All Doctors that accept Medicare All Doctors that accept Medicare
Part A Hospital Benefit Period Deductible You pay $1,408* You pay $0
Hospital days 61-90 You pay $352 per day per day You pay $0
Hospital Days 91-150 You pay $704 per day per day (lifetime reserve days) You pay $0
Beyond Lifetime Reserve Days You pay 100% You pay $0 up to an additional 365 hospitalization days.
Skilled Nursing Facility Care Days 1-20 You pay $0 (Part A deductible applies)** You pay $0
Skilled Nursing Facility Care Days 21-100 You pay $176 per day You pay $0
Hospice Respite Care You pay 5% You pay $0
First 3 Pints of Blood You pay 100% You pay $0
Additional Blood You pay $0 You pay $0
Part B Annual Deductible You pay $198 You pay $0
Ambulance You pay 20% (Part B deductible applies) You pay $0
Doctor’s Office Copays/Coinsurance You pay 20% (Part B deductible applies) You pay $0
Durable Medical Equipment You pay 20% (Part B deductible applies) You pay $0
Part B Excess Charges You pay 100% (Part B deductible applies) You pay $0
Foreign Travel Emergency You pay 100% You pay 20%***
Out-Patient Surgery You pay 20% (Part B deductible applies) You pay $0
Urgent Care You pay 20% (Part B deductible applies) You pay $0
Routine Eye Exam You pay 100% You pay $25
Eyeglass Frames You pay 100% You GET $100 towards frames every 2 years
Contact Lenses You pay 100% You GET $100 towards lenses
Yearly Hearing Exam You pay 100% You pay $0
Hearing Aids and fitting You pay 100% You GET $750

Next Steps for Anthem Blue Cross Innovative F Medigap

Click here for your Anthem Blue Cross Innovative F quote
Compare Anthem Blue Cross Innovative F vs HealthNet Innovative F vs Blue Shield F Extra
Compare Health Net Innovative G vs Blue Shield F Extra
Check out Blue Shield G Extra in California
Check out Anthem Innovative G in Nevada

Learn More about MedigapGet a Medigap QuoteApply for Medigap

The fine print of the Innovative Medigap Plan F Chart Above

*Medicare Part A deductible is broken down into 60 day benefit periods. Those without this plan will have to pay the Part A deductible again if you reenter the hospital after 60 days from discharge. .
**For Skilled Nursing you must have a 3-day qualifying stay in the hospital to qualify for Skilled Nursing Facility care AND those without this plan will still pay the benefit period Part A deductible ($1,408).
***Foreign Travel Emergency requires a deductible of $250. This plan covers the first 60 days of travel and has a lifetime coverage amount of $50,000.
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Reader Comments and Questions

By Jim on August 30, 2019

I have Anthem Blue Cross Innovative Plan F Medigap now. Could I join a dental insurance with Anthem now? If yes, what kind plans do you have for Senior65?

You definitely can! Give us a call at 800-930-7956 and we can get you enrolled in no time.
-Michelle from

By Ann on August 20, 2019

I am going to have Medicare part B in Dec 2019. Can I get plan F or Innnovative F in Dec 2019? I am from CA

Yes, you can. Since you are Medicare eligible before 2020 you will be able to purchase and keep any Plan F (including Innovative F) for as long as you like.

Give us a call to enroll when the time comes! We can help you apply right over the phone. We charge nothing for our services.
-Eric from

By Barbara on April 08, 2019

I am on Medicare plan F through Aetna. I am looking at immediate new plan options. Since my birthday is 4/10.

You should be able to move to any equal or lesser plan using the CA birthday rule. Since Anthem Innovative F has more benefits than a standard F you would have to go through Medical underwriting to switch. Blue Shield, however, is allowing existing members for a limited time to switch to F Extra up without health review.
-Michelle from

By Tom on March 08, 2019

I thought Plan F can no longer accept new members beginning in 2020 due to Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Only those who are already in Plan F can continue to remain in Plan F. Since Plan F will not accept new members and Innovative Plan F is a different plan, one can no longer switch to Plan F starting in 2020 independent of where you live. Are there exceptions?

In this answer we are assuming you are talking about switching from an Medigap Innovative F to and standard F using the California birthday rule.
People who are not “newly eligible” Medicare beneficiaries will still be able to purchase Plans C, F and High Deductible F after 2020. Check out our article on MACRA and Plan F here. So if you are already a Medicare beneficiary, you should have the chance to switch, and we would love to help you do it! Give us a call if you need help switching.
-Michelle from

By Tom on March 05, 2019

This year (2019), the innovative plan F has more beneftis and yet a lower premium thant regular plan F. This doesn't seem logical. Is this a bait and switch strategy? Will the innovative plan F premium be higher than the regular plan F after this year(2019)?

We don't know what future premiums will look like. The good news is if you purchase this plan in CA you can always use the birthday rule to switch to a Plan F or Plan G in the future.

Hope that helps,
-Chris from

By Tom on March 05, 2019

I think one can not switch from innovative plan F to regular plan F starting in 2020 if innovative F premium becomes higher than regular Fin 2020 or later. My understanding is plan F is going away in 2020. Only those who are already in plan F can be grandfathered. Since innovative plan F is considered a different plan, those in innovative will be grandfathered in innovative and will not be able to switch to regular plan F. Is my understanding correct?

Hello Tom,
As you said, Innovative Plan F is indeed a different plan and you will not be able to switch to a regular Plan F without medical underwriting. The exception to this is if you live in California you should be able to switch from Innovative F to regular F using the CA birthday rule. Please give us a call if you want help enrolling (or switching!)

-Chris from

By monica on February 18, 2019

agents are pushing innovative F her in my state of KY. I work in healthcare and frankly am suspicious of this change with lower premiums for more benefits. it doesn't make sense. there is usually a reason. Why not just lower the F premiums if trying to get customers?

This is a good observation. We don't know for sure but we believe that innovative F is a response to the 2020 rule. We have no idea of what rates will be like in the future, but those in CA have the birthday rule so they can always downgrade in the future to a regular F or plan G if prices start to increase. KY may be trickier since you don't have a birthday switching rule. Give us a call to discuss.
-Michelle from

By Arthur on February 14, 2019

I have anthem plan f select in ky.Can I switch to innovative plan f and if so is their a price increase.Also could I switch now or would need to wait until next enrollment period.Thank’s.Arthur Willoughby

You can switch from Plan F select to Innovative F at any time but there would be a price increase. Also you would have to answer medical questions before your new Innovative F would be approved.

We would love to help you through the process so just give us a call!
-Michelle from

By janet on November 11, 2018

I was told there are three medicare supplement plans that cover hearing aids. Do you know what they are? Thank you.

We can help you enroll in any of the three plans in California that have benefits that cover some of the costs of hearing aids.
1) Anthem Innovative Plan F
2) Blue Shield Plan F Extra
3) Health Net Innovative F

We have created this article to help you compare exactly how each Innovative F extra plan helps cover the cost of hearing aids and more
-Eric from

By Melissa on November 07, 2018

My husband and I both have Anthem Blue Cross Plan F in California. I am 69, he is 67 and he is in his birthday month. What are the advantages or disadvantages of switching to Plan F plus. What are the limitations and the pricing of the Plan F plus. ? Thanks

Innovative Plan F offers the exact same medical benefits as Standard Plan F. The plan also includes vision and hearing benefits as outlined in this article. That is the only difference. Amazingly, it is often less expensive that Standard F

Switching to Innovative F would require that you fill out a health questionnaire even if you did so in your Birthday month. The California birthday rule doesn't apply when going from Standard F to Innovative F. Please give us a call so we can get you pricing information and help you apply right over the phone.
-Eric from

By Margaret on November 04, 2018

I am confused about a health history question I was asked over the phone when applying for anthem blue cross innovative F. I responded no to a question regarding implants as a result of disease. However I had a total knee replacement about a year and a half ago for arthritis. Is that a disease? And if I should have answered yes how do I correct this.

We don't discuss how to answer specific health question for applications online. If you worked with an Senior65 agent when you first filled out the application, however, we can help clarify the situation and update your application if need be. If you worked with a different agent you would want to direct your question to her/him.
-Eric at

By margaret on October 26, 2018

i am a nevada resident who is being offered Innovative F plan from Anthem BCBS. Does the California birthday rule apply to me in nevada, or is there a possibility I could be trapped in plan I can't switch out of if rates increase too high.?

The California Birthday rule does not apply to plans purchased in Nevada. Switching any plan in NV may require a medical review if you got qualify for special enrollment. We can help you enroll in your new plan or help you navigate switching. Please call us at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from

By Don on August 12, 2018

I will be going on Innovative F in October. I first received a new Anthem card saying "Innovative F" and subsequently received another saying "Select Innovative F". Previously was on Anthem F and Anthem Premium Plus Dental and Vision. What is the Select designation. Could it mean dental coverage or do I still need an additional dental plan?

We haven't seen that one before but it is worth fixing/clarifying. If we are your agent on your Anthem Innovative F, please email us at request at Senior65 or call us at 800-930-7956. We will work on your behalf to get this thing resolved.

If you didn't enroll with us, please contact your agent to see what is going on.
-Chris from

By Karen on July 14, 2018

Can someone who already has Plan "F" switch over to this new Innovative Plan "F"? My re-enrollment will be in December of this year.

If you wanted to switch from Medigap F to Innovative F you would have to apply over the phone. You do not have to wait until the anniversary date of your enrollment. You can switch at any time. Please give us a call and we can assist. 800-930-7956.

By Bob on June 18, 2018

Given Anthem Innovative F is new (KY)and has no price increase history, would it be more prudent to go with a G plan? Thanks

Great question. For those living in California, the answer is easy since they have the birthday rule which makes changing plans easy. They should start with the Innovative F and if prices increase, switch to G.
In Kentucky, you don't have special rules guaranteeing you the right to switch plans after the first 6 months. Since we don't have a history of rate increases, it would be prudent to seriously compare what you get with innovative F and compare that with G. We can help with this process. Give us a call at 800-930-7956 and we will help you run a detailed analysis.
Chris from

By Zahira Olga on June 09, 2018

I am interested to know about the dental part before I accept. thank you!

Thanks for contacting us. Anthem offers 3 different dental plans that you can purchase during (or after) the application process. These are the same dental that Anthem offers with all their Medicare Supplemental plans. Give us a call and we can go over costs and benefits and help you figure out which one is right for you.
-Amy from

By Lauren on June 04, 2018

What are the advantages of using a broker to get a medicare supplement plan, as opposed to simply going to the desired company website and applying for a policy? thanks

We have listed a few reasons why you would want to work with an agent..
A few additional things to consider: we never charge a fee a we can guarantee you the lowest price allowed by law.
Plus since we are independent, we will help you shop all the best plans and select the right plan for you. After you enroll in a plan, our service does not stop. We can serve as your authorized agent to help you with any issues you have with your plan/coverage moving forward. Bottom line: Working with an agent adds a knowledgeable independently motivated member to your team at no cost. We hope you consider working with Senior65!
-Michelle from

By Michael on May 17, 2018

If I have guaranteed issue due to loss of an employer Medicare Supplement, is Innovative Plan F guaranteed issue or do I have underwriting?

Thanks for contacting us. Your Innovative F should be guaranteed issued under your circumstances. Give us a call at 800-930-7956 and we can help you enroll at the guaranteed lowest price by law.
-Chris at

By Kathleen on May 11, 2018

Plan F Innovative appears to be Plan F with hearing and vision benefits added...but it has a lower premium structure. What am I missing?

You are not missing anything! You are correct in your assessment and Anthem is currently pricing Innovative F for less than their original plan F in California. They are trying to grow market share for this plan. If you live in CA, you could start with Innovative F and if the price were to increased in the future, you could always switch by using the CA Birthday rule.
Please contact us and we can enroll you in a Innovative F plan if that is the best plan for you.
-Michelle from

By Lynn on March 16, 2018

Hi, I’m turning 65 soon and like so many confused. I was going with Anthem Advantage PPO coverage but then looked at Plan F. It’s only about $25 more a month but almost no out of pocket! Seems too good to be true. Is there a catch? Once in, could they double the cost the following year? Can you switch from Plan F to Advantage(MA) and back? Cost isn’t the only factor but rather service - getting prompt care without fighting for approval with insurance companies.

Thanks for your questions.
1) While Innovative plan F (and all Medigap plans) could increase prices in the future they could not double them. Increases have to be approve by your state's insurance commission. The industry average is about 3% increase per year.
2) If you wanted to switch from a Medigap plan to an MA during Annual Election Period (Oct 15-Dec 7). If you leave Medigap you could return but depending on how long it has been, you might have to answer medical questions before approval.
3) If you live in CA, you can move from one Medigap plan to another without reapplying if you do so under the CA birthday rule
Hope that helps
-Chris from Senior65

By Edna on February 28, 2018

In 2020, when Plan F will be eliminated EXCEPT for those already enrolled in Plan F, will the same rules apply to Innovative Plan F?

Those who are already on Innovative F will be allowed to stay on them after 2020.
-Michelle from

By Linda on January 12, 2018

Hi. My husband retired from Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin). I will be turning 65 in March. One Exchange now handles these retiree medical benefits. Whom do I call to see what my spousal benefit for health insurance will be? Must I call Lockheed Benefits Department or do I speak with you? I called One Exchange last fall but the customer service department didn't have any answers for me.

Thank you for your time/help with this matter.

You will want to contact Lockheed Benefits Department to confirm benefits. While you can work directly with One Exchange, often times we can offer more options (like Innovative F!) which may save you money. Once you find out how your benefits work, give us a call and we can discuss your options
-Michelle at

By Darleen on January 03, 2018

Where is the list of in network providers for the innovative plan F vision benefits?

Thanks for contacting us. Anthem is using their Blue View Vision network for their vision benefit. I don't know if there is anywhere to look this up online. Give us a call and we can look up vision locations for you.

BTW: There is not a special network for medical benefits. Any doctor that accepts Medicare will accept Anthem Innovative F Medigap.

-Eric from

By Tony on December 07, 2017

I have been told by Anthem that if one has Anthem Senior Classic F, they are not eligible to change to Anthem Innovative F during the Open Enrollment Period or through the birthday rule without underwriting? Is this true?

Anthem has confirmed with us that those on classic F that want to switch to innovative F will have to apply for the new plan. You will have to answer health questions before being approved on the new plan.

If you are under initial enrollment, however, you will be automatically approved on the new plan without answering medical questions.
-Chris from

By Roy on December 06, 2017

It's hard to believe they will offer more for less money without there being some catch. What are the disadvantages of switching from the current plan F to the Innovative plan F? Can I still see any Dr that accepts medicare and is there any lifetime or yearly limits to what they pay?

Innovative F has the exact same doctor network as traditional F with the same medical benefits. The only difference between the two is they include vision and hearing benefits with Innovative F.

Based on our research as independent agents we see no "catch." We believe that is Innovative F is priced less than traditional F in most counties based on Anthem's goal to build marketshare for this new product.

The good news is ...if the price does start to go up over time, you can always switch to a competitors plan since you have the CA birthday rule for Medigap in your state. Hope that helps
-Michelle from

By Carol Levy on December 02, 2017

I have a PPO supplement (Blue Shield). Is Innovative Medigap F a PPO plan and can I choose my same doctors and hospitals?

The Anthem Innovative F is not a PPO plan. It is a Medigap plan. Members who sign up for this plan can see any doctors or hospitals that accept the Medicare assignment.

If you have additional questions or would like to sign up for Innovative F, please contact us.
-Eric at

By Sarah on November 29, 2017

Just wondering if there are any updates yet regarding where Innovative-F fits in terms of changing plans later under California's Birthday Rule? I'm turning 65 soon and am considering Innovative F, but I want to be sure I'll have the option of switching to something else later without going through medical underwriting. Since Plan F is being discontinued soon, rates for all versions of Plan F could go increase a lot in the following years. I want to be sure I would not be stuck in Innovative F if that happens.

Sarah, Anthem has indicated that anyone on Innovative F in CA can move to any other plan during their birthday month. Please let us know if you have additional questions or if we can help you enroll.
-Eric at

By Lucy on November 25, 2017

Lynda's question regarding the ability to switch from Innovative Plan F to to regular Plan F is critical. Do you have an answer? Also, in 2020, when Plan F will be eliminated EXCEPT for those already enrolled in Plan F, will the same rules apply to Innovative Plan F?

We spoke with Anthem Blue Cross and they said that those on Innovative Plan F will be able to switch to Standard Medigap Plan F or any lesser benefit plan during their birthday rule.

They did say that those on standard plan F will have to go through medical underwriting before being approved on the innovative F.
-Chris from

By Ralph on October 18, 2017

I was told by a Anthem agent that Dental was included in the new "Innovative plan F"

According to Anthem's summary of benefits, Innovative F includes Vision and Hearing benefits. Dental benefits are optional. Click here to see exactly what is covered and get optional dental pricing. After you click on that link, you first have to hit "get a quote" before you can get to the plan details and optional pricing.
-Michelle from

By william on October 17, 2017

Does Anthem Blue Cross Innovative Medigap Plan F also offer silver sneakers?

Yes, The innovative F does cover silver sneakers. Since it is so new, you may not see it on our quoting engine. Call us for pricing and to enroll.
-Michelle from

By Lynda on October 11, 2017

Would someone who chose to switch policies/plans during their birthday month, where in CA they have Guaranteed Rights, have the choice of ANY F or only Innovative F without underwriting??? I saw that Oregon doesn't allow someone with Innovative F to switch to an F without underwriting. Not sure why but I read that. Thank you.

Great questions! Unfortunately we do not have the answers right now because innovative F is so new. We will contact them to see if they can answer those questions.
-Chris from
UPDATE!!!! An Anthem rep said that you could switch from Innovative plan F to standard Medigap F without underwriting in California. I'm not sure why someone would do that as Innovative F is priced less than Standard F and has more benefits. Any switching would be from Innovative F to G and the Anthem rep confirmed that that too could happen without medical review as part of the birthday rule.

By Martin Lo on October 06, 2017

I thought every plan F was the same? How can Blue Cross they offer extra benefits like hearing and vision?

Martin, While in the past Medigap plans were able to add gym memberships like silver sneakers, this is the first plan that we know of that offers Hearing Aids and Vision. With all the calls about hearing aid benefits, it should be very popular.
-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.

We will not publish your last name or email if you submit this form.

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