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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Industry coalition defends Medigap plans

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Nov 01, 2013 @ 02:18 PM

Medicare Supplements The Coalition to Promote Choice for Seniors has asked Republican leaders on the House Ways and Means and the House Energy and Commerce committees to protect the Medicare supplement program.

The coalition which is made up Industry insurers, producers and includes organizations as the National Association of Health Underwriters, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association groups.

Moreover, the CPCS has defended the Medigap program and has written to Republican leaders in response to allegations that some Medigap plans drive up Medicare program costs.

The Medicare Supplement program helps pay the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by traditional Medicare Part A and Part B, like medical care, co-payment, coinsurance and deductible requirements.

Medicare Supplement insurers are required to offer standardized packages of benefits by law. Supporters for the program say that seniors who purchase the higher quality plans are the ones that know they are more likely to require the need for more expensive care, minimizing their out-of-pocket costs. Critics argue seniors may be encouraged to get unnecessary care, adding little or no value, due to the ease of access to the richer Medigap products.

In October 21st in a letter to Congress, the coalition cautioned “that higher levels of cost sharing would result in delayed treatments that could increase future Medicare costs and result in adverse health outcomes for vulnerable beneficiaries.” They said that restricting the plan options could lead to millions of beneficiaries, who already spend 15% of their income on health related issues, to financial hardship.

Under the existing federal and state law, Medigap contracts are “guaranteed renewable.” Any changes to the law “could result in significant complaints and litigation by changing existing insurance contracts”.

Debates over restricting access to richer Medigap products and imposing surtax on some or all its policyholders are fiercely debated by leaders of the House.


Please give us your feedback!
Question: Will altering the Medigap plan hurt financially vulnerable seniors who are already beneficiaries, or will it discourage seniors from seeking unnecessary care and help the plan save money on the long run?

 

Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
    • 2014 Medicare Advantage and Part D Certifications are now available! Learn More

Tags: Beneficiaries, Medicare, Law, Medicare Supplement, Medigap, med supp

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