The difficulty for consumers is that the nature of Medigap makes it a lot harder to shop for than Medicare Advantage. Here’s why. Medicare Advantage plans are regulated and overseen on a national level. Medicare routinely collects all kinds of information on them about customer satisfaction and quality of care. In addition, the premium of a specific Medicare Advantage plan is the same for each customer. As a result, it’s possible (as I explained yesterday) to go to Medicare.gov and compare Medicare Advantage plans in detail, including quality ratings and price. It’s also why we can publish rankings of Medicare Advantage HMOs and PPOs through our partnership with the National Committee on Quality Assurance.
Video: Learn About Medigap Plans
Insurance Commissioners Reject Calls To Limit Seniors’ Medigap Policies
Medigap policies are popular with seniors because Medicare does not cap out-of-pocket expenses. The policies are not cheap — the average premium nationwide was $178 a month in 2010 — but they protect subscribers from unexpected high medical bills, which is important to people on fixed incomes. The C and F Medigap plans cover nearly all of the out-of-pocket costs that beneficiaries would usually pay. Two thirds of people who buy Medigap plans have incomes below $40,000 a year — about the same income levels for all Medicare beneficiaries.
Putting a Donut Hole Back in Medicare: Proposals to Increase Medigap Costs Put Vulnerable Beneficiaries at Risk
 See Medicare Supplement Insurance First Dollar Coverage and Cost Shares Discussion Paper, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Senior Issues Task Force, Medigap PPCA Subgroup, (October 2011), available at: http://www.naic.org/documents/committees_b_senior_issues_111101_medigap_first_dollar_coverage_discussion_paper.pdf. Also see, e.g., Leadership Council on Aging (LCAO) issue brief “Reforming Medigap Plans by Shifting Costs onto Beneficiaries: A Flawed Approach to Achieving Medicare Savings” (December 2012), available at: http://www.lcao.org/docs/LCAO-Medigap-Issue-Brief-12-12.pdf  Medigap Reform: Setting the Context, Kaiser Family Foundation, (September 2011), available at http://www.kff.org/medicare/8235.cfm. Medigap Reform: Potential Effects of Benefit Restrictions on Medicare Spending and Beneficiary Costs, Kaiser Family Foundation, (July 2007), available at http://www.kff.org/medicare/8208.cfm.  See, e.g., previous Weekly Alerts, including finding drug savings in Medicare (November 2011) http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2012/11/15/deficit-reduction-and-medicare-save-money-without-harming-beneficiaries/ ; Prescription Drug Rebates (July 2011) http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2011/07/21/debunking-medicare-myths-drug-rebates-for-dual-eligibles/ ; and additional options for achieving Medicare savings (June 2011) http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2011/06/09/so-what-would-you-do-real-solutions-for-medicare-solvency-and-reducing-the-deficit/.
When Can I Get Out of My Medicare Advantage Plan?
First and foremost, you should apply for the supplement plan with either a February 1 or March 1 effective date. Approval on a Medigap policy can take 2-3 weeks to complete underwriting. So it is important to do this well in advance of when you want the plan to start. For example, if you want to make the changeover effective 2/1/13, apply early in January for the supplement (or even during the last couple weeks of December). Once your Medigap plan is approved, you can proceed with returning to Medicare with a Part D plan. The easiest way to do this is to call Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE) and select a Part D plan, while at the same time disenrolling from your Medicare Advantage plan. You cannot have both a Part D plan and a Medicare Advantage plan, so this changeover can be done within the same phone call. Make the changeover effective either 2/1/13 (if doing it in January) or 3/1/13 (if doing it between 2/1 and 2/14).
Medigap: Providing Financial Security and Peace of Mind for Medicare Beneficiaries
Proponents of limiting first-dollar coverage in Medigap often cite the findings from a 1970’s RAND experiment to make the case zero cost-sharing leads to higher health care spending. AHIP commissioned a white paper to examine the relevance of this study to current Medicare beneficiaries. The white paper found that the RAND study “was set in a reimbursement environment far different from today’s Medicare,” and noted that “a higher proportion of Medicare beneficiaries are low income (and low wealth), and so the impact of higher cost-sharing may be magnified for this population.” The authors conclude that “an across-the-board ban on first-dollar coverage Medigap plans is an overly blunt tool for lowering healthcare expenditures and invites adverse, unintended consequences.”
Medigap Plans and the Affordable Health Care Act
Medicare does not cover every type of medical expense or treatment. For this reason many senior citizens feel they should choose MA (Medicare Advantage) private plans for insurance. This is because they feel Medicare Medigap plans may be too expensive. Mistakenly too many seniors think the MA plans are best because they low, or even zero monthly premiums. The MA plans also frequently cover prescription drugs, vision and other problems. The problem is that all MA plans have many hidden charges that come out of the wallet of those trusting seniors. In some cases these unexpected costs can add up to many thousands of dollars.
NAIC Senior Issues Task Force rejects cost sharing under Medigap plans
The statute requires the NAIC to base nominal cost sharing revisions on “peer-reviewed journals or current examples of integrated delivery systems”. However, the Subgroup discovered that there is a limited amount of relevant peer-reviewed material on this topic. None of the studies provided a basis for the design of nominal cost sharing that would encourage the use of appropriate physicians’ services. Many of the studies caution that added cost sharing would result in delayed treatments that could increase Medicare program costs later (e.g., increased expenditures for emergency room visits and hospitalizations) and result in adverse health outcomes for vulnerable populations (i.e., elderly, chronically ill and low-income).
Obama’s Medicare Plan: Seniors Will Pay More
Obama’s latest budgetary scheme for cost-shifting to seniors is just another indication that the Administration and its allies on Capitol Hill are running out of options. They have already cut the Medicare provider payments to achieve a 10-year “savings” estimated at $716 billion, but most of those “savings” will finance Obamacare. In a letter to Senator Jeff Sessions (R–AL), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, the CBO writes, “Unified budget accounting shows that the majority of the HI trust fund savings under PPACA would be used to pay for other spending and therefore would not enhance the ability of the government to pay for future Medicare benefits.”
Consumer reps: Medigap is not the bad guy
In the current draft of the NAIC cover letter, drafters state that, “We strongly disagree with the assertion that Medigap is the driver of unnecessary medical care by Medicare beneficiaries. Medigap insurance pays benefits only after Medicare has determined that the services are medically necessary and has paid benefits. Medigap cannot alter Medicare’s determination and the assertion that first-dollar coverage causes overuse of Medicare services fails to recognize that Medigap coverage is secondary and that only Medicare determines the necessity and appropriateness of medical care utilization and services.”
State insurance commissioners: No way should we charge seniors more for Medigap policies
“None of the studies provided a basis for the design of nominal cost sharing that would encourage the use of appropriate physicians’ services,” the letter says. “Many of the studies caution that added cost sharing would result in delayed treatments that could increase Medicare program costs later (e.g., increased expenditures for emergency room visits and hospitalizations) and result in adverse health outcomes for vulnerable populations (i.e., elderly, chronically ill and low-income).”
Understanding Medicare Supplement Plans
Scope of Coverages. Every one of the Medigap plans includes a hospital benefit to cover coinsurance payments for standard Medicare Part A benefits, and a preventative medical care benefit that covers certain preventative services not covered by Medicare, as well as 100% of the coinsurance for Part B preventative services after the deductible is paid. The plans include some combination of the following benefits: coverage for Medicare Part B coinsurance obligations; blood during hospital stays; the hospital deductible amount; coverage of nursing facility coinsurance obligations; coverage for Medicare Part B deductibles; coverage for Part B excess charges; partial coverage for foreign travel emergency expenses; coverage for certain at-home recovery costs; and coverage for coinsurance obligations for hospice care.
A Short Overview About Medigap Plans F Assisting Address Expenses Which Are Deductible For Every Single Person
To start with let us initial see what does medigap implies? Medigap plans are a sort of a reward insurance coverage or in superior conditions an added insurance coverage which you commonly buy from the private company that will be getting care of the well being treatment fees that are definitely not coated by the unique medicare. These don’t look after the long term remedies but only includes a basic types like an eye or vision check-up, nursing,dental care and couple of much more.The medigap ideas may also be called the medicare nutritional supplement plans.The medicare complement plan B gives you the fundamental benefits which involves the hospitalization as well as the healthcare expenditures.So,the Medicare Supplement Plans F essentially gives you total protection which comprise of the excess medical costs.Receiving into particulars of what medicare supplement plan F covers let us start with medicare benefits which again includes hospitalisation,medical expenditures and blood. Then arrives the 2nd part which it addresses and that is specialised nursing,deduction from the expenses in hospitalisation,then will come the deduction of outpatient costs for hospitalisation and healthcare bills plus the perfect element concerning this strategy is the fact that it addresses the abroad journey healthcare bills also. Isn’t that outstanding? From each of the medigap plans the medicare supplement plan F could be the most beneficial as it has an alternative for high deduction.These higher deductible procedures have reduced rates as in contrast but in situation an individual gets to be ill or unwell you may find yourself investing larger out of your pockets.This plan could wind up costing exceptionally higher yearly. To avail any medigap plans positive aspects an individual ought to first be enrolled in plan A and the plan B.To know even more about these insurance coverage medical plans you can easily normally seek advice from a medicare insurance supplier.You can easily discuss your specifications with them who are able to recommend you which strategy may get along with your each day amazing as well as a healthful life. Medigap plans or even the plan go over 18% medical beneficiaries.The medicare supplement plan F might be availed based on the area you keep.So its time to suit your needs all to acquire to operate.Obtain out the private agencies which produce the medigap plans and procedures . Speak for your healthcare insurance supplier and avail one of the best strategy you can actually for oneself and your members of the family.
AARP Medigap Rates 2013 Connecticut
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