Senior Health Insurance Article

Medigap Changes Coming June 1st

Several key changes are coming to senior supplemental Medicare or “Medigap” insurance plans, starting on June 1st, 2010.  These changes have often been referred to in the media as “Medigap Modernization” and they are summarized below.

Change 1:  All Medigap plans will cover Hospice Part A coinsurance.

Hospice care is a form of caring for patients whose disease cannot be cured.  Hospice Part A coinsurance is the percentage of costs that the Medicare Part A subscriber (you) would be expected to pay for hospice care.  Starting on June 1st, all Medigap plans will pay some or all of this coinsurance cost as a basic benefit.  Under Plan K, this coverage will be 50% and under Plan L it will be 75%.  For all other plans it will be 100%.

Change 2:  There are new options for Medicare Part B Coinsurance.

Plans K, L and N will require subscribers to pay a portion of Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayments.  All other Medigap policies will cover Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments at 100%.  Medicare Part B coinsurance is the percentage (or flat dollar amount in the case of copayments) of Medicare Part B expenses that the subscriber (you) would be expected to pay for Medicare Part B insurance expenses.

While this may sound like it makes plans K, L and N less appealing, the opposite could actually be true.  How?  Because these plans will require subscribers to share some portion of Medicare Part B coinsurance expense, it could very well make the premiums for these plans lower.  If you are very healthy and fit and do not expect to have high Medicare Part B expenses, it might make sense to consider one of these plans in order to keep your premiums lower. 

Change 3:  New plans will be offered.

Plans M and N are new choices added to the Medigap plans mix.

    Plan M offers the following benefits:
  • Medicare Part A coinsurance hospital expenses up to an additional year after Medicare benefits have expired.
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance (or copayment)
  • The first 3 pints of blood
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance (or copayment)
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • 50% of the Medicare Part A deductible
  • Foreign travel emergency
  • Medicare preventative care Part B coinsurance

  • Plan N offers the following benefits:
  • Medicare Part A coinsurance hospital expenses up to an additional year after Medicare benefits have expired.
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance (or copayment) (except up to $20 copayment for office visits and up to $50 for emergency department visits)
  • The first 3 pints of blood
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance (or copayment)
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Foreign travel emergency
  • Medicare preventative care Part B coinsurance

You may have noticed that there are only two differences between plans M and N.  The first difference is the set of limits listed under plan N for the Medicare Part B coinsurance. The second is the percentage of Medicare Part A deductible that is covered:  Plan M covers 50% and plan N covers 100%.

Change 4:  Plans D and G will change.

Both plans will continue to be offered for sale, but plans purchased after June 1st will offer a different set of benefits than those purchased before.  However, if you purchased Plan D or G before June 1st and would like to keep it the way it is, you can.  The PDF table below will show you side-by side comparisons of plans D and G before and after June 1st, 2010.


PlansDandG.pdf

Change 5:  Some plans will be discontinued.

Plans E, H, I, and J will no longer be offered for sale after June 1st.  However, if you already subscribe to one of these plans and you would like to keep it, you can.  You can also purchase one of those plans through May 31st, 2010.

Get a Medigap Quote

To get quotes on Medigap plans, visit our quote engine and enter your zip code in the box at the top of the page.  (The rest of the information is optional.)  Ready to sign up today? Go to Medigap Overview page. Then click the “Next Step” button at the bottom of the page to see a list of quotes for Medigap plans available in your area.

If you prefer, you can get personalized help from a Medicoverage agent who can help you choose the right Medigap plan for you.



Comments and Questions

Click to leave a Comment

Leave a Question or Comment

Please enter the word you see in the image below:



-