The Partnership to Protect Medigap recently reached out to its members to make them aware of potential changes being discussed that could affect Medigap coverage.
Medigap Changes Considered in “Fiscal Cliff” Talks
In Washington, the White House and Congress are trying to reach agreement on a package of spending cuts and new revenues that would prevent the country from going over the “fiscal cliff,” a collection of laws set to expire on December 31, 2012. As part of the negotiations currently taking place, some elected officials are proposing changes to Medigap coverage.
A common policy proposal being considered limits first-dollar coverage for beneficiaries who rely on certain Medigap policies. The intention of the proposal is to save money in the Medicare program by deterring seniors from seeking unnecessary medical care; however, research has shown that this change would have the negative consequence of encouraging beneficiaries to avoid care that is medically necessary. The end-result can be severely adverse to a senior needing care as well as more costly not only to the individual but also to taxpayers.
Nearly 10 million seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries rely on Medigap plans to help fill in the substantial gaps that traditional Medicare does not cover. Seniors who are enrolled in Medigap are largely satisfied with their coverage and value the financial protection and reliability that the plans provide. Research has shown that Medigap is an especially vital source of coverage for rural and low-income beneficiaries.
To learn more about the value of Medigap, visit protectmedigap.org