Last June, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) submitted a plan to Congress to levy an additional charge on seniors who supplement their Medicare with a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan (Medigap). If Congress had decided to go with MedPAC’s proposal, approximately 70 percent of Medigap plan holders would be facing higher out-of-pocket costs.
Glenn Hackbarth, chairman of MedPAC, said that the additional charge is reasonable since Medigap increases the cost to taxpayers and the Medicare program. Hackbarth said that the proposal was not created to prevent Medicare beneficiaries from getting a supplemental insurance policy. It was just letting Medigap policyholders “face at least a portion of the additional cost,” he said. By imposing the additional charge, it would significantly reduce Medicare’s expenses.
How does Medigap increase Medicare’s cost? According to some studies, since Medigap plan holders can use the supplemental policy to fill in the gaps left by Medicare, Medigap plan holders get medical treatments even though they are not necessary. The unnecessary medical treatments increase the expenses spent by the federal government for Medicare.
Luckily, members of the Congressional health committee decided not to accept MedPAC’s recommendation to impose a 20-percent surcharge on 90 percent of seniors getting a Medigap plan to help them handle the out-of-pocket costs left by Medicare. If you currently have a Medigap plan or you’re planning to get one, that’s a huge relief. Medigap plans have helped millions of seniors and imposing a 20-percent charge could have resulted in plan holders delaying much-needed medical attention.
Learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance plans here on our website. To further help you make the right decision, join our live Teleseminar by registering here for free. You can ask our expert questions, or just listen in on the questions of other people trying to figure out Medicare. You may also request a free private one-on-one consultation about Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage plans.