When you are new to Medicare, it’s hard to decide how to supplement it. To make an informed decision, you need to consider how Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans may be impacted by health care reform. Most people who are already eligible for Medicare are not expected to see much change. Those who won’t be eligible for some time probably will.
Some of the changes that have already come out of health care reform have brought widespread benefits. One of the biggest changes increased coverage to see a doctor. Medicare used to pay for 80 percent of doctor services, leaving you to pay the other 20 percent. Now, there’s a big push to prevent disease, so preventive care is 100-percent covered. You still pay for 20 percent of diagnostic procedures and treatment.
That’s great news, but a wide variety of proposals have been put forth, including eliminating first-dollar coverage in Medigap Plans. The Obama administration plans to raise $2.5 billion over the next 10 years by implementing a surcharge on Medicare Supplement Plans. This would not affect those already on Medicare or those very close to getting benefits. Republican candidates have proposed more drastic cuts, despite Romney’s plan to increase the federal deficit.
The Obama administration proposal is set to go into the budget proposal in 2013, and if it’s passed, it would take effect in 2017. We work to keep you up-to-date on all of these changes, and we can help you compare Medigap Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Prescription Drug Plans. Our website is loaded with information, and you can also get an independent professional opinion on your options at no charge. Just give us a call to arrange for a confidential consultation.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.