Four top House Republican leaders are calling for curbing the use of Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans that hold down consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses for routine care.
Instead of insulating consumers’ from the true cost of care with plans that minimize out-of-pocket expenses, Medicare should offer enrollees protection against catastrophic expenses, the lawmakers say in a new commentary.
The authors — House Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Tenn., chairman of the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee; House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich.; and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the Ways and Means health subcommittee — say the commentary will be the first in a series of Medicare reform papers.
Policymakers should start by creating a single combined annual deductible for the Medicare Part A hospitalization program and the Medicare Part B physician services program, the lawmakers said.
Policymakers should then set “a simplified coinsurance rate that is applicable to spending above such deductible,” the lawmakers said.
“Reforms must protect Medicare beneficiaries from any out-of-pocket costs that exceed a defined and reasonable catastrophic limit,” the lawmakers said.