A coalition of insurers and producer groups is asking Republican leaders on the House Ways and Means and the House Energy and Commerce committees to protect the Medicare supplement (Medigap) program.
The Coalition to Promote Choice for Seniors — which includes the National Association of Health Underwriters, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association — has written in response to allegations that some Medigap plans drive up Medicare program costs.
The traditional Medicare Part A hospitalization plan and the Medicare Part B outpatient care and physician services plans require enrollees to meet many co-payment, coinsurance and deductible requirements.
Medigap products help traditional Medicare Part A and Part B enrollees pay the out-of-pocket costs.
Federal law requires Medigap issuers to offer standardized packages of benefits. The enrollees who choose the packages that do the most to minimize out-of-pocket costs often have the highest claims. Supporters argue that people with health problems buy the richer products because they know they are likely to need expensive care. Critics say access to the products may encourage users to get care that is either clearly unnecessary or adds little value.