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NAIC task force creates Medigap subgroup

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State insurance regulators have set up a new Medicare supplement insurance regulation update team.

The new team, the Medigap Subgroup, is part of the Senior Issues Task Force, an arm of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

The subgroup has been meeting through conference calls since early October. 

Members of the Senior Issues Task force approved the subgroup’s charges last week in National Harbor, Md., at the NAIC’s fall meeting, according to a meeting summary from the parent of the task force, the NAIC’s Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee.

The charges of the new Medigap subgroup include updating the NAIC’s Medicare Supplement Insurance Minimum Standards Model Act, the Model Regulation to Implement the NAIC Medicare Supplement Insurance Minimum Standards Model Act, and related consumer guides and training materials. 

In April, President Obama created a new law, Public Law 114-10, by signing H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) bill. The law prohibits insurers from selling Medigap policies that pay the Medicare Part B physician services plan deductible on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

An older federal law requires insurers to base Medigap products, which supplement the Medicare Part A hospitalization coverage as well as the Medicare Part B coverage, on 10 standardized “letter plan” models. The new federal law lets people who buy zero-dollar Medigap plans, or Medicare Plan C and Plan F coverage, before Jan. 1, 2020, keep their coverage.

Today, Plan F policies dominate Medigap plan sales charts.

See also: AHIP: Medigap Plan N is coming on strong

The 2016 Medicare Plan B deductible is $166 per year.

Regulators and other participants in the Senior Issues Task Force conference calls have talked about strategies for implementing the Medigap zero-dollar coverage ban, and also about reports that some insurance agents are telling consumers to drop Plan F policies because the government is banning them.

Cindy Goff, a vice president at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), has written to the subgroup to recommend leaving the model act as is, adding a short MACRA section to the model regulation, and making minor numbering changes to the model regulation to reflect the addition of the MACRA section. AHIP is also recommending that the new, higher-deductible Plan C plans be renamed as Plan D plans, and the higher-deductible Plan F plans should be renamed as Plan G plans, to keep consumers, regulators from confusing the grandfathered Plan C and Plan F policies with the new, higher-deductible versions of the same policies.


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