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Bankers Life to Add 'Plan D' Medigap Policy

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A unit of CNO Financial Group Inc. will adding another type of Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance plan to its Medigap shelves: a Plan D plan.

The company’s Chicago-based Bankers Life unit says it will sell a Medigap Plan D policy that offers purchasers access to the SilverSneakers exercise program and the WholeHealth Living Choices alternative medicine discount program.

(Related: Regulators polish the proposed Medigap Plan G)

The new Bankers Life Medigap Plan D policy will be a full-fledged Medigap policy that helps purchasers fill in gaps in their ‘Original Medicare’ coverage, not a Medicare Part D drug plan.

Congress created the Medigap “letter plan” system, or collection of standardized health plan designs, in an effort to help consumers compare Medigap plans on an apples-to-apples basis.

The most popular type of Medigap letter plan has been the Plan F. Plan F covers so much of the insured’s out-of-pocket costs that some policymakers have blamed it for encouraging patients to get too much care, and overly expensive care.

People who age into Medicare eligibility in 2020 or later and want the most comprehensive Medigap plan will have to buy a Plan G policy. A new federal law requires a Plan G policy to make the insured responsible for paying a small annual deductible, and that change could cause consumers to look at alternatives to Plan F and Plan G policies, such as Plan D policies.

Bankers Life notes that its new Plan D policy will pay 80% of the cost of foreign travel emergency care.

Bankers Life began selling the new Plan D policy in 29 states in April, and it expects to eventually offer the policy in 43 states.

— Read NAIC Task Force Creates Medigap Subgroupon ThinkAdvisor.

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