February 27, 2013
Millions of Americans have insurance coverage under Original Medicare however they may still lack certain benefits. Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, is sold by private insurance companies to fill gaps in original Medicare coverage. Important changes to Medigap policies took effect on June 1, 2010.
Basic Benefits:Starting with policies effective on or after June 1, 2010, Hospice Part A coinsurance (outpatient prescription drug and inpatient respite care coinsurance) will be covered. Plan K will cover 50% of the costs and Plan L will cover 75% of these costs.
Part B Coinsurance – Plans K, L, and N will require you to pay a portion of Part B coinsurance and copayments, which may result in lower premiums for these plans. All other Medigap policies pay them at 100%.
New Plans Offered – Plans M and N are new choices. Plan M provides a 50% Medicare Part A deductible and some of the cost of foreign travel emergencies. It will not cover the Part B deductible. Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance except up to $20 copayment for office visits and up to $50 for emergency department visits. Plan N will pay the full Part A deductible. It will will also cover some of the of the cost of foreign travel emergencies.
Plans D and G – Plans D and G effective on or after June 1, 2010 have different benefits than D or G Plans bought before June 1, 2010.
Plans No Longer for Sale – Plans E, H, I, and J will no longer be sold after May 31, 2010. But, if you already purchased Plan E, H, I, or J before June 1, 2010 then you can keep that plan.
Insurance companies selling Medigap policies are required to make Plan A (hospital insurance) available. If they offer any other Medigap plan, they must also offer either Medigap Plan C or Plan F. Each state decides which Medigap policies should be offered. Medigap policies don’t cover long-term care (like care in a nursing home), vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and private-duty nursing.
Trying to understand Medicare and Medigap policies is difficult. We highly recommend that you review your plans and coverage with a licensed health insurance agent at California Health Plans. You can also obtain quotes on Medicare Plans from our online quotation system or call us at 1-800-585-1776.