Newtown Square, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/20/2017 -- People on Medicare, have always been able to supplement their Medicare benefits with Medigap plans. The most popular Medigap plan is Medigap Plan F because it covers all gaps in Medicare and leaves beneficiaries $0 out of pocket. This may change soon as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is slated to pass Congress.
Due to MACRA Congress is eliminating Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible, such as Plan C and Plan F. Higher income individuals will see premiums increase as well.
"If you aren't certain what is going on with your Plan F coverage is you are due to renew, make sure to speak with an experienced health insurance agent or broker to find out the latest information that may affect you," said Clelland Green, RHU, CEO benepath.com.
The reason why Congress is planning to eliminate Plan F is because it offers just about 100 percent coverage. Medicare covers 80 percent of outpatient needs and Plan F covers Part A and B deductibles, including the other 20 percent. Beneficiaries have no co-pays, not even for a doctor's visits. "Plan C is similar, however it does not cover Medicare excess charges," explained Green.
Congress is of the opinion that those with Plan F and Plan C over burden the health care system by going to see medical professionals more often than perhaps necessary. Accordingly, they feel if beneficiaries were instead responsible for paying their own Part B deductible, they may not go to see a doctor as often for minor things.
Industry observers suggest that getting rid of Plan F may result in some people not seeking medical care, leading to more hardship later and that without early diagnosis, Medicare would be paying out more for health care.
"What you need to know is that the proposed changes, should they be passed into law, only affect new enrollees after January 1, 2020. That means those currently on Plan F are able to retain their plan for the long-term," added Green. Beneficiaries would also be able to shop for better prices for another insurance company's Plan F policy at a later date.