Medigap Changes & Updates for 2010

Many people already know that the Federal Government regulates Medicare Supplements. However, they do not know all the details of these plans. There are presently twelve plans labeled A through L. Every plan with the same letter is identical, no matter where you go or what provider you see. However, the CMS has changed some of the standards for the various plans, and these changes will take effect on or about June 1, 2010. Below is an overview of these changes and how they effect you:

1) Hospice coverage is now considered a basic “core” benefit for every plan. Plans K and L already included Hospice coverage, and that will not change.

2) “Preventive Care NOT Covered by Medicare” has been removed, and this effects plans E and J. Since Medicare Part B has incorporated many preventive services into that plan, the portioning of payment for only part of the physical was unnecessary. CMS concluded that including it in these plans was not beneficial. CMS has also removed “At-Home Recovery”, which affects plans D, G, I and J, stating that the benefit as it is written is difficult to interpret and administer, and with Medicare’s changes has become less meaningful.

3) Plan D has been revised to exclude that portion which mentions “At-Home Recovery”, which had been taken out of all plans.

4) Plan G has been rewritten to incorporate the changes to “Medicare Part B Excess” benefits, which changes the prior 80% benefit to the current 100% benefit, and also excludes the “At-Home Recovery” benefit as referenced above.

5) Plans E, H, I and J have been removed because they are now duplicative of existing Plans.

6) Plan M has been added, which mimics Plan D with the exception that it contains a 50% coinsurance payment for the Part A deductible.

7) Plan N has been added, which mimics Plan D with the exception that it contains a 100% coinsurance payment, less a $20.00 co-payment for physician visits and a $50.00 co-payment for emergent care visits (unless the patient is admitted to the hospital).

Please note that these changes are only effective for those plans commencing after June 1, 2010. Plans currently in effect or commencing before June 1, 2010, will remain the same for the duration of the plan.