What changes are being made to Medigap plans?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Several changes are being made to Medigap plans. Most noticeably, Medigap policies can no longer offer prescription drug coverage. So, if you already have a Medigap policy with drug coverage, you can keep it, but you might not want to. The coverage is not creditable -- it doesn’t cover as much as standard Medicare coverage.

 Also, your Medigap policy can’t be used to pay your Medicare advantage plan co-payments (the amount you pay for services), deductibles (the amount you pay before insurance kicks in), and premiums (the fee you pay for the coverage).

 Another change includes the types of Medigap plans you can buy. Plans E, H, I, and J are out, and plans M and N are in. They offer the same basic benefits with a few variations and extras. Choose the one that fits your needs best.

Changes to Medigap policies in the 2010 came about from a law that was passed in 2008: the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act. While these changes are not a result of the new health care law, since June 2010 people in Medicare have some different choices if they shop for a Medicare supplemental insurance plan, also known as Medigap.
Most important, if you already have a Medigap plan that you like, you can keep it. Your plan and benefits will remain the same as long as you continue to pay your premiums on time.
As of June 1, 2010, two new Medigap plans — M and N — are being offered. At the same time, plans E, H, I and J will no longer be available to those buying a new plan. Anyone currently in plans E, H, I and J can keep their current coverage by continuing to pay their premiums.
Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program can help you navigate these changes so you can get the coverage you need.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.