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Medicare Supplement Plan Changes in 2010 to Lower Costs, Add Benefits for Seniors
A law affecting Medicare Supplement plan changes takes effect next year, eliminating two existing plans and adding two new plans. The changes also lower out-of-pocket costs for consumers and add benefits to current plans.
When the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 takes effect June 1, 2010, it will eliminate four Medicare supplement plans and add two.
Plans H, I, and J will fall by the wayside as their prescription drug benefits are no longer needed now that those benefits are provided through Medicare Part D. Additionally, as certain benefits are eliminated under the changes, Plan E will essentially become identical to Plan D and will no longer be necessary.
“Seniors don’t need to worry if they have one of those plans,” according to Alan Weinstock, an insurance broker with http://www.MedicareSupplementPlans.com, which specializes in Medicare supplement insurance plans. “Those policies will be grandfathered and benefits should continue without interruption.”
Not all states or all companies offering Medigap plans may offer the newly structured plans, meaning that the assistance of an insurance broker will be helpful while wading through all the plan choices available. Weinstock’s agency, http://www.MedicareSupplementPlans.com, offers older adults the opportunity to review and compare rates, plans and benefits for Medicare supplement insurance from several prominent insurance companies.
“The plans are standardized, but prices vary from company to company,” Weinstock explained.
June Fichera, of Van Nuys, Calif., said of Weinstock’s agency, “I especially appreciated being shown the best plan rather than the most expensive. Between Medicare and the gap insurance I purchased…everything was covered.”
The two new plans in effect next June are Plan M and Plan N. Plan M increases cost-sharing to 50 percent of the Part A deductible and provides no coverage for the Part B deductible. Plan N will have a new co-pay structure: $10 co-pays for physician visits, $50 co-pays for emergency room visits, and no coverage for the Part B deductible.
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