A group of group of 33 state insurance regulators, health insurers and consumer advocates charged with modifying Medigap insurance policies that cover most out-of-pocket expenses, have opposed a provision of the 2010 federal health law seeking to increase Medicare beneficiaries’ share of health care. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners gathered the group to come up with ideas to raise the beneficiaries’ cost for the most admired and generous Medigap policies, a task Congress assigned to the association in the health law. Since then, the thought of shifting some costs to beneficiaries in Medigap policies has surfaced as one of several proposals to lessen the federal deficit.
The proposals suggest that if Medigap policies cover less of beneficiaries’ costs, some seniors will be less expected to overuse Medicare-covered health care services. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that such changes could save the government $53 billion in Medicare spending over a decade by intensifying motivations for more careful use of medical services.
The group discussed their congressional obligation as well as the broader proposals limiting Medigap policies, which help more than 7 million Medicare beneficiaries, pay for their out-of-pocket costs. Those costs include monthly premiums, 20 percent of allowed charges for out-patient services such as doctor’s visits and other costs Medicare Plan doesn’t cover.
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