Both Congress and the Administration have looked at the Medicare program and Medicare Supplement insurance for areas to reduce federal spending. As a result of these considerations, a variety of proposals have been suggested that would make changes to some Medigap plans. You can read specifics about these proposals by clicking on this link: Medigap Proposals.
In August, the President signed into law the Budget Control Act of 2011, which laid out provisions to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the federal deficit. The law establishes a joint congressional committee of twelve members of the House and Senate to identify savings in the federal budget amounting to $1.2 trillion over the next decade.
The joint congressional committee has already held its first meeting to consider the package of recommendations. Currently, Members of Congress, through the House and Senate committee structures, are able to make suggestions on what they believe should be included in the final package. The joint congressional committee will take a vote on the deal by November 23, 2011.
The President has also offered his own package of recommendations to reduce the deficit. His plan makes changes to some Medigap policies by establishing a surcharge for individuals who purchase certain types of coverage with low cost-sharing requirements. This would effectively cause prices to go up for those who choose to purchase those particular policies. More details about the President's plan can be read at the link above.
As deliberations continue, Medigap will certainly be part of the conversation.
Individuals and organizations can speak up to ask Congress to protect Medigap. In fact, last week the National Association of Insurance Commissioners sent a letter to the chairs of the joint congressional committee urging them to not make changes to Medigap coverage. You can read the letter that was sent by clicking here.
There's a significant role you can play too. It is important that members of Congress hear how vital your Medigap coverage is to you, especially as these critical discussions take place over the next weeks and months.
There are several ways that you can make your voice heard:
Thank you for all your efforts to help protect Medigap. The PPM will continue to keep you informed of the latest developments and ways that you can get involved in the process.