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Medigap alert

 

Dear Editor,

If you own a Medicare Supplement, know someone who does, or know anyone about to turn 65, this is important information. It has to do with the Tom Coburn/Joe Lieberman Medicare Senate Bill. This bill is designed to reform Medicare. On the surface this is good in face of the $60 billion in Medicare fraud each year.

However, attached to this bill is language that will affect anyone who owns a Medicare Supplement policy. If passed, it will limit Supplemental insurance coverage so that seniors cannot purchase Supplements to cover all of their out-of-pocket expenses. Plan F is the standard. It pays 100% of what Medicare approves but does not pay. As a licensed insurance agent, 100% of my clients, including myself and my wife, are on Plan F. Any who have had medical costs will testify that Plan works great. They want 100% coverage and are willing to pay a premium to have the coverage.

Medicare Part A covers in-patient services and Part B covers out-patient services. Both A and B have separate deductibles and co-insurances, making Medicare Supplements a necessity for full coverage. Under the proposed bill Medicare Parts A and B deductibles and co-insurances will be combined into one single deductible of up to $7,500 annually for each person. This may be a good idea, however, the same bill will bar Supplemental policies from paying any of these deductibles and co-insurances.

Reforming Medicare is one thing, however our government should not be allowed to interfere with private contracts between private insurance companies and private citizens. I believe that Medicare beneficiaries should have access to a wide range of coverage options, including those that provide full protection. I urge you to get involved. Google the Coburn/Lieberman Bill. You can also call a help line at 1-866-869-1923. They will put you in contact with your Senators or Representative. More information can be found at “www.protectmedigap.org”.

This is not to be confused with “Medicare Advantage” plans in which the policyholder does not use Medicare or a Supplement.

Joel Olinghouse

Hamilton

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