Is Obamacare the End of Medicare Supplement?

By | January 20, 2013

…, “What Affect Will Obamacare Have On Medicare Supplement?“  The answer to that question is easy.  Obamacare has zero effect on Medicare Supplement insurance.

All the fear mongering and warnings that drastic changes to senior’s Medigap will be made as a result of the PPACA are false and just political spin.  The fact is that Medicare Supplements are not even mentioned in the PPACA.

Yes, there were changes to the Medigap plans that were allowed in June, 2010 but they had no relationship to the PPACA that became law three months earlier.  At that time Plan J was replaced with two new plans, M and N.

The changes had been worked on for months.  The timing of their rollout so soon after the PPACA was authorized was purely coincidental.

Original Medicare, Part B, no matter how wonderful it is, is not the same as most private health insurance plans.  People who are new to Medicare can often be surprised.  They are used to an insurance plan that has a Maximum Out-of-Pocket.  Once they have paid that amount, they do not have to pay anything else for the rest of the year, regardless of what their medical bills are.

Medicare B is different.  If your doctor agrees to accept Medicare as payment in full, Medicare will only pay 80% of the bill.  You are responsible for the additional 20%.  Previously, most people with insurance had a cap for catastrophic medical bills.  Medicare B has no cap.

If you want a ceiling on the amount you will have to pay, the only option you have is a Medicare Supplement insurance policy, also known as a Medigap.

It is true that major changes to Medicare Supplemental insurance are being considered by congress and the president as a way to hold costs down for Medicare.  There is a threat to the program as we know it today.  Although the Medigap program is not threatened with extinction, there is a movement in congress to modify it so that Medicare beneficiaries are not able to buy an insurance policy that will pay their deductibles for them.

Some members of congress think that if a senior citizen has “skin in the game” he will think twice before spending Medicare’s money to see a doctor.

The PPACA, a.k.a. Obamacare, does make changes to the Medicare program but has no effect on Medicare Supplement insurance.  If that happens, it will be the result of a different piece of legislation.

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