12/7/2015 9:12:12 AM
SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman wants to dispel rumors that a recent Congressional action will not allow seniors to keep certain Medicare supplement plans, known as Medigap coverage, after January 1, 2020.
Passed by Congress earlier this year, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 will prohibit the sale of Medicare supplement plans that cover the Part B deductible, beginning in 2020. However, the prohibition will apply only to those who become newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries on or after January 1, 2020.
Current beneficiaries with Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible will be allowed to retain their coverage.
“We want to make sure Minnesota seniors don’t drop their Medigap coverage because of any misunderstanding,” said Rothman. “Beneficiaries who are already eligible or enrolled in Medicare will be able to continue their Medigap plans even beyond 2020.”
Medicare supplement plans are sold by private insurance companies to cover gaps in Medicare coverage. They help pay for out-of-pocket costs (coinsurance, copayments and deductibles) related to Medicare-covered services. For Part B, these include physician, outpatient, preventive and some home health services.
Generally, the best time to purchase a Medicare supplement policy is when you first become eligible for Medicare Part B, because lower rates are available, the application process is simplest and coverage cannot be denied due to pre-existing health conditions.
Once you have Medicare supplement coverage, your policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems sometime in the future. Your insurance cannot be canceled as long as you pay your premiums and you do not participate in fraud or misrepresentation relating to the coverage.
Minnesota Medicare supplement policies are sold by insurance companies and licensed insurance agents who must meet standards set by the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
If you have a question or concern about your Medicare supplement insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).