Are you (or a loved one) a Medicare beneficiary? If yes, then likely you already know that it doesn’t always cover all the costs in a time of crisis. That’s why there are Medigap policies. Unfortunately, Medigap policies might just be the next thing to get Congress’s unwanted attentions according to a recent article through the Kaiser Health News. A Medigap policy is actually a private, supplemental form of insurance to cover medical bills Medicare doesn’t cover. Medigap is especially important in a crisis, since it can kick in for hospital visits that otherwise would go uncovered. Accordingly, this can prevent a financial crisis on top of a medical one. If nothing else, a good Medigap policy offers a bit more peace of mind. The problem some are citing against Medigap policies, from a budget perspective, is that they offer too much peace of mind and allow beneficiaries to seek medical care even when it’s not absolutely necessary. As a result, this puts a strain on Medicare itself. So, does the argument bear any weight? It’s hard to say, and it’s certainly hard to quantify. In addition, it’s difficult to make sense of the social safety net (Medicare) – or a private supplement to it (Medigap) – that doesn’t offer some peace of mind. Whatever may come from it, if it touches you (or your loved ones), its worth keeping up with potential Congressional scrutiny. The original article offers the recent history of Medigap policies and the attitude of Congress regarding them.
Reference: The Kaiser Health News (November 21, 2011) “Officials Looking to Cut Federal Spending Eye Medigap Policies”