What is a Medigap policy?

Jay JohnsonDear Marci0 Comments

Dear Marci, I am turning 65 soon and am confused about supplemental health insurance. I see so much advertising about these plans, but what are they and do I need one? – Lenna (Rio Rancho, NM) Read More...

Breaking Down Plans to Privatize Medicare

Stacy SandersIn the Know, Medicare Watch0 Comments


You may be reading news reports about how some members of Congress want to privatize Medicare. By no means is this new news, but this week’s election results brought about renewed interest in these plans. In years past, proposals to privatize Medicare—commonly known as premium support—relied on vouchers that people with Medicare would receive from the federal government to purchase private health plans. Past proposals had important differences: some introduce vouchers for future beneficiaries, some preserve Traditional Medicare as an option, some include defined benefits and consumer protections, etc. Read More...

Medicare Rights Voices Support for Proposed Medigap Consumer Protections

Julie CarterMedicare Watch0 Comments


Earlier this fall, the Medigap Consumer Protection Act of 2016 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill would expand access to Medicare supplemental insurance plans, commonly called “Medigap” plans. Medigap plans are already popular, and many people on Medicare find they are an invaluable part of their health care coverage. As the name suggests, Medigap plans cover gaps in the Medicare program that mostly revolve around out-of-pocket expenses. But while people 65 and older are guaranteed access to Medicap, albeit with significant limitations, people who are under 65 and enrolled in Medicare are not guaranteed access. Some states require Medigap access, but there is no federal right to purchase a Medigap plan for this population. Read More...

Proposed Improvements to Medicare Coverage and Enrollment Offer Important Protections

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock.com

This week, the Medicare Rights Center submitted a letter of strong support for the Medicare Affordability and Enrollment Act of 2016. Introduced this fall, this bill would cap beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket expenses in Traditional Medicare; eliminate coverage gaps associated with Part B enrollment mistakes; reduce cost-sharing for low-income beneficiaries; increase eligibility for income-dependent programs; and modernize the Medicare enrollment system to facilitate easier enrollment, begin coverage earlier and reduce arbitrary late-enrollment penalties that today are paid for a lifetime. Read More...

American Institutes for Research Highlights Need to Fix Complex Medicare Enrollment System

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

Slavoljub Pantelic/Shutterstock.com

A new set of issue briefs by the Center on Aging at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) highlights the growing complexities facing thousands of people each day as they become eligible for Medicare. One of the briefs, Medicare Enrollment Maze Puts Older Americans at Risk for Financial Penalties and Coverage Gaps, examines a relatively recent trend where the age of Medicare eligibility and the age of retirement have moved further apart. Read More...