Is the news floating around in cyberspace true, that there will be lower premiums for Medicare supplement plans M and N?
For those of you that don’t know what Medicare supplementary plans are, they are meant to bridge the gap between the policy coverage of the original Medicare and the actual bill, when it arrives in the mail later.This “gapping” became necessary when it was discovered that the original Medicare plan didn’t pay for every medical service actually needed, and you were dealing with a medical disaster.
If you stop to think about that explanation, it will make a great deal of sense to find out that there is more than one “gap” between the original plan and your bill. In order to do something about that gap, you do need to have Medicare to begin with, and then supplement it with other plans to fill the gaps. This analogy is a bit like filling teeth in that the dentist takes the existing original tooth and fills in the gaps with supplemental material to make it whole again.
Notice the use of the term “gap” and it will come as no surprise that the plans to fill in the original Medicare are referred to as Medigap policies. Medigap policies are run by private insurance companies who sell them to the public for varying prices. While the plans themselves are standardized, meaning they are the same in every state, the prices tend to be different depending on what the insurance company wishes to charge for them.
Despite the fact that Medigap policies are controlled by private health insurance companies, they still must have common rules to be followed when it comes to actually selling the Medigap policies. First and foremost is there are only 12 standard policies running from plan A to L. Each of their policies has its own set of benefits as well.
What is often not clearly understood by many people is that most of the Medigap policies give consumers the basic benefits of plans A and B, and in addition to the basic benefits, they also have their own advantages.
The 12 plans (A-L) have been around since 1992, but now there may be two “new” plans introduced in June 2010, plans M and N. The main feature of these two plans will be that they are supposedly going to provide lower premium rates as an alternative to the existing Medicare Supplement plans. While it isn’t entirely clear what M and N may offer, it is predicted that they should sell well because of the lower premiums.
With any change in Medicare or Medicare supplements, make sure you take the time to read each policy you decide to buy so you “know” just precisely what health coverage you actually have.