October 19, 2011
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NAIFA, Industry Partners Express Support for Medigap Insurance Coverage

NAIFA, along with industry partners in the Coalition to Promote Choice for Seniors, sent a letter on October 3 to the members of the Congressional “Super Committee” expressing concerns that Medigap insurance coverage would be targeted in efforts to reduce the federal deficit.

Medigap policies - or Medicare Supplemental Insurance - are private insurance policies purchased by individuals to fill the "gaps" in traditional Medicare plan benefits.  Medigap plans lower out-of-pocket costs for such services as hospital and physician services, as well as Medicare co-payments and deductibles.  Medigap insurance also helps millions of seniors to better manage their health care expenses with predictable monthly premiums instead of cost-sharing responsibilities that can vary significantly from month-to-month. Almost 90 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have some form of supplemental coverage.  Of those, about 20% have individually purchased Medigap policies. 

In its letter, the Coalition states its opposition to proposals that either prohibit Medigap coverage or impose a new tax on seniors who purchase certain Medigap plans. The majority of those utilizing Medigap insurance are seniors, many of whom live in rural areas and would feel the financial hardship of any restrictions or new taxes imposed on their supplemental insurance coverage. The letter also echoes the concerns of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that changes to Medigap coverage could prove disruptive to seniors.

NAIFA supports consumer access to quality, affordable health care options and will continue to support programs like Medigap that offer consumers greater choice. We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to help inform them of why this program is so vitally important to so many health care users.

NAIFA Staff Contact: Diane Boyle, Vice President – Federal Government Relations, at (703) 770-8252.