Under the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act it is my understanding that these are some changes that might affect folks on Medicare that have Medicare supplements as an option.
· Medicare advantage payments from the government to the insurance companies will freeze in 2011 at 2010 levels.
o That results in plans increasing premiums, reducing the number of counties they are offered in, and increasing co-pays for the Medicare beneficiary.
· Starting in 2011 the annual coordinated election period (the annual time period when Medicare Beneficiaries can change their Medicare Part D Rx plans, and/or switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan) will change from its current time of November 15th through December 31st to October 15th through December 7th of each year. This new time period applies to Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans.
o I believe since there will be a much shorter time frame for Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans, that will also contribute to less participation in the Medicare Advantage plan program = more people will choose Medicare supplements.
Some Other Changes that will affect Medicare Beneficiaries
· Individuals affected by the Medicare Part D coverage gap will receive a $250 rebate, and 50% of the gap will be eliminated in 2011.
· The gap will be eliminated by 2020.
· The government will pay for new spending, in part, through coverage cuts in the Medicare Advantage program, slowing the growth of Medicare provider payments, & reducing Medicare and Medicaid drug reimbursement rate.