Medicare Changes for June 1, 2010
As part of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) passed by Congress in 2003, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) was directed to recommend Medicare changes to the standardized Medigap (or Medicare Supplement) benefit packages which had been in place since 1990.
On July 15, 2008, Congress passed the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA), which directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the March 11, 2007 NAIC Medigap model proposed regulations.
MIPPA established that June 1, 2010 would be the earliest effective date for coverage under the 2010 Medicare Modernization plan policies as well as the cut-off date for insurance carriers issuing policies with the older 1990 standardized medicare benefits packages.
Those Medicare changes in Medigap plans included the elimination of plans E, H, I, and J and the creation of new plans M and N with higher cost-sharing and lower premiums. As part of the introduction of these new Medicare Supplement plans, at least one insurance carrier also chose to offer the new plan N with limited or no underwriting questions, essentially making plan N a “guaranteed issue” option for their company.