Supplemental health plans for Medicare insurance beneficiaries may soon be facing cutbacks as a result of the major reductions being made in the budget as a result of the special U.S. Congress deficit reduction panel.
Medigap insurance plans provide additional coverage for many elderly people who have Medicare. These are individuals often live on fixed incomes. They rely on Medigap to protect them from the many deductibles and expenses for which Medicare does not provide coverage.
A lobbyist that has been keeping track of the latest “super committee” developments explained that this issue is certainly one being considered. The committee is examining various ways to cut back the deficits in the federal budget by a minimum of $1.2 trillion over the next decade.
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However, it is unlikely that Democrats on the super committee will vote to burden senior citizens with new medical expenses to come out of their pockets if Republicans refuse to back the tax hikes for the upper income brackets.
Though the elderly do purchase these private healthcare plans, research has indicated that they increase the costs of government Medicare since the added coverage for out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and deductibles encourages them to use more medical services. This causes Medicare to rise, since it still has to cover its portion of the expense.
This is bringing about proposals to add limitations to the Medigap plans as a part of the many packages to reduce the federal deficit. Even President Obama made one of these proposals.