Hello, this is Craig Sturgill, President of Medicare Supplement Solutions. Due to the ever-changing economy, and "speculation" to change Medicare Supplement Insurance, I felt it was important that I send a letter to the Congressman of my district to make sure he was aware of the tremendous need for Medicare Supplement Insurance for senior citizens nationwide.
Speculation was to change Medicare Supplement Insurance so that certain plans (like Plan F), could not cover quite as many benefits as it does, allowing senior citizens to have $0 out-of-pocket costs when going to the doctor or hospital. Congressional leaders feel that removing first dollar insurance coverage from senior citizens and making them pay a (relatively) small amount would make them think twice before utilizing healthcare, and may reduce the amount of spending that Medicare currently has.
Although these speculatory changes seem logical, if implemented, they must be done so in a way as not to penalize or place significant financial burden for senior citizens who are on Medicare. Below is a copy of the email we sent, and reply we received from our Congressman Jim Renacci (Ohio's 16th Congressional District)...
Dear Congressman Jim Renacci,
I own an insurance agency specializing in Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance. I have been staying up to date on the changes to the debt ceiling and proposed Medigap changes to eliminate "first dollar" coverage for senior citizens. I have many clients, all of whom I have a very good understanding of what they need in regards to Medigap coverage. I can tell you that from experience, my clients absolutely cannot afford to pay the additional large "gaps" left by Medicare - or for that matter anything close to it. Most senior citizens are on a very limited budget (fixed income) and need the peace of mind knowing that their Medigap coverage will pay most expenses not fully paid for by Medicare. Living on a fixed income, senior citizens NEED to know and be able to estimate their exact monthly expenses to properly budget.
My clients become outraged and extremely worried when they hear that changes will possibly be made to Medigap policies. In order for you to continue to receive me and all of my clients continued support, I urge you to do whatever possible to make sure Medigap remains virtually unchanged and Medicare recipients can still have the peace of mind knowing that their Medigap policy will cover all if not most of expenses not fully paid for by Medicare.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dear Mr. Sturgill,
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding Medicare and potential changes to Supplementary Medigap coverage. Your views are important to me as I work to effectively represent you and Ohio's 16th Congressional District. The Budget Control Act of 2011 created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which is charged with devising a plan to cut the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion between 2012 and 2021. The Committee is expected to look at many ways to reduce spending, including entitlement reform.
Similar to other private insurance plans, the cost-sharing components in Medigap insurance shield beneficiaries from the true cost of medical services. This also means that beneficiaries have little incentive or monitor or decrease their use of medical services. As such, various Members of Congress have suggested reforming this aspect of Medigap insurance by eliminating first dollar coverage but implementing an out-of-pocket cap.
I built much of my career around operating nursing homes, so I understand that Medicare does not cover everything. Medigap coverage is critical because most Medicare beneficiaries are on fixed incomes. As we discuss the Committee's recommendations for deficit reduction, I will be certain to keep your concerns very much in mind. While I strongly believe in the need to maintain a strong and viable safety net for America's seniors to protect their health and well-being, there is no question that the federal government must implement reforms to address the growing fiscal crisis. Be assured, however, that I do not support changes to these programs for seniors who are at or near retirement age. We made a promise to our seniors and they deserve the peace of mind and certainty that the programs they have been planning their retirement around will be there when they need them.
I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts with me on this issue. In the future I encourage you to visit my website, renacci.house.gov where you can email me with any other concerns that you may have.
Congressman Jim Renacci
Member of Congress
I was pleased to hear that I at least have a Congressman who cares. I believe that due to the extreme political riskiness of significantly changing healthcare for senior citizens, most political officials will refrain from implementing any major changes. I believe (and hope) that mane Congressional leaders will understand the need for Medicare Supplement Insurance (to shield otherwise un-affordable) out-of-pocket expenses. The senior citizens of our country were made promises that adequate healthcare would be there for them when they retired, and I will do whatever possible to help achieve this goal.
If you would like to learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, or potential changes you can find many helpful resources on our website. We are a national insurance brokerage specializing strictly in Medicare Supplement Insurance, and would be glad to assist you with education and purchasing of Medicare Supplement Insurance. We can be reached at (855) 419-3826.
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