September 29, 2016
The Honorable Jim McDermott
1035 Longworth House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative McDermott:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse H.R. 6265, the “Medigap Consumer Protection Act of 2016.” Your proposed legislation would improve access to Medigap for seniors and disabled individuals in the traditional Medicare program who rely on supplemental Medigap insurance coverage to pay for Medicare’s high out-of-pocket costs.
In general, we strongly support a comprehensive approach to improving beneficiary access to Medigap insurance. The National Committee particularly appreciates the following provisions, including:
- Restoring availability of first-dollar Medigap coverage, significantly restricted by the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.”
- Improving the quality of the Medicare plan finder website by directing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to post information about access to provider networks and cost-sharing requirements. The proposal further directs CMS to improve consumer access to information and facilitate plan comparison by premium and policy options.
- Extending Medigap guaranteed issue rights to all Medicare individuals under 65. This will allow disabled individuals to obtain supplemental coverage, which is not available to them currently unless they live in a state that offers the right to purchase Medigap.
Medicare’s cost-sharing – for premiums, deductibles and coinsurance – and out-of-pocket costs for gaps in Medicare coverage pose a great financial burden to many people. Medigap insurance therefore provides significant financial protection to individuals in traditional Medicare who do not have employer-sponsored supplemental insurance. We strongly applaud your leadership on this important issue.
President and CEO