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ACA Effect on Affordability of Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Jul 22, 2013

Hi, Mr. Chambers. Thank you for providing this valuable service. I'm on SSDI and Medicare, but the medical bills are piling up. I have friends who have Medicare supplemental insurance policies, but their premiums are outrageous, up to $900 per month. Most of them receive assistance from their states under programs to assist with the premiums. I need a supplemental policy to cover those things that are not totally covered by Medicare, but money is scarce in my state and I don't think there is currently any money available for premium assistance. Has the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) had any impact on the amount of the premiums on these policies and if not,can we expect that it will at some point in the future?

Response from Mr. Chambers

I regret to say ACA will not affect Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policies as we wish it would. Insurance companies will still be able to refuse coverage to persons based on their health unless they enroll during the open enrollment period which is 6 months upon getting Medicare at age 65. It also won't affect rates being charged, and ACA will not provide premium tax credits for Medigap policies.

Federal law makes no open enrollment requirement for persons getting Medicare under age 65. Some states have enacted legislation to provide open enrollment periods, but that would vary by state. If you are under age 65, check with your state's Department of Insurance.

Good luck, Jacques

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