Seniors Should Look into Medicare Supplement Health Plans, SecureHorizons Official Says
With low Medicare payments and rising medical and prescription drug costs "forc[ing]" many Medicare+Choice plans to exit some markets, it is "vital" that seniors be aware of "all the options to the original Medicare and Medicare+Choice programs," including Medigap or Medicare supplement plans, Kathy Feeny, senior vice president of SecureHorizons, PacifiCare's Medicare+Choice plan, writes in a San Diego Union-Tribune op-ed. Under a supplement plan, Medicare is the primary payer and the insurer that provides the supplemental coverage is the secondary payer. Seniors with supplement plans can access services from all participating Medicare providers, Feeny writes. Medigap plans offer discounts for prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vision, hearing and other health services, including alternative therapies, Feeny says. Feeny concludes: "In order for health plans to continue providing quality, affordable health care, they must make benefit decisions based on what will best serve members, pay doctors fairly, and maintain financial stability to ensure long-term viability. However, if funding does not keep pace with inflation, the seniors may have one less choice to consider for health care under the Medicare program" (Feeny, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.