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New Report: Medigap Continues To Provide Critical Financial Protection For Rural, Low-Income Seniors

posted by Clare Krusing

on January 21, 2016

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance remains a critical source of health coverage for low-income beneficiaries, particularly those living in rural areas, according to a new report from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

Medigap is private health insurance designed to supplement Medicare. Overall, enrollment in the program has continued to grow over the past several years with more than 11 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in 2014. Medigap coverage helps cover significant out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by Medicare, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments and allows seniors to budget for medical expenses, avoiding the confusion and difficulty of handling complex medical bills. As a result, Medigap beneficiaries are overwhelmingly satisfied with their coverage, and more than 9 in 10 would recommend Medigap to a friend or relative.

“Millions of beneficiaries depend on Medigap for the protection and predictability this coverage provides. Medigap allows seniors to better manage their medical costs and avoid gaps in their Medicare benefits,” AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner said.

The new report, based on the most recent data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), builds on previous research and shows the value Medigap provided to its more than 10 million enrollees in 2013, specifically low-income and rural Medicare beneficiaries. Key findings from the new report include:

  • 48 percent of Medicare beneficiaries without any additional insurance coverage had Medigap policies in 2013.
  • 58 percent of Medigap policyholders in 2013 were women, and 42 percent were men.
  • 45 percent of Medigap policyholders were age 75 years or older compared to only 38 percent for all Medicare beneficiaries.
  • 46 percent of rural Medigap policyholders and 39 percent of all Medigap enrollees had annual incomes below $30,000 in 2013.

To view the full report, click here.

AHIP continues to engage Medigap beneficiaries through The Partnership to Protect Medigap, a coalition of seniors and their families who support the program. For more information, visitwww.protectmedigap.org.

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