Medicare Supplement Plan J, also known as Medigap Plan J, was one of the most popular plans until it was discontinued on June 1, 2010. Nevertheless, many seniors still keep the plan. Read below about the history behind Medicare Supplement Plan J, and whether you should keep Medigap Plan J or consider switching to one of the Standardized Medicare Supplement plans.
Medicare Supplement Plan J (Medigap Plan J) – History
The Medicare Supplement Plan J was extremely popular because of the coverage it offered. Like the most comprehensive Medigap plan today, Medigap Plan F, Plan J covered all benefits described below:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Original Medicare benefits are consumed.
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment.
- Blood (first 3 Pints).
- Part A Hospice Care coinsurance or copayment.
- Skilled Nursing Facility Care coinsurance.
- Medicare Part A Deductible.
- Medicare Part B Deductible.
- Medicare Part B Excess Charges.
- Foreign Travel Emergency (Plan Limit is applied).
In addition, it covered 2 benefits that set Medicare Supplement Plan J apart from Plan F:
- At-Home Recovery Care (Was $1,600 Annual Max)
- Preventive Care (Was $120 Annual Max)
Medicare has gradually updated its benefits, so now Medicare covers at-home recovery care and preventive care not covered previously. For example, Medicare now covers the annual wellness exam, as well as a comprehensive list of preventive care procedures, such as mammograms. Therefore, at-home recovery care and preventive care were removed from Medigap Plan J due to a lack of use. Finally, on June 1st, 2010 as a part of the Medicare Modernization Act, the Medicare Supplement Plan J was eliminated because of its duplication with Medicare Supplement Plan F – both plans became identical.
Should you keep Medicare Supplement Plan J or consider its replacement?
Despite the Medigap Plan J is no longer offered, its policyholders did not lose their Plan J coverage. Many of them continue to keep it even now, almost 5 years since Medicare Supplement Plan J has been discontinued. There is a reason why you should compare it with available Standardized Medicare Supplement plans and consider its replacement, particularly with Medigap Plan F.
With the Medigap Plan J being closed to new clients, there are only “old” clients in Plan J. As they grow older, the insurance company has to pay more and more claims for them. Without new, healthy clients, the insurance company has only one choice – to raise premiums for existing policyholders. Therefore, Medigap Plan J premium increases faster than the premium of available plans, such as Plan F.
You should consider the replacement of your current Medicare Supplement Plan J policy with equivalent, but less expensive, Medicare Supplement Plan F. The other alternative is to switch to Medicare Supplement Plan N. It allows you to reduce monthly premiums even more in return for reasonable copayments (not more than $20 for the visit to the doctor and not more than $50 for the visit to the emergency room)
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If you are looking to replace your current Medigap Plan J coverage with the company offering one of the Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans, let us guide you. To view real quotes from Medigap plan providers, please fill out our Medicare Supplement Quote form, or give us a call at 877-657-7477.