Before 1992 it was next to impossible for most people on Medicare to compare or know if the plan they had was suiting their needs or if and when to make a change to another plan. In other words it was like comparing “apples to oranges” when one was looking to see if changing plans would be a wise decision.
In 1992 Congress did act on this problem and for once I can say they did a great thing in helping out their constituents. What they did was have ALL Medicare Supplement/Gap plans be identical in benefits and how the plans would pay the amounts not paid by Medicare. They labeled these plans A – J. In other words if one had a Plan C for example, all companies Plan C’s would pay exactly the same regardless of which company one had. The payment amounts were all regulated the same by the government and the insurance companies could not add to their plans any additional “bells & whistles” or take out any of the benefits mandated by law.
Again in 2003 the government added two additional plans K & L which have been available since.
What this legislation did was allow folks to be in a better position to compare which plan suits their specific needs and which company offers that plan at a fair premium. It also removed the need some perceived at pre-1992 times, to have more than one supplement at a time. In fact it is against the law to have more than one supplement or gap plan at the same time.