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Harry Reid, John Kerry work against Medigap premium hikes



harryreid1-150x150-3872211-1224905WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. John Kerry this week reassured seniors that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will work to identify and reverse unjustified health insurance premium hikes for supplemental Medicare insurance, or Medigap.

Earlier this month Reid, Kerry and Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus penned a letter to the secretary requesting corrective action to protect seniors with supplemental coverage from unnecessary rate increases.

In her response Sebelius pledged to take action by investigating unjustified premium rate hikes and said that HHS would conduct a study of cost drivers for supplemental Medicare insurance. Medicare beneficiaries are already receiving better benefits including free preventative screenings and further reduction of the prescription drug doughnut hole. These measures will reduce out-of-pocket costs and contribute to reduced premiums for Medigap insurance.

“I thank Secretary Sebelius for recognizing the importance of keeping health care affordable for Nevada’s seniors,” said Reid. “As new benefits begin to take effect, seniors will see their benefits increase and their out-of-pocket costs go down. I remain committed to protecting Medicare and ensuring that premiums for supplemental coverage don’t go up unnecessarily.”

“Seniors need to know that we’re doing all we can to make sure that insurance companies don’t arbitrarily or unfairly increase their costs,” said Kerry. “I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Sebelius to make health care affordable for all of our citizens.”

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