Innovative Medicare Supplement Plan Update (SB 407 passed)

Hi there,  I'm Kathe Kline the Founder of MedicareQuick.  I want to talk with you again about Medigap plans with Innovative or Extra benefits.

On April 23rd 2019 I created a video that talked about the downside of Innovative and Plan F extra.  I hadn't discussed Innovative Plan G or Plan G extra yet because those hadn't come out yet.  In the video I discussed how these plans are not standardized and so are not easily compared.

At the time, there was a bill going around in California called SB 407.  This bill addressed some of the issues I discussed, and it was passed on October 7th, 2019.  I realize I've been silent on the passing of this bill, but that's because we were busy in my office helping our clients with pre-AEP.  Now that AEP is over, I wanted to tell you how I think this new law is going to work.

Keep in mind that I'm not an attorney, and I'm not giving legal advice.  I'm simply giving you my take on what I think will happen now that SB 407 has passed.

First of all, the law doesn't go into affect until July 2020.   These plans are still being sold, and I expect that they will be sold after the law takes effect.   In my opinion, the new rules do a couple of things:

 Increases the amount of time you have for the birthday rule.  It gives someone who has an in-force Medicare Supplement Plan 60 days from their birthday to change to another plan of the same or lesser benefits.  For example, if you have a Plan F, you'll be able to get any other plan currently available at the time of this video.
Gives you 6 months from the date of employer or retiree health plan termination instead of about two.
Includes Plan G in guaranteed issue rights
As far as the Innovative or Extra benefits, this is what it looks like to me:

Plans can still offer these extra benefits as long as they don't include medication and don't take away from core benefits (that is the standard benefits).  
The billing must show a separate amount for the core benefits and the extra benefits.
The policy certificate can only contain the core benefits.  Because of this it looks like the extra benefits will be considered a rider.  They'll need to break out the cost of the new benefits on a separate line item of the bill starting July 1, 2020.
They might create standardized innovative benefits so that you can compare pricing.
The Innovative and Extra Plans will be counted as regular Plans for the purpose of the birthday rule.
So at this point, based on this law that passed, I have no issue with the purchase of these plans.  Starting in July of 2020 it looks like they won't be able to skirt the birthday rule, and they'll have to standardize the benefits so you can once again easily compare them.

Let's hope that the rest of the country follows suit!

Here is a link to the new law:

If you'd like to discuss whether an Innovative Plan is right for you, contact us at

Innovative Medicare Supplement Plan Update (SB 407 passed)

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