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Tuesday, March 16 2010

With many Americans waiting to see what will happen in the Health Reform Debate, there are still plenty of unanswered questions in a lot of areas. When dealing with how, if passed, the proposed Senate Health Care reform Bill will affect Medicare, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

The Senate Health Care Reform Bill looks to make an estimated $500 Billion dollars in Medicare cuts over the next 10 years to help pay for Reform, but with these cuts comes some positives and negatives to how it will effect the average consumer on Medicare.

Original Medicare, Medigap Insurance Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Part D plans will still be options for people who are eligible for Medicare. Each option will be affected if the bill passes.

Original Medicare – The biggest concern to the estimated half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts would be cutting of reimbursements to doctors, hospitals, and home health providers. Medicare is already known for paying under fair market cost, this is why people eligible for Medicare either carry a Medicare Supplement or choose to be covered through private insurance carriers that offer Medicare Advantage Plans. Cutting reimbursement rates could effect how many doctors will open their doors to new Medicare patients and health care access and quality for seniors could be compromised.

Medigap Insurance Plans – Even though Medicare has approved changes and added new Medicare Supplements M and N as of June 1, 2010, the benefit for having preventive services covered has disappeared. Medicare Supplement Plans E and J will be discontinued as on June 1st and these were the Plans that covered Preventive Care not covered by Medicare. In Ohio, on March 15th, 2010, at the Health Care Rally, President Obama mentioned that the Senate Bill would allow preventive care services to be covered under Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plans – Nearly 11 Million Medicare Beneficiaries are covered by Medicare Advantage Plans throughout the United States, this is about 1/3 of the Medicare eligible population. The Senate Bill proposes an estimated $120 Billion in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. Medicare Advantage Plans are subsidized managed care plans administered by private insurance companies. These subsidies come from the Government to help keep Medicare Advantage premiums and co-payments low. If the Government stops or lowers the subsidies going to the private insurance carriers that offer Medicare Advantage Plan, this could cause a jump in monthly premiums and/or cause co-payments to increase.

Medicare Part D – President Obama also stated in his Health Care Reform rally, that the Senate Bill would also help cover the gap left in Medicare’s Part D Prescription coverage. This would not be an immediate fix, but over time the gap could be completely closed.
As for America knowing if and when the Health Care Reform bill will pass, or if these changes will be implemented, we will have to wait and see. As for now, if you have any questions or concerns about Medicare, please feel free to contact one of our agents at Medigap Select of Texas1-866-849-5465 or email us at 
info@texasmedigapselect.com. For free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement Quotes please visit us at https://www.texasmedigapselect.com/medicare_supplement_quotes.

Posted by: C. Kirchoff AT 05:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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