Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Medicare - The Fix Is In

Well, almost.

Congress admists SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate), the "permanent" fix for controlling Medicare costs, isn't working.

Every year the SGR triggers a cut in payments to medical providers.

Every year Congress caves in and votes for a lesser cut.

And then kicks the can further down the road.

Now there are no less than 4 (and probably more) proposed "fixes" for the Medicare problem. Kaiser Health takes a look.

Their goal is to cut $200 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years.

The White House wants to cut $423 billion.

How will they do that?

By making seniors on Medicare pay more.

Higher premiums.

Higher deductibles.

Higher out of pocket expenses.
Starting in 2018, wealthier Medicare beneficiaries (individuals with incomes between $133,500 to $214,000, with thresholds likely higher for couples) would pay more for their Medicare coverage, a provision impacting just 2 percent of beneficiaries, according to the summary.
Starting in 2020,   “first-dollar” supplemental Medicare insurance known as “Medigap”  would not be able to cover the Part B deductible for new beneficiaries, which is currently $147 per year but has increased in past years. - KHN
Sorry Charlie.

We paid into Medicare all our working lives, and now they expect us to pay more?

Don't think so.

DC logic.
Experts contend that the “first-dollar” plans, which cover nearly all deductibles and co-payments, keep beneficiaries from being judicious when making medical decisions. According to lobbyists and aides, an earlier version of the “doc fix” legislation that negotiators considered would have prohibited “first dollar” plans from covering the first $250 in costs for new beneficiaries.
If we have to pay more to see the doctor we may not go as often.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

blog comments powered by Disqus