The most troublesome of the many rumors circulating about healthcare reform are the ones that leave Medicare beneficiaries with the impression that their benefits will be cut. It’s important to know that, of all the provisions relating to Medicare in the bills and proposals before Congress today, none of them appears to call for cuts to Medicare benefits.
There is a provision in the House bill that would phase out subsidies to insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans. Unfortunately, that news has led seniors and others to think that their benefits are being cut and may be causing undue fear among the Medicare population. NHF will provide updated information on Medicare changes as we are made aware of them.
The real healthcare reform news is actually very good for those with Medicare coverage. The Senate is considering provisions to allow 55- to 64-year-olds to buy into Medicare until the Health Exchanges are up and running, and also would phase out the two-year Medicare waiting period for those on disability. The House bill includes provisions that would gradually close the doughnut hole in Medicare Part D and would eliminate coinsurance for preventive services.
If any or all of these provisions end up in the final law, the result will be significant improvements for people with Medicare coverage. It’s important that our community stay informed about the many healthcare reform possibilities being discussed.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Sally McCarty, NHF’s insurance consultant: firstname.lastname@example.org.