Even though some 2013 Medicare reforms have been announced, there is still an enormous amount of uncertainty about what the next year will bring. Unfortunately, even once we find out what reforms and legislation will be decided on by the debt reduction super committee, there is no telling what the medical community will decide to do if reimbursements are cut.
If you are planning to go on a Medicare managed care plan, or haven’t really thought much about your coverage, now might be a good time to start thinking about how you will manage your health care costs should deep cuts are made in the Medicare system.
Thanks to some important new features of the Affordable Care Act, Americans can rest assured that Medicare will continue to be there – better than ever – for our seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Today, my agency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, released a new report, Affordable Care Act Update: Implementing Medicare Costs Savings, demonstrating just how much – and how fast – important provisions of the Affordable Care Act will improve the financial health of Medicare. In 2010 and 2011 alone, these provisions will save Medicare an estimated $8 billion and almost $418 billion by 2019. These savings will protect the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund through 2027, extending its life by 12 years. Read more at Healthcare.gov.
Medicare Insurance 2012 Premium and Deductible Changes
As you may be aware, many people were concerned about the fact that Medicare in 2013 was going to include a monthly premium increase of approximately ten dollars. While many are relieved to find that the actual rise in Medicare insurance 2013 will only be around 3.50 per month. Many people may be surprised to find that their yearly deductible will actually drop from 140.00 a month to 118.00. At this
time, it is still expected that Medicare will still retain the 20% balance assigned to the patient after Medicare makes payment.
Where is the Super committee Going?
Perhaps it can be said that the most troubling news will likely emerge sometime in November when the super committee on debt reduction announces its plans to cut spending. A number of people fear that Medicare will limit high cost services, as well as drop reimbursements to providers. In fact, there has been a good bit of speculation that Medicare insurance for 2012 will most likely come with major cuts for nursing homes and long term care. While many people do not realize it, well over half the nursing homes in operation now are already running at a deficit. Chances are, if 2013 plans includes cuts in payments to these facilities, the vast majority of them will close down.
On the Provider Front of Medicare
If you do some research, you will find that the vast majority of medical providers in this country look to Medicare as the lifeline of their business. This includes hospitals, private doctors, and diagnostic facilities. Therefore, when you reduce Medicare payments, you might just as well start talking about job cuts in everything– from medical facilities right on up to pharmaceutical companies that develop and dispense medications – learn about the costs of Medicare for 2013.
On another front, few people realize that medical providers can choose whether or not they participate with Medicare or recent healthcare reform. As reimbursements go down, a significant number of providers are seriously considering not providing services to Medicare patients. This can easily have catastrophic consequences in rural areas where there a shortage of doctors already creates a decreased level of care.
There is no question that 2012 Medicare reforms can have a drastic impact on both consumers and the overall economy. At the very least, it can be said that trying to cut costs in this area can easily disrupt employment growth, as well as create a very real human crises in terms of health care shortages. Therefore, while you are thinking about Medicare insurance 2012, it might also be of benefit to start thinking about some type of health savings account, or some other means that you can gather together in case you wind up paying more money out of pocket than expected.