Your Weekly Medicare
Consumer Advocacy Update
$avings for Medicare Consumers
April 29, 2010
Volume 1, Issue 9
Medicare Consumers To Save Under Health Law
New projections show the
Medicare savings in the
health reform law will lower
premiums and coinsurance
for Medicare consumers.
The savings in the law,
including reductions in
overpayments to Medicare
private health plans, will trim $4.40 off the monthly Part B premium projected for 2012, and will continue to generate savings for consumers each year. In 2018, the Part B premium will be $16 less than what is currently projected, according to Medicare’s independent actuaries.
The average amount consumers will pay in deductibles and coinsurance for medical services under Medicare will also rise more slowly because of the law. In 2018, the slower growth in payments to hospitals and other providers will shave over $200—about 9 percent—off the average consumer’s cost-sharing. For consumers who have supplemental coverage that covers deductibles and coinsurance, this should translate into more modest premium increases in the coming years. The actuaries, however, reiterated their views that Congress might have to revisit the Medicare provisions if hospitals and other providers cannot adjust to the smaller annual pay hikes.
Read the Medicare actuaries’ analysis.
Medicare Contractors Fall Short on Performance
The Government Accountability Office reports that the contractors handling medical claims under Original Medicare are improving their performance but do not meet all the standards that measure how promptly and accurately they process claims, handle appeals and provide responsive service to consumers, doctors and other medical providers. Payments to these Medicare Administrative Contractors are based in part on these performance measures, including how promptly they respond to calls and letters from people with Medicare.
Read the GAO report here.
Mr. G stepped on a nail and his foot became infected. He had a tetanus vaccination at an urgent care center, and after discharge he received a denial from his Medicare private plan. Mr. G called the Medicare Rights Center for help, and a counselor explained that Medicare Part B covers certain vaccines (such as tetanus) if they are related to treatment of an injury or exposure to a disease or condition. After the counselor informed him about his right to appeal, Mr. G decided to appeal his private plan’s decision.
Read the full Case Flash.
The Medicare Rights Center’s 2009 Annual Report is now available online. The report highlights our accomplishments during fiscal year 2009, including our efforts to enroll people in low-income assistance programs and our development of community counseling programs and services for professionals who work with people with Medicare and their families.
Read the report.
Stay up-to-date on Medicare policy and advocacy developments, and learn about changes in Medicare benefits and rules with this weekly newsletter.
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The Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives.
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© 2010 by Medicare Rights Center. All rights reserved.
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