Medicare Rights Submits Testimony on Improving Care for Dual Eligibles
Last week, the Medicare Rights Center submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee on behalf of the Coalition to Protect the Rights of New York’s Dually Eligible. The testimony was submitted in response to the Senate Finance Committee’s recent hearing examining the progress being made in improving quality of care and reducing costs for dual eligibles, or people enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.
New York is one of 25 states looking to partner with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to test new health care models for dual eligible beneficiaries. In its testimony, the Coalition voiced support for allowing these new health models to be implemented alongside existing models of care, such as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The Coalition also addressed areas where further protections for dual eligible beneficiaries are needed. For example, the move from fee-for-service Medicare and Medicaid to a system managed by private insurance companies could compromise care for beneficiaries by potentially disrupting their existing provider relationships.
Read the testimony.
Medicare Rights President Joe Baker Covers Means Testing Proposals in Huffington Post Blog
The Huffington Post recently published a blog post by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker entitled, “Who Pays for More Means Testing in Medicare? The Middle Class.” The post outlines the proposals that some policymakers have put forward to raise premiums for certain beneficiaries. One such proposal, called means testing, would increase premiums for Medicare beneficiaries living on only $47,000 a year.
Medicare beneficiaries with annual incomes of $85,000 or more already pay higher Medicare premiums. In addition, workers with incomes of $200,000 a year will pay higher Medicare payroll taxes in 2013. Further means testing in Medicare only shifts costs to beneficiaries and does not solve the real problem of high costs throughout the health care system. Although the fiscal cliff crisis has been averted, policymakers will continue to look to Medicare and proposals like means testing for federal savings as the next phase of deficit reduction takes shape.
This post is the next installment in Medicare Rights’ coverage of deficit reduction proposals and Medicare.
Read Mr. Baker’s blog post.
It is a new year and some of the costs of Original Medicare are different. The costs listed below reflect what you will pay for Original Medicare beginning January 1, 2013.
For Part A, each month (in 2013) you will pay:
- Nothing if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for 10 years or more
- $243 if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for 7.5 to 10 years
- $441 if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for fewer than 7.5 years
For Part A, (in 2013) your coinsurance will be:
- $0 for days 0-60 each benefit period. A benefit period begins the day you start getting inpatient care. It ends when you’ve been out of the hospital or skilled nursing facility for 60 days in a row
- $296 each day for days 61-90 each benefit period
- $592 per day for days 91-150 (a total of 60 lifetime reserve days, which are non-renewable)
For Part A, (in 2013) your deductible will be:
- $1,184 each benefit period
For Part A, (in 2013) your skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay coinsurance will be:
- $0 for days 0-20 each benefit period
- $148 per day for days 21-100 each benefit period
For Part B, (in 2013) your deductible will be:
For Part B, each month (in 2013) you will pay:
- $104.90 if your income is at or below $85,000 ($170,000 for couples). People with higher incomes will pay more for Part B each month.
Learn more about Medicare costs in 2013 at www.medicareinteractive.org.
This week, Congress passed a package, negotiated with the Obama administration, to avert tax hikes on middle class families and delay deep spending cuts to defense and discretionary programs. Additionally, the legislation prevented a 27 percent pay cut for Medicare doctors and extended therapy cap exceptions and critical benefits for low-income Medicare beneficiaries for one year.
Policymakers will continue to debate Medicare’s future as deficit reduction negotiations continue. Many members of Congress seek to cut federal spending by shifting costs to people with Medicare, but this approach fails to tackle the real problem—rising health care costs in the system overall. Medicare Rights commends President Obama and other policymakers who have committed to cost saving solutions that protect the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare to survive. Digging into the pockets of people with Medicare is not right path to reducing the nation’s deficit.
Read Medicare Rights’ Press Release.