The DC spending monster is hungry and proposed Medicare changes means they expect Georgia seniors to feed them. Their solution calls for shared funding and shared responsibility. That translates into you tightening your belt while Congress pigs out. They want more of your money so they can feed entitlement programs for the poor. Congress thinks you should take fewer prescription drugs and limit the number of times you see the doctor.
Why Are Medicare Changes Being Considered?
Congress spends every dollar they take in and borrow another 40% on top of that to pay their bills and fund more free stuff. In order for them to continue giving away free stuff you need to stop spending their Medicare dollars on frivolous things like medication and needless doctor visits. Just look at this CBO report from November, 2013 that proves you are wasting Medicare dollars.
Research has shown that people who are not subject to cost sharing use more medical care than do people who are required to pay some or all of the costs of their care out of pocket.
Translation. If you pay little or nothing for your health care you will treat it like an “all you can eat” buffet.
There is a bit of truth in this. For some at least, if it costs little or nothing to go to the doctor they may be inclined to make an appointment to see the doctor rather than waiting it out or using a home remedy. Or insist on an expensive brand name drug when a proven generic may work just as well.
If you have original Medicare and Medicare supplement plan F it costs you nothing to go to the doctor, no matter how many times you go. Some people in Congress must believe you enjoy going to see the doctor. I think they need to have their head examined. Proposed Medicare changes means no more Medigap plan F and no more “free” doctor visits.
Do you have a Medigap plan from AARP (United Healthcare) or Blue Cross? If so you are probably paying too much. Shop and compare your supplement plan now. Up to 40 plans in 60 seconds. Georgia Medicare plans have some of the lowest rates in the state. Find out how you can save $700 per year or more. Follow this link to compare GA Medigap quotes.
What is Shared Funding and Shared Responsibility?
Shared funding and shared responsibility means DC believes you have too much money and need to share it with others who are needy.
“Money is like manure. It isn’t worth anything unless you spread it around”.
If Congress has their way, the proposed Medicare changes mean you will be spreading your money around by paying more for your health care.
A variety of later studies also concluded that higher cost sharing led to lower health care spending—including a 2010 study that found that Medicare beneficiaries responded to increases in their cost sharing by reducing visits to physicians and use of prescription drugs to a degree roughly consistent with the results of the RAND experiment.
I am sure this is true, but what we don’t know is WHY there was a reduction in doctor visits and prescription drug use. Could it be because seniors could not AFFORD to go to the doctor or fill their prescriptions? If you can’t afford to go to the doctor, or fill your prescriptions, is it possible you will get sicker and need MORE care?
In theory, to address the concern that patients might forgo valuable care, insurance policies could be designed to apply less cost sharing for services that are preventive or unavoidable and more cost sharing for services that are discretionary or that provide limited health benefits.
Most preventive services are now “free” under Medicare Part B.
I don’t know about you, but I have a problem when Congress feels it is their job to tell me what kind of insurance I can and cannot have. If these proposed Medicare changes don’t motivate you perhaps you need to see if you have a pulse.
Proposed Changes to Cost Sharing
Because DC has not been able to control spending they believe Georgia seniors should be restricted in the type of Medigap plans they can buy.
60 percent of people with Medigap insurance chose plans that offer “first-dollar” coverage—which pays for all deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance—and most other medigap enrollees chose plans that provide first-dollar coverage for Part A and cover all cost sharing above the deductible for Part B.
Congress thinks this is a bad thing and they want to make these plans illegal.
Most Medigap policyholders buy plan F which is considerably overpriced. Better choices would be Medicare supplement plan G or plan N.
If Congress gets their way, proposed Medicare changes mean you will no longer be able to buy Medigap plans F, G or N.
Policymakers could alter Medicare’s cost sharing and restrict Medigap coverage in various ways to produce savings for the federal government, reduce total health care spending, and create greater uniformity in cost sharing for Medicare enrollees. Those different ways would also alter how health care costs were distributed between healthier and less healthy enrollees.
More government intervention and control, restricting your choice of plans. Obamacare has already done this for health insurance under age 65, so if you think we are immune from their heavy handed interference in our right to choose insurance you are dead wrong.
Congress also wants to decide the level of care healthy people can get vs. those who have health issues.
When was the Statue of Liberty replaced with the Statue of Equality?
What Kinds of Medicare Changes are Being Considered? All the changes being considered mean you will pay more for health care.
The first alternative would replace Medicare’s current mix of cost-sharing requirements with a single annual deductible of $550 covering all Part A and Part B services, a uniform coinsurance rate of 20 percent for amounts above that deductible (including inpatient expenses), and an annual cap of $5,500 on each enrollee’s total cost sharing.
The $550 deductible may not sound bad, but how do you feel about “sharing” $5,500 of your life savings in order to bail out Medicare? Before you answer, consider this.
Almost every year Medicare raises your Medicare Part B premium. Congress also increases your Part B deductible and your Part A hospital deductible.
Do you think they will also raise this unified deductible? How long before that $5500 cap is raised to $6,000 or $7,000?
What Can You Do to Stop These Medicare Changes?
Contact your Georgia Congressman and tell them you do not support cost sharing changes in Medicare. Also call or write your Georgia Senator. If you are a member of a political action group like AARP let them know your feelings about these changes. Also consider conservative alternatives to AARP with senior groups like AMAC, or American Seniors.
You might want to lock in today’s low Georgia Medigap rates while you still can. If you buy Medicare supplement plan F, G or N now you should be able to keep it once Congress makes these plans illegal.