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5 Things You Should Know About Medicare Reform

In a press release in the Wall Street Journal, the NCOA issued a statement on the 2012 Medicare Trustees Report which detailed five key facts that must be understood by policy-makers – and those who vote for them – if Medicare is to survive the upcoming challenges it faces. In the article below learn more about the 5 things you should know about Medicare reform. Find out more information about the meaning of “solvency” as it applies to the Medicare Program, the significance of Medicare spending growth, and much more.

5 Things You Should Know About Medicare Reform and What Hasn’t Changed

To inform the debate, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has issued an analysis of five key facts that it believes must be understood and considered as policymakers look for solutions to keep Medicare strong for current and future older adults.

“We need to move beyond political spin and hyperbole to focus on the facts so that we can make informed, rational decisions about Medicare’s future,” says Howard Bedlin, NCOA Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy. “In June, NCOA will become chair of the 68-member Leadership Council of Aging Organizations coalition ( www.lcao.org ) for one year. Protecting and strengthening the Medicare program will be a top priority during our term.”

The 5 key facts include:

Medicare “solvency” only applies to Part A Hospital Insurance (HI) and can be misleading. It is untrue to state that Medicare will be “insolvent,” “bankrupt,” or “go broke” in 2024. There are four parts to the Medicare program (A, B, C, and D), and reports on solvency only apply to Part A Hospital Insurance. In 2024, 87% of Part A benefits could be paid for. Therefore, it is more accurate to state that in 2024 there will be a shortfall in the Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance Trust Fund.

The Trustees’ projections on the Medicare Part A shortfall have varied widely over the past 40 years, and Congress has always taken action to ensure that the program continues to meet its obligations.HI shortfall projections have ranged from four to 28 years since 1990, with the current projection falling in the middle. The Part A Trust Fund has never run out of money to meet its obligations and, in our view, it never will.

Original Article here

Certainly, there are certainly more than only 5 things you should know about Medicare reform, but understanding key factors such as these are a good start.  Remember, always keep yourself informed and don’t rely only on others to answer your questions.


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