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How will reducing subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans affect me? - page 2 / 7





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| Health Insurance Reform and Medicare: Making Medicare Stronger for America’s Seniors


The overpayments will make Medicare go bankrupt sooner. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that Medicare Advantage overpayments will push the Medicare Trust Fund into bankruptcy 17 months earlier than if the overpayments did not exist.9

Health Insurance Reform Solution:



Eliminate the overpayments. Eliminating excessive government subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans could save the Federal government, taxpayers, and Medicare beneficiaries well over $100 billion over the next 10 years.10 This will extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund and make sure that Medicare is always there for America’s seniors. Reform will also ensure that the dollars in the Trust Fund go toward improving the quality of care for all seniors, rather than to support the operations and profits of private insurance companies.

How will health insurance reform make my care more affordable?

Problem with the Status Quo: Seventy-eight percent of senior citizens are worried that, some day, either they or someone they know might incur a health care cost that wouldn’t be covered by their health insurance.11 It has been estimated that the typical older couple may need to save $300,000 to pay for health care costs not covered by Medicare alone.12

Prescription drug costs are too high. Rising drug costs create a growing strain on America’s seniors. A drug benefit was added to Medicare in 2006, but it includes a coverage gap commonly called the “donut hole.” In 2007, over 8 million seniors hit the “donut hole.” For those who are not low-income or have not purchased other coverage, average drug costs in this gap are $340 per month, or $4,080 per year.13 Evidence suggests that this coverage gap reduces drug use, on average, by 14 percent14 – posing a threat to the management of diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Health Insurance Reform Solution:

Make prescription drugs more affordable in the donut hole. Health insurance reform will close the coverage gap in Medicare Part D over time, so seniors do not have to worry about losing coverage for their drug costs. While the closure is phased in, health insurance reform will also provide seniors with a discount of 50 percent for their brand-name medication costs in the coverage gap, saving thousands of dollars for some seniors. 13 Source

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