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How will reducing subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans affect me? - page 5 / 7





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


Health Insurance Reform Solution:

Eliminate the physician payment cut and invest in care innovation. Health insurance reform, at a minimum, will eliminate the 21-percent physician payment cut scheduled for 2010, ensuring that physicians will still be able to care for seniors, and it will also include comprehensive reforms to reward higher quality and better patient outcomes. Investing in care innovations such as patient-centered medical homes can increase physician participation in Medicare and improve both physician and patient satisfaction.28

Problem with the Status Quo:

Access to care in rural and underserved areas is jeopardized. Difficulty accessing a provider is more pronounced in rural areas, where almost one in four Medicare beneficiaries lives.29 Currently, approximately 12 million seniors lack access to a primary care provider because of shortages in their communities.30 Beyond primary care, there are also shortages of providers in other health care fields, such as dentists and mental health providers,31 which affect the ability of seniors to obtain care when they need it.

Health Insurance Reform Solution:

Invest in the health care workforce. Reform will invest in the health care workforce to preserve the relationship between doctors and their patients and to ensure that America’s seniors will always have access to a choice in providers. Reform will expand the health care workforce in currently underserved areas, including rural areas, through programs such as the National Health Service Corps. It will invest in not just training physicians, but also nurses, dentists, mental health providers, and physician assistants, to provide millions of seniors access to services that are not easily accessible today.

Will Medicare be there for me in the future?

Problem with the Status Quo:

Medicare faces bankruptcy. According to the Medicare Trustees 2009 report, the Medicare Part A Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2017. The financially unstable future of Medicare could mean that many seniors would face reduced benefits, higher premiums, and/or increased cost-sharing through high deductibles and co-payments if action is not taken now.32

Health Insurance Reform Solution:

Extend the life of the Trust Fund. Health insurance reform will extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by an additional four to five years33 – and delivery system reforms included in health insurance reform have the potential to keep the Trust Fund solvent even longer into the future.



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