Medicare Reforms, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Policymakers, to curb the increasing Medicare spending, have done major reforms. In addition, the reforms ensure that Medicare beneficiaries access healthcare without bankrupting the Medicare Trust Fund. In this context, the following paper will summarize the recent legislations made regarding Part A-D programming and analyze the impact on the involved stakeholders. The Medicare plan is the biggest health insurance program with 4 parts. Part A involves inpatient hospital services, B involves outpatient services, and part C involves private health insurance whereas part D deals with outpatient prescription drugs.

Since the implementation, of the Medicare Modernization Act, several changes/ legislations were made on the health reform laws. These changes include improved low-income subsidy for drug coverage. Here, people who have incomes that are below or at 150% of the federal poverty level would have increased subsidy. Expanded coverage of preventive services, which see the beneficiaries pay only 20% of the amount serviced by Medicare. Additionally, beneficiaries would not pay for preventive services such as mammograms that are recommended highly by the American Preventive Services Task Force.

Expanded coverage on drug prescription for individuals who fall into the coverage gap. The law provides a $250 rebate for estimated 3.4 million beneficiaries. For beneficiaries with high income, they will get increased premiums. Changes have been made for Medicare beneficiaries who pay higher Part B premiums. New Legislations provide an income-related payment for Part D and higher-income enrollees.

Increased high income households Medicare taxes. Beginning 2013, high-income households will be taxed more to cater for the payroll tax that funds the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. This new tax system also applies for the investment income of the high-income households. Growth reduction of the payments made to Medicare providers.

New laws state that the rate of growth of Medicare payments would be reduced starting in 2010. Although these reforms are beneficial to many, other would be on the losing end.  Covered patients are the most advantaged since they obtain services to benefit them. Providers, on the other hand, receive their payments slowly, and this may be a disadvantage to them since inflation is always on the rise. High income households are also disadvantaged as they would be digging deeper into their pockets to pay for increased taxes.

References

Robert A. & Dowd, B. (2009). “Medicare Advantage Plans at a Crossroads-Yet Again.” Health Affairs 28, no. 1: w29-w40 (published online 24 November 2008).

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) and Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act (HR 4872). Details are available online at <http://thomas.loc.gov/>

Congressional Research Service, “Medicare Provisions in PPACA (PL 111-148).”

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