10 Facts Seniors Need To Know About Medicare’s Future (cont’d)
The President’s Health Care Law Took $530 Billion from Medicare To Spend Other Programs Not for Seniors.
care law cut more than half a trillion dollars from the Medicare program to fund new government programs. These cuts to Medicare were
double-counted, giving the illusion of extending Medicare’s solvency – even though the dollars are really being spent on new government
bureaucracies. CBO reiterated this conclusion when the Director of the office explained that the cuts to Medicare cannot “pay for future
Medicare spending [and therefore increase its solvency] and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation…”
As Soon as 2017, Medicare Could Run Out of Money to Pay All the Program’s Hospital Bills
Many Seniors on Medicare Advantage Will Lose Their Plan.
More than one in four seniors are currently on Medicare Advantage.
However, according to the Actuary of the Medicare program, by 2017 when Medicare Advantage cuts in the President’s health law are fully
implemented, roughly half of seniors who like the Medicare Advantage plan they have will lose it. According to the Actuary, Medicare
Advantage’s estimated enrollment and benefits will be cut in half. This will undoubtedly be unwelcome news for the more than one in four
seniors who currently enjoy a Medicare Advantage plan.
If Congress Reformed Supplemental Medicare Coverage, Four Out of Five Seniors Could Save Money.
The Kaiser Family
Foundation released a report evaluating various proposed Medigap reforms. As the report noted, “in 2008, about one in six Medicare
beneficiaries, over 7 million, had an individually purchased Medicare supplemental insurance policy, known as Medigap (and no other source of
supplemental coverage).” Four out of 5 seniors would save money from Medigap reform: “The majority of Medigap enrollees are projected to
see a reduction in net out-of-pocket costs (including premiums), but about one in five Medigap enrollees would pay more.”
The Actuary Of The Medicare Program Projects That 15% Of Hospitals Will Close In The Coming Decade.
The Actuary of the
Medicare program has warned that provider cuts could put 15 percent of hospitals out of business within a decade.
He noted, if the
projected cuts occur, “Medicare beneficiaries would almost certainly face increasingly severe problems with access to care.”
The Actuary also
warned that “by 2019 the [cuts to provider reimbursements] would result in negative total facility margins for about 15 percent of hospitals,
skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies. This estimated percentage would continue to increase, reaching roughly 25 percent in 2030
and 40 percent by 2050. In practice, providers could not sustain continuing negative margins and…would have to withdraw from providing
services to Medicare beneficiaries, merge with other provider groups, or shift substantial portions of Medicare costs to [other] payers.”
Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. and John Barrasso, M.D, “Medicare & You,” 2012,
The Boards of Trustees, Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds, “Annual Report of the Boards of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds” April 23, 2012, , “Using high-
“New Report Shows 4 out of 5 Seniors Could Save Money From Medigap Reform,” August 16, 2011,
Foster, Richard S.,
Memo for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services, April 22, 2010, Page 10,
Shatto, John D. and Clemens, M. Kent,
Memo for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, August 5, 2010, Page 5,
Shatto, John D. and Clemens, M. Kent,
Memo for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service, May 18, 2012, Pages 8-9,