In the wake of the 2012 election, which has left the balance of power in Washington, D.C. unchanged, certain realities are becoming clearer. For one, implementation of the health reform law enacted over two years ago will continue, with few legislative options open for those who oppose the law. Perhaps more significantly, if Congress does not act before January 1, 2013, automatic 2 percent reductions in Medicare payments to most providers, and an additional 27 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians will go into effect.
Video: Improving Medicare in 2011
Employee Tax in 2013: Prepare for Changes in Payroll, Income, and Medicare Taxes
“Employers and employees currently each pay a Medicare tax of 1.45% on wages. Beginning in 2013, employers must withhold an additional 0.9% payroll tax as part of the employee portion of the Medicare tax for certain higher income employees. Although the additional tax is imposed on wages in excess of $200,000 for single filers ($125,000 for married individuals filing separately and $250,000 for joint filers), employers must nevertheless withhold the additional tax on behalf of all employees who have annual wages in excess of $200,000, regardless of their marital or tax return filing status.” (Bradley Arant Boult Cummings)
Older Americans Have Been Highly Resistant to Medicare Changes
The income gap among Republicans and Republican leaners is about as large as the difference between GOP supporters of the Tea Party and non-supporters. Among Republicans and Republican leaners who agree with the Tea Party, 57% view deficit reduction as more important than preserving Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are. Among Republicans and leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party, just 36% say that reducing the deficit is more important than maintaining benefits.
Avoiding The ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Likely Means Changes In Medicare
REDUCE PAYMENTS TO PROVIDERS: Hospitals, physicians and other health care providers – many who are now facing payment cuts either in the 2010 health care law or from the upcoming “sequestration” reductions (or both) – may take another hit in a deficit deal. Among the options sometimes mentioned are limiting the amount of “bad debt” that hospitals and other providers can write off their taxes, reducing federal funding for medical education and requiring more prior authorization for some medical services, such as imaging, to help reduce unnecessary care. Lawmakers looking for political cover from angry providers could cite the many deficit-reduction proposals that have advanced provider cuts: Obama’s 2011 deficit reduction proposal, the Simpson-Bowles plan and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or MedPAC, which advises Congress on Medicare payment policy.
Medicare Premium Changes Announced for 2013
Earlier this year CMS projected that the standard premium for Medicare Part B (which covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services) would rise by more than $9.00 a month in 2013. However, the good news is that the increase will be lower — $5.00 — bringing 2013 Part B premiums to $104.90 a month. By law, the premium must cover a percent of Medicare’s expenses; premium increases are in line with projected cost increases. Medicare Part B premiums have gone up slowly over the past five years – an average of less than 2 percent a year, or $8.50 total.
Medicare Choices Begin Early: Enrollment changes due
“It’s wise to assume your plan has changes and read the new materials carefully to compare costs,” says Janet Bowman, Multnomah County SHIBA Coordinator. “If you’re considering a different health plan, find out if your doctor accepts it, and make sure it will cover what you need. Get the answers before you enroll in a new plan”.
Mutual of Omaha Announces Changes to Medicare Supplement Plan N Underwriting
Mutual of Omaha has announced underwriting changes to their Plan N Medicare Supplements. This will affect all Mutual of Omaha companies including United World and United of Omaha. Exceptions will include New York, where health questions may not be asked (per state regulations) and in open enrollment or other guarantee issue situations where health questions normally do not apply.
What Boomers Need to Know About Medicare Changes. bkhelpnow.com Susan Salehi Bankruptcy Ventura Oxnard Camarillo Santa Barbara Woodland Hills Los Angeles CA.
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Health Care Reform Brings Major Medicare Changes
In addition, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun this month reimbursing hospitals for Medicare services based on how well they follow “best practices” or clinical guidelines and how their patients respond to satisfaction surveys. This is known as “value-based purchasing” or “paying for performance.” Some hospitals will be paid less while higher-performing hospitals will be paid more. Beginning this month, Medicare is reducing payments to hospitals that had higher-than-expected readmission rates over the last three years for patients who returned within 30 days of being discharged after pneumonia, heart attack or heart failure. More conditions will likely be added in the future.
2013 Part D Medicare Changes
Prescription drug coverage costs are increasing in 2013 again. Not by a lot, but costs to seniors have been steadily increasing since 2006. The CMS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have created a benefit cost chart from 2006 to 2013. To name a few of the changes: Initial deductibles will increase by $5.00 rising from $320.00 in 2012 to $325.00 in 2013. The initial coverage limit will increase to $2970.00 from $2930.00, and the out-of-pocket threshold (Donut Hole) will increase from $4,700.00 to $4,750.00.