Changes to Medicare With the Affordable Care Act
You can get most screening services without additional cost. Screenings are medical tests to find illnesses early, when they’re easier to treat. For instance, a mammogram is a screening for breast cancer. A colonoscopy checks for colon cancer. You can also be checked for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
5 Changes To Medicare in 2016 That May Raise Your Blood Pressure
Consider enrolling in Medicare now rather than waiting until 2016 if you are already eligible. You can also sign up for your Social Security benefits before the end of 2015 and enroll in the program to have your Medicare premiums deducted from your monthly payment. That will move you from the 30 percent “pick up the tab for everyone” group to the 70 percent “protected by no COLA” group. But if the reason you’ve been paying your premium directly is because you postponed collecting Social Security, the reduction in your Medicare Part B premium actually may not be enough of a savings to start Social Security before you intended. For each year after age 66 that you delay, there is an 8 percent increase in Social Security benefits (up until age 70) for life. Do the math.
Medicare changes fiercely resisted
President Obama, in a journal article he wrote on ObamaCare in July, expressed his frustration with opposition to the changes, specifically citing the Medicare Part B drug proposal. He wrote that despite being able to work with some health groups, “others, like the pharmaceutical industry, oppose any change to drug pricing, no matter how justifiable and modest, because they believe it threatens their profits.”
Home Health Agency (HHA) Center
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (CMS-1648-F) that updates the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates and wage index for calendar year (CY) 2017. In the CY 2017 final rule, CMS implements the fourth and final year of the four year phase-in of the rebasing adjustments to the HH PPS payment rates as required by the Affordable Care Act. In addition, CMS will decrease the national, standardized 60-day episode payment amount by 0.97 percent in CY 2017 to account for nominal case-mix growth between CY 2012 and CY 2014, which was not accounted for in the rebasing adjustments finalized in the CY 2014 HH PPS final rule. CMS is also changing the methodology used to calculate outlier payments to a per-unit approach. The CY 2017 final rule will result in a 0.7 percent decrease (-$130 million) in payments to HHAs.