Summary of Key Changes to Medicare in 2010 Health Reform Law   

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This brief provides a detailed look at the improvements in Medicare benefits, changes to payments for providers and Medicare Advantage plans, various demonstration projects and other Medicare provisions in the law. It includes a timeline of key dates for implementing the Medicare-related provisions in the law.
Source: kff.org

Medicare Changes for 2010: What Recipients Need to Know About Upcoming Medicare Benefits Changes

As for Medicare part A and B there are also changes coming.  Medicare Part A which covers hospital bills has a deductible that will go up from $1,068 in 2009 to $1,100 in 2010.  It is important to be aware that this deductible applies to every hospital visit, so each time you are in the hospital, then out for 60 days and have to go in after the 60 days is up, you are charged with another deductible.  If you go back into the hospital within the 60 days, you don’t get charged again for the deductible.
Source: medicare-medicaid.com

2010 Medicare Part D Program Compared to 2009, 2008 and 2007

Reference-Based Pricing – Under these programs, sponsors may require enrollees to pay a defined cost-sharing amount plus supplemental cost-sharing based on the differential in cost between the drug being dispensed and a lower-cost preferred alternative such as a generic equivalent. In contract year 2009, fewer than 10% of Part D contracts used reference-based pricing. Given the complexity of reference-based pricing formulas, it is very difficult to accurately convey the extent of expected out-of-pocket spending for formulary drugs subject to reference-based pricing. For this reason, CMS has been unable to have the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder (MPDPF) calculate correct pricing for drugs subject to reference-based pricing, which may distort projections of out-of-pocket expenditures for some beneficiaries and significantly affect their ability to compare cost-sharing obligations under different plans and choose the plan that best meets their needs. Based on CMS’ experience and the increased complexity, CMS has observed with these programs, CMS will eliminate the option of reference-based pricing in the Part D Prescription Benefit Program (PBP) beginning in CY 2010. The basis for this decision is CMS’ belief that reference-based pricing may be inherently misleading to beneficiaries and inconsistent with their goal of improving transparency with regard to expected beneficiary cost-sharing under the Part D program.
Source: q1medicare.com

Medicare Supplement Changes for 2010

How do the Medigap Supplement changes affect you? If you purchased your Medigap plan before June 1, 2010, your plan continues to be guaranteed renewable. This means your plan will automatically renew each year as long as you continue to pay your premiums. (Older policies may become more expensive, however, as the number of policy holders declines.) Those with older policies who wish to switch to the new Medigap policies may replace a policy of equivalent or lesser coverage without being subject to pre-existing condition waiting periods or probationary periods, as long as they maintained coverage for at least six months.
Source: neighborhoodlink.com

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