Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Health Reform Updates

I got my hands on some more information about the Health Care Reform Bill; this comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation. These benefits will be available in 2010:
  • Medicare beneficiaries will receive a $250 rebate when they reach the doughnut hole in 2010. I reported earlier that the doughnut hole will be phased out, and this will occur by 2020.
  • Medicare coverage will be expanded to individuals who have been exposed to environmental hazards in areas subject to an emergency declaration made as of June 17, 2009, and who have developed certain health conditions.
These are benefits that will be available in 2011:
  • A national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and supports (CLASS) has been established. My understanding is that this is basically long term care insurance.
  • Medicare Advantage plans will be prohibited from imposing higher cost-sharing requirements for some approved benefits than is required under traditional Medicare.
  • Freeze the income threshold for income-related Medicare B premiums for 2011-2019 at current levels, and reduce Medicare D premium subsidies for those with incomes above $85,000/individual and $170,000/couple.
There are more changes that will affect Medicare that will be phased in beyond 2011, but I'll cover some of these in later posts.

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