Thursday, March 16, 2017
IBM Medicare OneExchange Future Healthcare Legislation
Although the legislation to change the ACA (aka Obamacare) did not pass, it does not mean that legislative actions to modify the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare insurance will not occur. There will likely be modifications that will be embedded into other acts and budget proposals that will affect Medicare.
I urge you to pay REALLY close attention to ALL legislative actions to be sure you understand the impact to Medicare. As an example, the legislators, in 2013, enacted a "doc fee structure fix" which was good because doctors were increasingly not accepting Medicare. But that legislation also included disallowing the sale of medicare supplement F plans after 2019 because it is a "first dollar pay"policy. That means when someone buys an F plan Medicare Supplement they never pay a doctor bill in trade for paying a substantial insurance policy premium. As I said in the past, legislators believe people who have F plans use doctors more than people who don't. There is no data behind that assertion to determine if it is true and, if so, why. Typically people who buy F plans have more health issues. Nonetheless, it was included as a bargaining chip.
I believe a good way to stay informed about healthcare legislation is to look at nonpartisan advocacy agency analysis (albeit no group is purely nonpartisan). Many do an excellent job of analyzing pending legislation and executive orders about healthcare. The agencies I suggest are AARP, Medicare Rights, AMA, the American Hospital Association, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Links to their websites follow:
Tell your legislators how you feel about pending and/or enacted changes.