Archive for the ‘ Healthcare Reform ’ Category

Medicare Proposals an Improvement?

Medicare has been a highly debated topic during the last year, mainly in the search for ways to cut government costs in order to balance the federal budget.  While I’m not particularly politically inclined, discussions about altering Social Security or Medicare get my full attention since my husband enrolled in them as a result of his disability.  Medicare is his only health insurance policy, as no one else would cover his illness thanks to the pre-existing condition exclusion that remains in place for adults until 2014.  At least President Obama’s Healthcare Reform changed that right away for beneficiaries under 18 years of age.  The rest of us will have to accept the lack of coverage for a couple more years.

Considered “almost sacred,” according to some reporters, Medicare or Social Security are not usually probable candidates for much tampering.  So last year, efforts by some politicians to revamp Medicare in order to bring the federal budget back down to Earth raised a lot of political temperatures.  By mid-December, a reworked proposal containing parts of earlier efforts was laid on the table for discussion.  Let’s see if this version fixes the budget.  What I’d like to know is will it make Medicare better?

If anyone is going to restructure or “fix” Medicare, I would hope that it would be an earnest effort to improve it, not to be used as a stepping stone with an ulterior financial motive.  Too many beneficiaries rely on it for their healthcare and financial security.  What recourse would they have without it or with reduced coverage?

I have to say that our experience with both Social Security and Medicare has been excellent.  Although we have heard stories to the contrary, each agency has taken care of our family’s benefits with utmost professionalism and efficiency.  The only thing that we would suggest is to do away with that “Donut Hole,” but President Obama has already taken care of that!

Remember that you have a voice in choosing a representative who will look out for your best interests: VOTE!

 

GOP Medicare Proposal Doesn’t Work Like Members of Congress’s Health Care as Republicans Claim

The Inherent Flaws in Medicare Premium Support

Democrat Ron Wyden and Republican Paul Ryan Propose Overhaul of Medicare

What is the Donut Hole?

The President’s Budget for Fiscal 2012

 

Long-term health care dropped

Obama drops long-term health care program

From Scott Poerry, CNN Senior Producer

Friday, October 14, 2011

 

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius canceled the Community Living Assistance Services and Support [CLASS] Act after searching for 19 months for a way to fiscally maintain it.

She wrote in a letter to Congress, “Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.”

Long-term care encompasses a broad range of services, including personal or home health aides, assisted living accommodations and nursing homes.  To determine what type of service is needed, it’s necessary to look at the present needs of the care recipient and to consider things like:

  • medical or physical assistance needed
  • affordability
  • what is available nearby
  • how does the caree or family like those facilities
  • is this facility good
  • how does this facility compare with others

Fortunately, Medicare offers a service that compares all of its approved facilities:

NURSING HOME COMPARE

US Administration on Aging also has a service to help find facilities:

ELDERCARE LOCATOR

Certainly not a popular topic, especially among younger adults, long-term care is an important subject to discuss early on.  Once an illness or disability hits, it is much harder to address, as the need to find proper care is more urgent.  Long-term care insurance companies cover nursing homes and other services, but do check into their coverage of pre-existing or future conditions.  Consider also their cost.

Compare Cost of Care Across the US

Medicaid and Medicare have limited coverage for long-term care, usually only after an injury and if medically necessary.  Medicare will not cover non-medical services.

Personally, I am saddened to hear that the CLASS Act was dropped.  While I understand that it is not financially viable now, I hope that Health and Human Services continues to explore ways to make it so.  It is a service that would well serve many ill, disabled or elderly persons who have little choice but to pay high premiums to private carriers or to go without.  It would be great if both our government AND insurance companies offered an option to address care in the advanced stages of many conditions or in our own autumn years.  You just cannot predict what lies ahead sometimes.  We definitely never saw my husband’s disability coming.

 

 

Long-term care: Early planning pays off

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

 

One Million More Young Adults Have Coverage Thanks To Health Law

Posted by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on September 21, 2011 at 12:50 PM EDT
“A new report shows that as of March 31, 2011, approximately one million more young adults have coverage, compared with one year ago.”

Health Care Reform took the spotlight on March 23, 2010 as it was signed into law by President Obama.  Challenges to the Affordable Care Act kept the Congressional “ring” humming with political combat as Republicans and Democrats struggled to come to an agreement over the fine details.  Even after its approval, courts are deciding on the constitutionality of the new law, possibly paving the way for a Supreme Court determination.

 

History and challenges of Health Care Reform.