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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Debt Reduction Plan Likely to Fall Short on Votes

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Dec 03, 2010 @ 10:25 AM

Medicare SupplementsPresident Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which began in February, drew more support than previously thought and many say it will be seen as a blueprint for future actions on how to deal with the aging American population and the rise of health care. Ten of the eighteen members of the commission are in support of the plan; however, five have said publically and one privately that they will not vote for it. The commission needs fourteen votes to bring to Congress to vote. Also, the commission split on votes shows a divide in Congressional Republicans, with Senate Republicans planning on voting yes while the House Republicans planning to vote no. This can be seen as a reflection of Republicans taking over the House of Representatives after the election, while they still remain a minority in the Senate. House Republicans just elected in also feel an obligation to turn their political platform during the election into policy immediately. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform votes today, Friday December 3, 2010 and the plan overhauls the tax code, federal health programs, and Social Security.

The High Price for Retirement Health Care

OResearch from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) shows that sixty-five year olds who retire this year need to have saved more than $100,000 to cover their out-of-pocket health care costs including co-pays, premiums, and other non-reimbursed medical expenses while on Medicare. The researchers also revealed that costs are likely to be more for women (approximately $152,000) than men (approximately $124,000), since women tend to live longer than their male counterparts. Researchers believe that the health care reform bill will help cut some of those costs; however, the costs will remain high for expenses from the retiree. The EBRI research warns that Americans should be setting aside money for this expense and that four in ten Americans plan to delay retirement because of high costs and low income.

Civil Right to Live at Home

The right to live at home has been established in law and federal policy, based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which bans the discrimination on the basis of disability. Yet states are slow to create new programs to allow people who live in institutions such as nursing homes and state hospitals, but can live successfully on their own, do so. With states facing record budget cuts, and the federal policy being written for states to do home care within their existing budgets, Medicaid directors are nervous about the new policy that living at home is a civil right questioning where state responsibility ends and individual responsibility starts. Directors also question how they can assure people get good care at home, as sending inspectors to thousands of homes is way more involved than sending to a few nursing homes. Still, nearly 400,000 Americans are currently on the waiting list across the country hoping to have the choice to live at home and receive care.

Gerber Life Medicare Supplement New Rates for MD, CO, MO, and NH

Effective December 1, 2010 new rates for Maryland – please see the MD Notification and MD Rates.

Effective December 15, 2010 new rates for Colorado and Missouri – please see the CO Notification, CO Rates, MO Notification, and MO Rates.

Effective January 1, 2011 new rates for New Hampshire – please see the NH Notification and NH Rates.

New Deductibles for 2011 Now Available

Marketing materials that reflect the new 2011 deductibles are now available. Please consult your marketing director for more information. Or, call 1-800-998-7715 to get contracted for 2011 today!

Sources: KHN, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Hill, NPR

Tags: senior market news, Medicare Supplement, Senior Market, senior insurance market news, health care reform, Gerber Life Medicare Supplement, Medicaid

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