The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) or more commonly referred to as “Obamacare” is the most sweeping piece of U.S. legislation passed in over 50 years. Passed into law in March of 2010, the bill includes over 500 provisions which impact how every American acquires health insurance coverage and accesses their healthcare. It’s laden with new taxes some of which have absolutely nothing to do with the health insurance or healthcare industries. And yet most Americans have no idea what the law actually says, requires of them, or how it impacts them, their families or their businesses directly.
No group in the U.S. is affected negatively as much as seniors covered by Medicare. Throughout this website you will learn about the key points of Obamacare which impact you the senior covered by Medicare. Specifically, how the Medicare cuts will impact you and your medical providers, and what your doctors have to report to the government about your healthcare and why.
Obamacare contains several provisions (over 500 to be exact) however, only a few actually pertain to you the senior. Of those that do, the most impactful are those that decrease what Medicare pays your healthcare providers, what it requires them to report and why, the creation of the Independent Patient Advisory Board.
The bottom line of how Obamacare impacts seniors covered by Medicare is:
- your access to quality medical care will decrease
- your out of pocket cost will increase, in some cases dramatically
Obamacare cuts reimbursements to medical providers by $700 BB in the next 10 years. Which means they are going to pay your healthcare providers LESS and make them do MORE work. That is going to force or at the least encourage many healthcare providers to discontinue treating Medicare patients.
These cuts will also cause hospitals to downsize staff due to the reduction in revenues.
This could not come at a worse time as 10,000 people become eligible for Medicare EVERY DAY! Creating the perfect storm of too many Medicare patients accessing fewer and fewer healthcare providers.
Furthermore, the Independent Patient Advisory Board (a 15 member appointed board) is chartered with finding and implementing FURTHER cuts in Medicare reimbursements to take effect in 2018.
All this because the framers and proponents of Obamacare blame YOU the senior for the rising cost of healthcare. Yes YOU and your doctors. You see the framers and proponents of Obamacare feel if they limit the amount of healthcare seniors get, lower the expenditure by government for your healthcare.
It’s a sorry state of affairs for seniors. Hopefully, as more facts are uncovered and real life testimonials start evolving in 2014 about how bad Obamacare is for seniors, our elected officials will see the folly of their ways and begin restructuring the bill.
25% of Medicare eligible members are covered by Medicare Part C or what’s more commonly known as Medicare Advantage. These are private insurance in which the government pays an insurance company a fixed amount every month for your health insurance coverage. If you are covered by one of these plans your doctor files a claim with the insurance company NOT Medicare.
Obamacare targets these plans specifically, by cutting the amount they pay your insurance company to pay your doctors by 27% or $3,750 per person. This should cause many insurance companies to at worst discontinue offer Medicare Advantage plans or at the least charge a higher premium and decrease some of the benefits in the plans.
Either way Medicare Advantage members will be impacted negatively by Obamacare.
The Independent Patient Advisory Board and what it means to seniors.
The IPAB is where the opponents of Obamacare got the “death panel” argument. This is a 15 member NON ELECTED, appointed board chartered with the responsibility of finding further cuts to Medicare.
This board is almost completely immune from congressional oversight. The decisions made by the board take effect 1.1.2018 and can only be repealed by:
- 3/5 majority vote of congress
- a cost savings proposed by Congress which has an equal or greater net savings to the Department of Health and Human Services
The IPAB is how the government will make the dramatic, unpopular cuts to medicare, elected officials don’t want to make, and harm Medicare patients.
The IPAB can make specific cuts by determining reimbursement rates for any procedure. For example the IPAB can decide to cut reimbursement rates for hip or knee replacements for Medicare members over a specific age down so low the provider cannot afford to do the procedure.
Furthermore, the law prohibits physicians from accepting cash payments for medical treatment directly from Medicare covered patients. So using the scenario where IPAB makes hip or knee replacements cost prohibitive for the provider. If someone covered by Medicare wanted to pay for the hip replacement themselves, would have to find a provider who does NOT accept Medicare patients or go out of the country for treatment.
Besides physicians, there has been no bigger opponent of Obamacare than seniors covered by Medicare, and now you can see why.
In the free report titled Key Points to Obamacare Every Senior Covered by Medicare Needs to Know to Survive It, I describe in easy to understand language how Obamacare impacts you and your doctors, and I outline practical common sense solutions on how you can limit your costs and increase your access to medical care when it’s necessary.