MedPAC Urges Changes In Medicare Beneficiaries’ Co-Pays, But Would Cap Other Costs
The MedPAC recommendations to restructure what they call an outdated system, will be the subject of a congressional hearing Tuesday.
Reuters: U.S. Agency Urges New Charge For Medicare Patients
A congressional agency on Friday recommended making traditional Medicare beneficiaries pay more money upfront for medical services as a way to insulate the popular government program from ever-rising healthcare costs. A report by the nonpartisan Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or Medpac, recommended a new 20 percent charge for the 90 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who buy supplemental insurance to cover medical costs that Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover (Morgan, 6/15).
Politico Pro: MedPAC: Medicare Benefits Are Out Of Date
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission wants Congress to give federal health officials a freer hand to overhaul parts of the Medicare benefit. Some of those changes, outlined in its June report, include caps on out-of-pocket expenses, changes to the deductibles for hospital and physician services, additional charges for supplemental Medigap coverage and replacing coinsurance with co-payments. The suggestions will get a deeper airing at a Tuesday hearing of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee (DoBias, 6/15).
CQ HealthBeat: MedPAC Sketches Out Plan To Discourage Medigap Plan Use
Medicare beneficiaries would get a cap on out-of-pocket spending and supplemental insurance plans would face an additional charge under recommendations included in the June report to Congress by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. About 90 percent of seniors currently buy supplemental plans such as Medigap but would be less likely to do so if Congress adopted the proposal. The recommendation also suggests that Congress should replace the current coinsurance — which is a percentage of a beneficiary's medical costs — with fixed-dollar copayments (Adams, 6/15).
Modern Healthcare: MedPAC Urges Changes For Beneficiaries
Centered primarily on the role of the beneficiary, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's latest report to Congress recommends the HHS secretary develop a Medicare fee-for-service benefit design that includes a host of changes including an out-of-pocket maximum, deductibles for Parts A and B and an additional charge on supplemental insurance (Zigmond, 6/15).
Medpage Today: MedPAC Proposes Payment Change
Congress should pass a bill that would restructure the "outdated" fee-for-service payment mechanism, the nonpartisan MedPAC recommended. MedPAC's plan would charge an additional fee for the 90% of Medicare beneficiaries who have fee-for-service supplemental insurance. Under the plan, beneficiaries would have to pay 20% of the supplemental policy's premium to Medicare. In its report released Friday, MedPAC offered a number of other recommendations aimed at improving Medicare's fee-for-service model, which has remained essentially unchanged since the creation of the program in 1965 (Walker, 6/16).
The report also drew criticism from some groups.
Modern Healthcare: MedPAC Report Riles Rural Health Groups
The National Rural Health Association and the Medicare Dependent Rural Hospital Coalition, an informal collaboration of hospitals with Medicare-dependent hospital status, strongly dispute a new report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which suggests that certain Medicare rural hospital special payments may be too high or unnecessary. MedPAC found little difference in healthcare use between rural and urban beneficiaries, similar access and quality for the most part and questioned the need for extra payments (Barr, 6/15).