Though the healthcare overhaul approved by the House the Senate and signed by the President is definitely going to make some changes to healthcare in the United States for everyone, President Barak Obama stresses that there will be no reductions to traditional Medicare benefits. Those people who are receiving or are eligible for Medicare benefits can expect to continue under their current coverage. The new healthcare reform will take away $455 billion in spending cuts from Medicare over the next 10 years.
Where will this $455 billion dollars in cuts come from? The majority of cuts will be to the Medicare Advantage program. The Medicare Advantage Program uses private health care companies such as HMO’s and PPO’s to deliver Medicare benefits. Companies such as Humana and Aetna will see cuts to the amount the government will pay in plan premiums and to specialists. Extra services and benefits offered by the Advantage health care providers will also be reduced or cut due to the cuts put forth in the new healthcare bill.
There are going to be some changes to Medicare benefits in the bill as well. Medicare will now begin paying for annual wellness checkups and will increase the reimbursement amounts for primary care physicians. They hope that by giving patients annual wellness checkups that they will increase overall wellness and will be able to focus more on preventative healthcare. The new healthcare bill also provides funds for improvement in the Medicare prescription drug plan. Many feel that there is a coverage gap in the current program that this legislation is intended to eventually close.Those Medicare beneficiaries that are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans will begin to see the “extras” provided by these Advantage plans reduced or removed from their plan coverage. Those who are recipients of regular Medicare benefits should see no reductions to their current Medicare benefits and should see some benefits and services added to their existing coverage.