Oct 1, 2009

Seniors Worry As Medicare Advantage Is Threatened to the Tune of $125 Billion

Looks bad for Mom and me.

Mom is currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan via Humana. If the new health insurance reform bill passes in this form, seniors currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage can expect to dig into their pockets for $125 billion.
For more than 40 million senior citizens, questions about plans to overhaul the nation's health care system come down to one word — Medicare.

Bills being considered in Congress look to cut $400 billion or $500 billion from the growth of Medicare over the next decade. About a quarter of those savings would come from something called Medicare Advantage. It's a popular program that allows seniors to choose privately run health plans that offer all the services covered by Medicare — plus extra benefits like dental and vision care.

Nationwide, about 25 percent of senior citizens are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. In Florida, the plans are even more popular — nearly a third of the state's 3 million-plus seniors are enrolled in one plan or another.

"There are no deductibles. There's no 20 percent copay. Traditional Medicare would have deductibles. It would only pay 80 percent and I'd be responsible for the 20 percent," says Bob Goldstein, who is 72 years old and lives in Delray Beach.

Goldstein's plan gives him generic prescription drugs free of charge. And, it pays his membership at a local health club. If he had traditional Medicare, Goldstein says, to have coverage this complete for himself and his wife, he'd have to buy additional "Medigap" insurance. That, he estimates, would cost an extra $5,000 a year.

Source of information NPR
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