On the heels of a $247 billion healthcare bill that was pushed through the Senate, the American Medical Association has launched a TV ad campaign to raise awareness of the current issues facing Medicare beneficiaries and funding. The purpose of the ad campaign is to encourage Congress to approve a move to allow the Medicare system to pay doctors more for treating Medicare patients than is allowed by the bill.
In fact, according to the $247 billion bill, physicians’ fees for services provided to Medicare patients will actually be cut according to a schedule over the next decade. The cuts will begin as soon as January 2010, when physicians fees for services to Medicare beneficiaries will be reduced by 21 percent.
The American Medical Association ads will run in 12 states where senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties are wavering on their votes. These states include North Carolina, Florida, Alaska, and the District of Columbia.
A major concern for many Medicare beneficiaries and healthcare professionals is that these payment reductions will not only limit the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries as healthcare professionals will look for ways to reduce their expenses, but that healthcare professionals who had been accepting Medicare may cease accepting Medicare.
Medicare beneficiaries can begin to protect themselves now by ensuring that they have Medicare Supplement coverage that will help to provide financial support for their healthcare expenses. Even without these funding cuts that will soon take effect, Original Medicare has many coverage gaps that must be covered by Medicare beneficiaries in some way. Medicare Supplement insurance can help to cover the cost of these coverage gaps, which may increase even more in the coming decades as funding for Medicare healthcare providers.
It’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to be aware that if they wish to enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan for next year (2010), they need to make any changes to their Medicare policies during the upcoming Open Enrollment period, which lasts from November 15 to December 31. Changes that are made during this annual Open Enrollment period will begin to take effect in 2010.
Are you looking for information about Medicare Supplement programs that may help you pay for your healthcare more easily? For help finding Medigap plans for your situation, contact Medigap Advisors at 866-323-1441.