More Health Care Reform Becomes Law
Not that you would know it by watching the news, but January 1 brought a new round of health care reform bill provisions into effect. Among them are rules requiring insurance companies to spend at least 80% of their premium revenues on actual health care (as opposed to overhead and advertising), and the beginning of the process to close the prescription drug "donut hole" for seniors in medicare Part D.
Doctors who practice general medicine and surgeons willing to work in high-need areas will get a 10% bump in Medicare payments, and preventive measures deemed important by the Preventive Services Task Force will be free for Medicare recipients.
On the other side of the ledger, more Medicare Part B participants will have to start paying premiums for the service as the income threshold will be frozen at 2010 levels for the next 10 years. As incomes rise, a greater number of those seniors will fall into that category. In addition, the Part D subsidy will be slightly reduced for individuals making more than $85,000/year or couples making in excess of $170,000.
There's more stuff too! Check out the whole list here.