Effects of Sequestration on Medicare

The March 1 deadline to strike a deal to avoid the sequestration cuts has come and gone without a compromise. Medicare cuts are, obviously, a large part of the deficit-reduction cuts in the sequestration. So, what does that mean for those on Medicare?

The sequestration, unless an alternate deficit-reduction deal is enacted, will cut a total of $85.4 billion from the Federal budget. Reductions to Medicare represent about $9.9 billion of this (12%). The bulk of these cuts will come in the form of payments to providers for Medicare patients – these will be cut by 2% effective April 1, 2013.

Overall, assuming these 2% cuts occur, it is estimated that Medicare providers will see $11.085 billion in reimbursement cuts in 2013 .The American Medical Association is urging Congress to adopt new legislation that would prevent the cuts from taking effect on 4/1/13. However, at this point, those cuts are still on schedule.

While it is difficult, maybe impossible, to predict the long-term effects that sequestration will have on the “end-user” (the Medicare patients), most people agree that, ultimately, cuts to the reimbursement rates will reduce the number of providers willing to participate in Medicare.

This is a number that many claim has already been reduced in recent years. Since 2001, the reimbursement rates for providers have gone up 4%. During that time, the cost of giving care to seniors on Medicare has gone up over 20%. The sequestration cuts only serve to further widen this gap and would be likely to cause some physicians to stop accepting Medicare patients.

If you have any questions about this or want to discuss further, please contact us on our website – http://medicare-supplement.us – or at 877.506.3378.

Medicare-Supplement.US is a website owned by Secure Medicare Solutions, Inc., a leading, independent Medicare insurance brokerage. Secure Medicare Solutions sells Medicare Supplement plans in 36 states through 25 different insurance companies. Contact us online at Medicare-Supplement.US or toll-free at 877.506.3378.

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