Friday, October 31, 2014

Medicare Cuts Payments To Home Health Care By $60M

By Coleen Elkins

Home health care offers peace of mind and increases your ability to heal after an illness or procedure. Home based medical services are received by approximately 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries each year.

Medicare recently finalized a $60 million cut to the agencies that provide this valuable service. Groups representing home health care providers unsuccessfully lobbied to stop the cuts.

Medicare says the cuts will will advance the goal of delivering better healthcare at lower costs. As part of the changes Medicare now requires a face to face appointment with a physician for a patient to receive home health care benefits.

Read more here: Home health care cuts

Friday, October 24, 2014

Affordable Care Act Insurer's New Contracts Contain An "Opt Out Clause"

By Coleen Elkins
The Supreme Court has been asked to determine if subsidies are legal in the Federal health insurance exchange. There have been multiple challenges to the way the law was written. Many read the law to say that subsidies are only legal in the state run exchanges. 

These challenges to the language in the law are coming to the attention of many who follow the law. If the Supreme Court rules that those whom receive reduced premiums and increased benefits through Federal subsidies can no longer do so their policies will revert to the retail price. People qualify for subsidies if they are low or moderate income households and paying retail may not be an option.

The insurers participating in the exchanges are being cautious as they know that most receiving subsidies will be unable to pay the retail price and will cancel coverage. Insurers are asking for the opportunity to opt out of offering benefits if that is the case. In some states they may still be forced to keep the policies in place.

It is important for the public to know and understand that these challenges could change their premiums and level of benefits.