August 21, 2013

Four Progressive Ways Healthcare Has Changed in 2013

Filed under: boomer,Healthcare,Seniors — seniorlivingguide @ 8:06 am

Courtesy of Hannah Whittenly [hannahwhittenly@gmail.com]

With subsidies and tax penalties tied to the Affordable Care Act due to begin in 2014, sales many people are thinking about their health insurance coverage. Some of the biggest shifts in health care are currently in effect, with escalation due next year. Four of the biggest changes are outlined below.

Lower Cost
It is projected that health care will cost the United States around three trillion dollars in 2013. While that rate is about four percent more than in 2012, it represents the slowest rate of cost growth in many years. Actuaries have stated that the lower rate is tied more to lagging income than the Affordable Care Act. This lag has Americans being more choosy about when to see a doctor or obtain other health services, especially with some concerns over HIPAA and texting.

healthcareIncreased Medicare Taxes
In addition to the 7.65 percent tax all workers pay into Medicare, with 1.45 percent going for hospitalization, those earning $200,000 ($250,000 jointly) or more in 2013 will kick in another 0.9 percent. The same income group will also be taxed 3.8 percent on money made from investments. Together, these new taxes are expected to bring in over $200 billion in the next 10 years.

Raise for Medicaid Doctors
With an expected increase of seven million enrollees in Medicaid, the government wants to ensure there will be an adequate supply of primary care doctors. This is the purpose of a provision written into Obamacare that will give doctors participating in Medicaid an average 73 percent raise. Another bright spot for providers is the secure text messaging apps that are now available that will speed up care while keeping information private.

Clear Plan Outlines
In the past, one of the most confusing aspects of health insurance was deciphering the lengthy forms and explanations of coverage. Insurance companies are now required to provide a benefits summary, explained in clear terms, that does not exceed four pages. It is similar in concept to the nutritional labels available for food. This requirement began in the fall of 2012 for plans with open enrollment at that time, with the rest catching up in 2013.

The Affordable Care Act was created to make health care available and economically feasible for as many people as possible. It is a progressive step forward that will bring benefit to all Americans.

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