Justice in Aging recently published an article that explored how proposed cuts to Medicaid can put Medicare savings programs at risk. For many low-income adults, Medicare coverage is only possible through Medicare savings programs, which help them pay for premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. These programs assist over seven million older Americans with Medicare costs. The Better Care Reconciliation Act, which is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate, will include $772 billion in cuts to Medicaid. If this Act passes, many older Americans could no longer take advantage of these programs, which means that they would be unable to afford Medicare at all. As a result, the low-income seniors, who arguably have the greatest needs, will lose access to Medicare benefits.
The importance of Medicare benefits for this demographic is great. Medicare covers the costs of basic medical care, like hospital visits, routine doctor visits, specialist visits, among other services. Medicare Part D also offers prescription drug coverage. While the coverage is extensive, it is not without significant costs to the recipient. The monthly premium for the Part B benefit is $134.00, and the deductible is $183.00. There are also co-pays under the Part B benefit that typically are 20% of the cost of the medical service in question. The Part A benefit, which covers hospital services, has a deductible of $1,316.00. In fact, in 2011, the average Medicare beneficiary paid $5,368.00 in out-of-pocket medical costs. Therefore, it is essential that Medicare program savings be preserved, which will not be the case under the Better Care Reconciliation Act.
If Congress opts to essentially defund Medicare savings programs, the economic impact for seniors, and particularly for low-income seniors, will be great. With more of their income being spent on necessary medical care and services, seniors will have fewer resources to fund long-term care, which is a cost that Medicare doesn’t cover. As a result, the only options for long-term care may be of lower quality and standards of care, which only increases the possibility of abuse.
Boller & Vaughan knows the devastation that can occur when staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities abuse or neglect vulnerable residents. Fortunately, we have the knowledge and the experience to help you through any type of elder abuse or neglect claim. No matter what type of nursing home facility abuse or neglect is at issue in your case, we can help. All too often, residents and their families are reluctant to demand justice for situations that occurred in the resident’s care. In this situation, you can count on your Madison elderly abuse attorneys to guide you through every step of the personal injury claims process.