Congress Considers Major Changes to Medicare


Congress Considers Major Changes to Medicare

Posted by Infinite Wealth Advisors, LLC
5 years ago | November 11, 2019

Although the idea has been mentioned often in the past, a bill that expands Medicare coverage to dental, vision, and hearing expenses has now passed committees in Congress for the first time. Along with that major change, the bill would also allow Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies and place a cap on out-of-pocket spending for prescriptions.

These changes would impact all current Medicare beneficiaries, along with the approximately 10,000 people who turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare each day.

Currently, Medicare beneficiaries can only receive coverage for dental, hearing, and vision if they opt into certain Advantage plans or purchase supplemental coverage. Expanding these services to all beneficiaries would mean they are included in basic Original Medicare plans, and eliminate the need for expensive, additional insurance plans (for these services, anyway).

The bill would limit out-of-pocket prescription spending (the burden upon beneficiaries) to $2,000 per year. It would also expand the low-income subsidy program which helps to cover Part D (prescription plan) premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

These changes would no doubt benefit millions of Medicare beneficiaries, but don’t get too excited just yet. The bill still has to pass the House, and then move on to the Senate.

Healthcare remains one of the top expenses for most retirees, with the average cost of healthcare totaling $285,000 per couple throughout their retirement years. Including dental, vision, and hearing services, as well as lowering prescription drug costs, would certainly be a welcome change to most of us. But since you will still face premiums and some out-of-pocket expenses, continue to plan for a retirement income that can accommodate your needs over time.


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