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Deficit Panel Targets Healthcare Cost Reduction to Reduce US Debt

Just when we were all beginning to adjust to the sweeping changes in health insurance plans required by Health Reform legislation passed in March 2010, we are now bombarded by the possibility of more changes included in the Deficit Panel's recommendations to reduce US debt.

Although many of these specifics may not become law, most experts believe that they will, indeed, be considered and debated since healthcare costs and their rate of increase contribute significantly to the Federal deficit.

Key measures included in the Deficit Panel's recommendations include:

Repeal of the long-term care insurance provisions of Health Reform

Changes to Medicare benefits, including increasing co-pays, deductibles

Eliminating availability of, or revising, the "wrap-around" Medigap policies seniors use to defray the cost of Medicare co-pays and deductibles (which shield them from the cost implications of seeking care)

Phase-out of federal tax break for employer-provided health insurance

Issuing Federal employees fixed-rate vouchers to purchase health insurance in the open market

Changes in payment methodologies for physicians, moving from volume-based pay to quality-based pay

The recommendations also include medical malpractice reforms which were not included in the original Health Reform legislation.

Read an article from America's Health Insurance Plans for more details.

Posted by Cristie Travis at 11:41 AM

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