The recent debt ceiling cuts are expected to hit doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and home health care agencies. According to the latest information, there may be up to a 2% cut to service providers.The idea seems to be that the cuts will hit the providers as opposed to cutting out actual benefits to seniors. If your doctor decides to quit taking Medicare for insurance, what will you do?
Here are a couple of questions to ask your doctor:
1. Will you be willing to keep me as a patient under Medicare if you quit taking new Medicare patients?
2. If you are thinking about cutting out all Medicare patients, how much notice will you give me?
You should also plan to write letters to the soon-to-be established bipartisan Congressional committee members. They are supposed to make even more cuts by Thanksgiving, and they may will impact Medicare consumers directly. Write and give them a piece of your mind.
Most federal employees have benefits other than Medicare, so they may not be quite as sympathetic as you may expec; they don't have to worry about it in the same way. Here's a graphic portrayal of this information gap, from the Kaiser Family Foundation: Reality for Seniors.
A good site to help you keep up on things is The Kaiser Health News Daily Policy Report.