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Repeal health care reform?

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

It's hard to understand every aspect of  President Barack Obama's complex health care reform plan and how it will effect all of us. But it seems clear that there are some aspects of it that provide important benefits to those of us doing retirement planning.

If the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, Medicare beneficiaries with high levels of prescription drug use would have to save 30 percent to 40 percent more than they currently are to pay for higher drug costs during retirement, according to new financial calculations from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, or ERBI, a nonprofit think tank funded primarily by financial institutions.

Here's why. A repeal would mean a return of the so-called donut hole coverage gap for Medicare prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D), which health care reform reduces between now and 2020. The result would increase out-of-pocket costs for the highest prescription drug users and thus the savings needed to cover their health care expenses in retirement.

The ERBI says this in its recent press release:
"When the Part D program was originally enacted, a controversial feature of the program was the coverage gap, or donut hole. Part D enrollees paid the entire cost of their prescription drugs in the coverage gap. Starting in 2011, enrollees have a $310 deductible, followed by 25 percent coinsurance on the next $2,530 in expenses. Once enrollees incur $2,840 in expenses, they are responsible for the entire cost of prescription drugs until the catastrophic threshold of $4,550 is reached. An enrollee who reaches the catastrophic threshold would pay $1,710 toward the cost of prescription drugs in the coverage gap. Once the catastrophic threshold is met, the enrollee is responsible for 5 percent coinsurance."

Health care reform included provisions to reduce the size of the coverage gap. In 2011, enrollees get a 50 percent discount on certain brand-name drugs and a 7 percent discount on generic drugs when in the coverage gap. By 2020, additional subsidies will be phased in so that enrollees will pay 25 percent of the cost of prescription drugs when in the coverage gap whether for generic or brand-name drugs.

Starting in 2014, health care reform does other things that help retirees and those close to it. It prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, expands Medicaid eligibility to people with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty line and subsidizes premiums for people with incomes up to 400 percent of the poverty line.

Before you jump on the "repeal health care reform" bandwagon, make sure that you're not advocating something that will cause you and yours unnecessary pain.

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9 Comments
Rasha
October 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thank you for your nice Information. I like it very much.
Thanks

Ken
September 09, 2011 at 11:55 am

There are known, other horrors in this bill that definitely warrant its recission. A real scary part is a bureaucracy that will determine whether or not a particular medical treatment will be paid for based on their estimate of the value of your life. Yep! However you want it worded, this concept is in the bill. Other horrors abound and many are unknown until ruled upon by the courts. I very greatly resent being told by the @%^&(% government that I must buy this product or pay a $750. annual tax!!! a study of the law's provisions would undoubtedly yield a long litany of additional horrors.

alexander
September 08, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Tt seems that know one appreciates the effort put fort by our president to ensure that everyone is insured. This is one of the richest counties in the world and we continue to fight over issues that mainly the rich supports. Why would'nt you want to have your childern on your insurance plan while they finish college? or at least until age 26? especillay if they were not working or had a job that did not provide health insurance. Also who would want a health care plan where your provider could decline you as a customer because you have cancer or any illnesss that might cause thousands of dollares to treat. President Obama's health care reform might have some issues but so far it has served the purpose of some many people who really need it and I am not talking about the rich or the insurance compamies who now have to pay their share into the program. Lets face it that's what this is all about the rich paying it's share and the insurance companies doing the right thing. for all you people who think that President's Obama's health care plan needs to be reform, I hope you never get cancer or any other illness that can't be cured, and I hope you have the money when your 22 yr old child gets sick and don't have health insurance and is sent home to make due needing chemo therpy, because your insurance company won't cover pre assisting illness.

JIMFITZSR
September 08, 2011 at 9:12 am

THERE ARE MANY EXCELLENT FEATURES TO THE HEALTH CARE BILL. DO WE REALLY WANT TO GO BACK TO THE OLD PROGRAM?

ALL OF THE REPRESENTATIVE TALK ABOUT REPEAL BUT I HAVE NOT HEARD ANY ONE OF THEM STATE HOW THEY WILL PROTECT THE GOOD FEATURES IN THIS BILL.

IT IS JUST LIKE pERRY'S COMMENTS ABOUT THE "PONZI SCHEME". THESE PROGRAMS NEED TO BE IMPROVED NOT ELIMINATED LIKE pAUL RYAN'S PLAN TO SHIFT MEDICARE COSTS TO THE RETIREE FROM 25% TO 68%. I PAY BLUE CROSS $250/ MONTH FOR MEDIGAP INSURANCE TO COVER THE 20% MEDICARE DOESN'T PAY. AT 68% PREMEIUM I WOULD HAVE TO PAY BLUE CROSS $1000/ MONTH EACH FOR MY WIFE AND I.

Stephen
September 08, 2011 at 8:35 am

This paragraph is confusing:

"If the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, Medicare beneficiaries with high levels of prescription drug use would have to save 30 percent to 40 percent more than they currently are to pay for higher drug costs during retirement, according to new financial calculations from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, or ERBI, a nonprofit think tank funded primarily by financial institutions."

They will save 30-40% more if the health care reform is repealed?
or they will pay 30-40% more?

End the Ponzi Scheme
September 08, 2011 at 8:10 am

And what mention of the taxes to cover all these new benefits? The government doesn't have money, it must extract it from productive citizens, who then don't have it to fund their own retirement.

Fortunately it is unconstitutional and will ultimately fail at the supreme court. Unfortunately, it has already bumped up premiums in anticipation of the new rules.

Obamacare can't go away fast enough.

Ash
September 08, 2011 at 8:02 am

Before you jump on the 'save health care reform' bandwagon, take another look at why this legislation is a failure: it did nothing to address *costs*. This is exactly how our representative get it wrong every time. The 'fix' is to figure out how to subsidize or otherwise pay for services -- using tax dollars (read: my money). This legislation did absolutely nothing to address the cost of healthcare, in fact it will make it worse. Anytime the government guarantees the funding of something, the cost of that something invariably goes up. You'll never fix healthcare by throwing more money at it. It will only be fixed with tort reform and proper healthcare industry regulation.

Garry
September 07, 2011 at 11:55 pm

At first, as a outsider,I wanna give my opionion about this "President Obama's complex health care reform plan ",in fact, I am a Chinese,living in China.I think your president Obama is good at how to run stocks over how to balance economy,this is a deal, you and your country should undergo the risk, or you think you can't meet the promise.how to manage a country is not a bet,I have found a interesting point that is whatever you and your country, are fighting to get more money to live through crisis.people consider how to retrive losses,and the goverment consider how to create a povident future. but the key is you and your country can't met the common.so you and your country are seeking a way to maintain both benifit, I think the key is how to stabilize people's life,
why you can't follow his decision,all he make is for your country.