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Deal on Medicare reimbursement rates in the works

Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn reports that, by cutting a deal in which customers will have to return more of their excess insurance subsidies after purchasing coverage on exchanges (beginning in 2014), legislators have found the money to prevent a scheduled cut in Medicare reimbursement rates. The reimbursement rate cuts, much opposed by physician groups, have been extended on a regular basis for some time now. The initial cuts had been designed to reduce government health spending. For more on covering the extensions and cuts, see AHCJ’s tip sheet.

For more on this specific deal, here’s Politico’s Haberkorn again:

Under the health care reform law, if a person gets more of a tax subsidy than they’re eligible for, they’d have to repay no more than $250. Families would have to repay no more than $450.
The deal on the table would raise those caps on a sliding scale based on income. The figures haven’t been finalized yet.

The changes would free up about $19.2 billion to cover the one-year Medicare patch, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

The changes would impact about 200,000 people, according to a Congressional aide familiar with the estimates.

Progressive Democrats are expected to push back, Haberkorn writes. For more on the political machinations, head on over to Politico.