The 2010 Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare) included important changes designed to cut Medicare spending. Very little media attention has been paid to these changes that can catch you off-guard. They can end up costing you thousands of dollars.
“As the Federal government tweaks Medicare in order to control spiraling costs, more people should look into an affordable short-term care (recovery care) policy that can fill gaps in Medicare benefits.”
National Advisory Center for Short-Term Care Information
TWO-WORDS THAT COST MEDICARE PATIENTS THOUSANDS
Medicare now financially penalizes hospitals that have too many patients readmitted. To avoid the penalty, hospitals may code patients as “Observation Status” even if you remain in the hospital overnight.
Simply stated, the person in bed next to you could be coded “In-Patient” (all costs covered). You could be coded “Observation Status” (not all potential costs covered). You don’t have to be told. In fact a new proposed rule
says the hospital does not have to notify you until you are being discharges (it’ll be too late at that point).
As a result, millions of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries were coded as Observation Status according to an AARP report (Sept. 2013).
You risk being subject to 20% coinsurance payments plus you may face costs for prescription medications while in the hospital. And, you may NOT meet the requirement for Medicare coverage of skilled nursing facility care following your hospital stay.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you or someone you know enters a hospital, ask if they have been admitted as an “in Patient” or as an “Observation Status” patient. Often the doctor makes the decision.
If you have Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance or a MedAdvantage plan, you should learn more about short-term care insurance that can help pay for costs not covered by these plans.
LEARN MORE: For the first time, the 2016 official U.S. government Medicare handbook discusses Observation Status information (page 40). You can download a copy online from the official Medicare website (medicare.gov).
LEARN MORE ABOUT SHORT-TERM CARE INSURANCE PROTECTION: If you are on Medicare call us or request a no-obligation free for short-term care insurance cost comparison from a designated Center specialist.