President Obama called reporters to the Rose Garden yesterday, April 16th, to witness the signing of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This bill, also known as the SGR Package, will cost around $214 billion and solve the years long issue of the flawed sustainable growth rate. The president praised the bipartisan efforts of the House of Representatives and the Senate in working together to create a unified Medicare reform.
Some changes to Medicare included in this bill are:
Removal of the sustainable growth rate and establishment of a 0.5% yearly increase for five years
Income-related premium adjustments resulting in premium increases for higher-earning seniors starting in 2018
Limits to first-dollar coverage on Medigap plans by prohibiting policies from paying Part B deductibles starting in 2020
This plan also directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to form a quality-measurement plan that will translate to a merit-based incentive system. This system will determine increases or decreases in payments to medical professionals based on their performance.