On June 28, 2012 the Supreme Court announced its decision on the health care law, which upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate and allowed states to opt-out of Medicaid expansion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released an updated budget estimate to reflect changes in the insurance coverage provision of the ACA resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision.

While SCOTUS upheld the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate that requires people to purchase insurance or pay a penalty tax, this is not the reason why the CBO revised its budget estimate. The update was necessary to reflect projections stemming from the SCOTUS decision that fewer people will be covered by Medicaid and CHIP (6 million), and more people will be enrolled in and exchanges (2 million) and uninsured (4 million) than their previous estimate. As a result of these changes, CBO estimates net costs will be $84 billion less than originally projected.

 

CBO Budget Estimates for(2012 – 2022) Net Costs (billions)
March  2012 $1,252
July 2012 – Post SCOTUS update $1,168
Savings $84

 

Changes In Insurance Coverage (millions)

March 2012 July 2012 Difference
Medicaid & CHIP

13

7

-6

Exchanges

8

9

+2

Uninsured

-18

-14

+4

Numbers may not add up to totals because of rounding.

Read the entire CBO report.

Visit Extend Health to use the ExtendExchange™ platform – the nation’s largest private Medicare insurance exchange.

Extend Health held its very first tweet chat today. The topic was health care reform, and there were some really great questions – and a bit of humor tossed in too. John Barkett, Dir. of Policy Affairs at ExtendHealth fielded questions. John worked in congress on health care and his wealth of knowledge was evident in the answers he provided.

If you missed our tweet chat you can read a complete recap of the event. Hope to see you at the next one!

Visit Extend Health to use the ExtendExchange™ platform – the nation’s largest private Medicare insurance exchange.

We surveyed seniors on Medicare to learn how they feel about the Supreme Court and its recent ruling on the health care law. The results are very interesting, and we hope you’ll enjoy reading about it in the press release below. Thanks!

July 17, 2012 03:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Extend Health Survey: Seniors on Medicare Respond to U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Healthcare Reform Law: 46% of Senior Women View the Decision as “Positive”; 27% of Senior Men

Survey fielded within 24 hours of ruling reveals “gender divide” among seniors

SAN MATEO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A survey of 441 seniors on Medicare fielded from June 29-July 2, 2012, showed that 46% of female respondents view the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law as “positive,” compared with just 27% of male respondents. In addition, 40% of senior women said that the fact that the ruling upheld provisions closing the Part D prescription drug coverage gap, known as the “donut hole,” influenced how they felt about the ruling, compared to just 26% of senior men who felt similarly.

The survey was fielded by Extend Health, operator of the nation’s largest private Medicare exchange. The company has been surveying seniors on their attitudes about retirement, healthcare and Medicare since December 2009. Extend Health is a Towers Watson company.

Under the healthcare reform law, individuals who fall into the donut hole receive a 50% discount on the cost of brand-name prescription drugs, with that discount increasing in future years until it reaches 75% in 2020. If the Supreme Court had ruled the law unconstitutional, that provision would have been overturned.

Said Bryce Williams, Managing Director of Extend Health, “The healthcare reform law is a divisive issue for many Americans, but seniors on Medicare apparently line up along gender lines. Based on comments made by our survey respondents, the reason for the different views of women versus men is based in part on women’s experience as caregivers to multiple generations: their children, their parents and their spouses. Perhaps this accounts for the difference in how women view the healthcare reform law and its goal of insuring more Americans.”

Questions and detailed results from the survey are as follows:

On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, with some clarifications. All of the provisions of the law that affect Medicare remain unchanged.

What do you think about the Supreme Court ruling overall?

Men Women
I think it is positive 27.3% 46.1%
I think it is negative 61.7% 38.3%
I don’t have an opinion 11.0% 15.7%

Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals who fall into the Part D coverage gap (“donut hole”) receive a 50% discount on the cost of brand-name prescription drugs, with that discount increasing in future years until it reaches 75% in 2020. If the Supreme Court had ruled the law unconstitutional, that provision would have been overturned.

How does the fact that the Part D coverage gap provision was upheld influence how you feel about the ruling?

Men Women
I feel more positive 25.7% 39.7%
I feel more negative 19.9% 17.2%
It makes no difference 54.4% 43.1%

Extend Health has helped hundreds of thousands of seniors compare and choose private Medicare plans. Extend Health is the only place seniors can compare thousands of plans from more than 75 carriers side by side and find plans that best meet their needs. Licensed benefit advisors are available to help seniors evaluate their Medicare coverage and explore new options quickly and easily.

About Extend Health

Founded in 2004, Extend Health operates the largest private Medicare exchange in the country. Extend Health is a Towers Watson company. For more information, visit Extend Health on the web at http://www.extendhealth.com.

Extend Health is a registered trademark of Extend Health, Inc. Other names may be trademarks or servicemarks of their respective owners.

Contacts

For Extend Health, Inc.
Rob Wyse, 212-920-1470
rob@WT221.com

Visit Extend Health to use the ExtendExchange™ platform – the nation’s largest private Medicare insurance exchange.

Back in December of 2011 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services chose 32 organizations to participate in the Pioneer Model test initiative that stated on January 1, 2012. On July 9th, HHS announced 89 new ACOs that will serve 1.2 million people with Medicare in 40 states and Washington, D.C. The program overall now includes 154 ACOs that are providing care to 2.4 million people.

ACOs consist of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that work together to deliver high-quality health care and reduce costs. Participation in this shared savings program under the ACA is voluntary, and providers are incentivized by the opportunity to share in the savings they help create. ACOs must meet 33 quality measures to insure that the savings generated result from improving the coordination and quality of care.

Not all ACOs are large organizations. Nearly half are physician-driven with less than 10,000 beneficiaries. The program is estimated to save the federal government up to $940 million over four years.

Visit Extend Health to use the ExtendExchange™ platform – the nation’s largest private Medicare insurance exchange.