Over the last eight years, there has been a concerted effort to reinvent Medicare. The direction the program is currently being steered towards is focused on increasing quality through a coordinated effort. With a new President poised to begin his term, there are definitely some questions facing the country right now, but Medicare seems to be continuing in the direction it has been pointed over the last eight years; at least for now.
In 2017, Medicare will be implementing two new experiments to test the way hospitals and rehab centers are coordinating their efforts to offer the highest quality service and to contain costs. The experiments will be focused on cardiac and hip surgeries.
Statistics show that an estimated 168,000 Medicare beneficiaries are treated for heart attacks a year, while 109,000 undergo surgery to treat broken hips.
The experiments devised by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation are designed to test whether more coordination between clinicians, hospitals and rehab centers can lead to better recoveries for patients and prevent hospital re-admissions.
To do this, Medicare will pay regular rates to the doctors, hospitals and rehab centers, but hospitals will be given responsibility for the quality and cost. Compared to benchmarks set by Medicare, the hospital will be given a financial bonus for exceeding goals and may have to pay the government for falling short on the goals.
While the experiments are designed to continue the reinvention effort of Medicare, there are some unknowns with the incoming of Donald Trump as President. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation itself could be abolished by Trump, which could mark the end for the push to reinvent how Medicare operates.
The experiments, which also include earlier efforts that tested the care for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and knee replacement, are designed to improve Medicare and the way the system currently operates.
To read more about the Medicare experiments, click here.
So, you’re starting a family — congrats! This is an exciting time that requires a lot of thinking ahead and planning. With a new life growing inside you, there’s no better time to think about purchasing a life insurance policy. After all, once your child is born, he or she will depend on you for everything. You’re probably not thinking much about your own mortality at this time, but you do need to be prepared for the worst. You owe it to your future family to make sure they are taken care of in the event of your death.
There’s no right or wrong way to go. Term and permanent life insurance both have their advantages and disadvantages. Term is great for young families because it is less expensive than permanent. Term life insurance plans end after a predetermined amount of time, so you can stay covered until your child turns 18, at which time he or she may be able to take care of himself financially. The point, as you may know, is to ensure that your dependents are financially stable should you die and your income cease to support them, so this kind of plan makes sense for parents. Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, is more expensive but provides lifelong coverage, which is valuable for anyone.
Does it make a difference if I’m a working mom or a stay-at-home mom?
You would think that since stay-at-home moms don’t make an income, there would be no point in purchasing a life insurance policy. This, however, isn’t the reality. What stay-at-home moms do for their families is extremely valuable. Were you to die, there would be no cash flow to be cut off, but who would take on all those responsibilities? The surviving partner would either have to invest money into childcare and hire a housekeeper, or cut down their work hours and do these tasks themselves.
Can I purchase a life insurance policy while I’m pregnant?
If it is early enough in your pregnancy and there are no medical complications or health risks, then you should be able to get coverage easily. If there are medical issues, life insurance may be more difficult to secure. Some companies may want to wait until after your child is born.
There is a lot to consider when choosing a life insurance policy. For more information, talk to a life insurance professional.
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Neither Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company® nor its Medicare Supplement policies are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the federal Medicare program, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a solicitation of Medicare Supplement insurance and an independent agent may call on you. The Medicare Supplement products issued by the Company are insurance policies. Policy form series B 21092 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company®, Atlanta, GA; policy form series B 21492 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Assurance CompanyTM, Atlanta, GA. Limitations and exclusions apply; actual policy provisions control. Rates subject to change on a class basis. Individually underwritten; application to determine eligibility required.
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