What Does Big Bird have to do with Home Care?

Big Bird has absolutely nothing to do with home care. Although, Big Bird is quite popular these days after Presidential candidate Mitt Romney referred to the bright yellow bird during the first Presidential debate. While Romney loves Big Bird, he still wants to cut government funding for PBS which airs Sesame Street.

In addition to Big Bird, home care is getting attention as well with the Presidential candidates that debate the issues surrounding Obama Care, Medicare voucher system and beneficiaries. Move over Big Bird, let’s take a look at Mitt’s plan for Medicare:

Key Elements of Mitt’s Plan

  • Nothing changes for current seniors or those nearing retirement
  • Medicare is reformed as a premium support system, meaning that existing spending is repackaged as a fixed-amount benefit to each senior that he or she can use to purchase an insurance plan
  • All insurance plans must offer coverage at least comparable to what Medicare provides today
  • If seniors choose more expensive plans, they will have to pay the difference between the support amount and the premium price; if they choose less expensive plans, they can use any leftover support to pay other medical expenses like co-pays and deductibles
  • “Traditional” fee-for-service Medicare will be offered by the government as an insurance plan, meaning that seniors can purchase that form of coverage if they prefer it; however, if it costs the government more to provide that service than it costs private plans to offer their versions, then the premiums charged by the government will have to be higher and seniors will have to pay the difference to enroll in the traditional Medicare option
  • Lower income seniors will receive more generous support to ensure that they can afford coverage; wealthier seniors will receive less support
  • Competition among plans to provide high quality service while charging low premiums will hold costs down while also improving the quality of coverage enjoyed by seniors

For equal billing, let’s take a look at President Obama’s Medicare plan:

  • People enrolled in traditional Medicare will save an average of $4,200 in health care expenses over the next 10 years.
  • You now have access to annual wellness visits with your doctor, free of charge.
  • If you fall into Medicare’s coverage gap for prescription drugs, you now get a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs—and by 2020, the doughnut hole will close for good.

I’m looking forward to more debate about healthcare reform and how it affects the home care industry, cost-savings for home care and of course, Big Bird.