Why the Biden Presidency Could Help Seniors Afford Rising Medicare Costs

For many seniors, Medicare and other healthcare costs make up a huge portion of their annual expenses. Medicare costs rise annually, leaving many wondering, how much will Medicare cost in the future?

What's more, potential insolvency is looming for both Medicare and Social Security, with Medicare Part A's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund predicted to run out of money as soon 2024. The measures taken by the Biden administration in the next four years will be instrumental in how seniors access health care for years to come, although it remains to be seen whether some or all of Biden's proposals will come to pass.

Social Security benefits expanded

One of the ways Biden would improve the financial situation of many seniors would be to enhance Social Security benefits both immediately and in the future.

This would be two-pronged, with an immediate raise in benefits for certain groups identified as needy (including caregivers, low-wage workers and government workers), and changing the Cost of Living Adjustments to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, known as the CPI-E.

The CPI-E is specifically designed to measure inflation for seniors as it has a weighted measurement system that takes into account that seniors spend their money disproportionately on medical needs and housing compared to the rest of the population. The CPI-E would raise annual adjustments for people withdrawing Social Security every year.

Medicare drug costs lowered

The other way Biden is seeking to tackle Medicare expenses is by lowering the towering prices of prescription drugs. Biden's plan limits drug prices to only rise according to inflation annually, and also would allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies directly.

However, these plans could butt up against President Trump's late-term push to enact his own promises to lower prescription drug costs. Trump's plan relies instead on comparing US drug costs to a comparative benchmark of other nations, known as the Most-Favored-Nations Rule. The Trump administration finalized this rule in late November, and it's possible that it will be held up by both procedural issues due to its quick implementation as well as political misalignment with the incoming administration.

What's more, either plan is highly likely to see serious legal pushback from the pharmaceutical industry. Although the plan to lower prescription drug prices to a comparable cost to other nations is both widely popular and bipartisan, there will be many procedural hurdles involved in setting up and administrating either regulatory structure before seniors may see the results in their wallets.

Source: iQuanti, Inc.

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Categories: Healthcare Insurance

Tags: Biden, Healthcare, Insurance, Medicare, Seniors