While some Republican legislators seek to reduce Medicaid and Medicare benefits, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius goes about her business to not only expand access to health care, but to also improve the health care that’s available. The focus of health care reform appears to be shifting from the insurance market to how hospitals provide health care.
Saying, “Everybody in America should have better health care and better costs,” Sebelius is travelling around the country promoting her Partnership for Patients initiative. The goal of the partnership is to reduce injuries that patients suffer while hospitalized, including the number of new infections. She reminds us that each year, the number of people who “die from harm in hospitals is more than the number of people who die annually as a result of AIDS, breast cancer and car accidents combined.”
Sebelius plans to not only reduce injuries within hospitals by 40 percent, but to also cut the need for hospital readmissions by 20 percent in three years. In exchange for up to $1 billion in the Medicare funding of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, she estimates that her initiative could slash $50 billion worth of Medicare costs in the coming decade. The fate of Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance may be determined by the war over health care reform.
Maximize Medicare And Medicare Supplemental Insurance Benefits
While politicians toss around conflicting ideas regarding funding Medicare, you have the power to make the most of your coverage whether you rely on Original Medicare, a combination of Medicare and Medigap Insurance or you use one of the Medicare Advantage Plans as a substitute.
This May, the Journal of the American Medical Association highlights how to improve quality of life and cut health care costs with a single strategy. It offers a comprehensive analysis of clinical trials showing that exercise and physical activity helps to control blood glucose levels and diabetes.
Other studies show how exercise programs improve high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides. Researchers have also shown that cardiovascular and cognition problems respond to exercise, which reduces premature deaths and enhances the quality of life.
Using exercise to maintain your health makes it less expensive to supplement Medicare with the best Medicare Supplement Insurance. Good health makes it easy to sail past medical underwriting departments that estimate what your health care will cost insurance companies. With good health, you can get better rates and you won’t face exclusions on your coverage.
What Does Exercise Mean For Your Health Care Costs?
One study gave a specific dollar amount that older adults actually saved on health care. Those who used a health club facility at least twice a week for a two-year period, had a $1,252 reduction in the cost of their health care during the second year as compared to people who used a health club less than once a week. Programs that combine aerobic and resistance training produce greater benefits than resistance exercises alone.
Even though health club benefits have been shown to correlate with slower increases in total health care costs among older adults, Medicare does not reimburse for exercise programs. It does reimburse for approved self-management education and medical nutrition programs regarding type 2 diabetes, though.
Until Medicare managers begin to use this cost-cutting strategy, see whether Medicare Supplement Plans begin to offer reimbursement or other discounts for exercise programs and other forms of physical activity.