If you depend on Medicaid to help you handle the rising drug and health care costs, you will want to know about the information in this article. The United States Government has been planning a cut to the much needed assistance program since June 2005. The cut is not minor.
In five years, spending on Medicaid is going to be reduced by $10 billion dollars. If you have trouble imagining how a $1 million cut would affect you, don’t even try fathoming this huge loss. Although no one is saying exactly what will be affected, reports suggest that prescription drugs may be the hardest hit.
Since seniors often rely heavily on a number of medications to treat their illnesses, this could mean huge savings for the government, but also huge, possibly irreconcilable cost increases to people who simply cannot afford it. Reimbursement criteria may be changed so pharmacies cannot give discounts on certain drugs. Also, certain states may be able to up the co-payment prices for drugs and varying services.
Another way the government intends to cut costs is by changing the requirements for who can be considered a “beneficiary” on the forms. By introducing stricter eligibility criteria on these people, the government hopes that people under Medicaid will list fewer beneficiaries.
At this time, it isn’t certain if these cuts will go through. Certain groups are saying that these cuts are needed more than ever in the wake of the immense damage Hurricane Katrina has inflected on the budget. However, other groups are arguing that the cuts should be prevented for this very reason. Since more people will be left without homes, jobs, or insurance due to this tragedy, more people need Medicaid help than ever before.
Currently, the United States Government spends just over $181 billion on Medicaid. That number has been projected to rise next year, but the cuts may cause it to slide to a lower number if the budget goes through as planned. Be prepared to see some changes in your Medicaid costs if you do depend on this government-funded service.