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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act

The Courtney-Larson-Higgins plan would allow Americans age 50-64 to buy-in to Medicare, the system with the highest satisfaction rate of any health insurance program, according to a 2016 Gallup poll. By leveraging the power of Medicare, its wide provider network, and low administrative costs, those approaching retirement could see significant savings.

Participants could buy into Medicare, including Part A, B, and D, for an annual premium potentially as low as $8,212, compared to the $13,308 it would cost a 60 year old to buy a Gold plan on the exchange (before any subsidies are applied).

Our plan also proposes important common sense solutions to bolster stability. Establishing a reinsurance program, strengthening the Cost Sharing Reduction program, and investing in ways to reduce long-term costs to the system are simple but important actions we must take in order to ensure a healthy and affordable insurance market for all.

There are ways to improve quality while also reducing the financial burden on Americans. We encourage you to join us in showing the American people the way forward for our health care system.

Medicare Buy-In for those ages 50-64

  • Participants would purchase Medicare coverage (Part A, B, and D) at-cost, keeping the program budget neutral
  • Plans would be offered on the exchanges, providing opportunity for comparison-shopping
  • Those eligible for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions could apply them towards their buy-in premium
  • Employed Americans (ages 50-64) could opt into this plan, and their employers could contribute on their behalf

HHS is also authorized to negotiate volume discounts on prescription drugs (Part D) to achieve even greater savings in the system and to the benefit of all Medicare beneficiaries

Market Stabilization

  • Re-establish an individual market catastrophic reinsurance program
  • Extend Risk Corridors through 2020
  • Improve cost-sharing reduction subsidies in current law to ensure low-income families can rely upon this assistance every year

Bending the Cost Curve

  • Establish an advisory commission to address long-term costs and delivery system reforms to improve the quality of patient care, improve the health of populations, and reduce the cost of care
  • Enhance Medicare Program Integrity efforts to fight fraud and abuse in the system that hurts the long-term solvency of the program and harms our beneficiaries.

Additional Information:

Bill information and status (congress.gov)

 

More on Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act

August 22, 2017 In The News
Congressmen Courtney and Larson discuss their proposal to let individuals aged 50-64 buy-in to Medicare.
August 21, 2017 In The News
Most Americans want Congress to set aside politics and search for common-sense solutions that build upon the efforts of the Affordable Care Act rather than tear it down with no viable alternative. The “Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act,” to be introduced by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney and two other congressmen, is such a common-sense proposal.
July 27, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Courtney said, “With the demise of “repeal” which was structured from day 1 as a hyper partisan Republican exercise, it is time Congress listens to what the American people have been saying loud and clear for several years. We need to work together to fix the weaknesses in the ACA rather than butcher it. The Medicare Buy In and Health Care Stabilization Act provides relief for the higher cost, older population in the individual and small business market, and restores the market stabilizers that Republicans have undermined and caused insurance premiums to spike in 2017 and 2018. Lastly, the bill provides exciting new ways to reduce health care spending by cracking down on fraud and instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to employ tried and true tools to cut costs in the area of prescription drugs. This bill not only does not add to the deficit, but it will, in fact, save money for America’s taxpayers.”