Aug 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced legislation today to cap out-of-pocket health care costs for seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare.

While most private health care plans and Medicare Advantage set a cap on the total amount of out-of-pocket spending that an individual is responsible for each year, traditional Medicare does not. If approved, Nelson’s legislation would ensure that no one enrolled in the traditional Medicare program has to pay more than $5,500 per year out of pocket for deductibles and copays.

“There are over four million Floridians who rely on Medicare for their health care coverage” Nelson said.  “We need to do everything we can to make health care more affordable for everyone, especially seniors living on a fixed income.”

More than 85% of Medicare beneficiaries in the U.S. have some form of additional insurance to help them cover the costs of monthly premiums, copayments and deductibles associated with the program. Those who don’t have supplemental insurance often choose to forgo the care they need because they can’t afford to pay the out-of-pocket costs.

In addition to capping out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries, Nelson’s bill would make it easier for low-income seniors to qualify for financial assistance to help cover some of their annual out-of-pocket costs.

It would also make it easier for seniors and those with disabilities to enroll in the traditional Medicare program and would reduce lifelong penalties for those who delay signing up for Medicare Part B.

Nelson’s bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

A copy of the bill is available here.

Measure would ensure no one enrolled in Medicare has to pay more than $5,500 per year in out-of-pocket costs