Oct 05 2011

Corker, Bennet Introduce “Medicare Information Act”

New Annual Medicare Statement Would Show Lifetime Contributions & Benefits

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Michael Bennet, D-Col., have introduced legislation to establish a new annual Medicare statement so Americans are better informed about their contributions and benefits. The Medinfo Act, previously introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., will provide every eligible taxpayer and Medicare beneficiary age 25 and older with a detailed summary of their total lifetime contributions and benefits. The Medicare statement would be sent in a single mailing – via post or email – along with the current Social Security statement.

“One of the most significant long-term challenges for our country is restoring the solvency of the Medicare system, which holds $38 trillion in unfunded liabilities and runs out of money to pay full benefits in 2024. Reforming the system will require all Americans to better understand what’s at stake, and this new statement will help,” Corker said. “For example, a couple earning $43,500 each per year will receive $357,000 in total lifetime Medicare benefits, while contributing $119,000. This obviously doesn’t add up, and if Americans can see firsthand this difference between what they pay in and what they will receive in benefits, then hopefully we can get momentum behind reforms to preserve the system for current and future generations.”

“We should be working together to find ways to strengthen Medicare for America’s seniors,” said Bennet. “Making more information available to the public can help Americans of all ages better understand the system and the challenges it faces down the road. And in this difficult economic time, Americans want to know what they are paying for and what they can expect from benefits. This commonsense, bipartisan bill will arm everyone with information to better prepare for their futures, and it also makes Medicare more accessible.”

Each Medicare statement will include the following information:

1. Contributions

a. Individual’s total Hospital Insurance (HI) contributions for all previous years, including most recent year.

b. Actuarial estimate of expected contributions during individual’s lifetime.

2. Benefits

a. Individual’s total benefits received during previous years, including most recent year.

b. Actuarial estimate of actual and/or expected benefits during individual’s lifetime.

A one-pager and full text of the bill are attached below.

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