Jeb Bush unveils Medicare reform plan: 4 things to know

Former Florida governor and current Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has introduced a set of proposals aimed at strengthening Medicare, which include a call for "bipartisan Medicare premium support."

Here are four things to know about Mr. Bush's Medicare reform plan.

1. Under Mr. Bush's plan, private payers, traditional Medicare and other entities would compete on a number of factors, including price. Seniors would receive Medicare premium support based on the average of those prices. "If a senior chooses a plan cheaper than the average price, they will realize the savings. If a senior chooses a more expensive plan, they will pay the difference in the form of a higher premium," said Mr. Bush's campaign.

2. In his plan, Mr. Bush vows to improve management practices. He looked to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office for ways to curb improper Medicare payments. For example, Mr. Bush's plan calls for more transparency about healthcare providers who have been fined or suspended from a federal healthcare program.  

3. Currently, seniors who enroll in Medicare cannot save money in tax-free health savings accounts. Mr. Bush's plan would change that. He would not only allow seniors to keep their HSAs to save for out-of-pocket healthcare spending, but also allow their health plan or provider to contribute money to an HSA.

4. Mr. Bush would also increase means-testing for Medicare premiums. "This proposal will further reduce the level of government subsidies for wealthier seniors, as consistent with bipartisan proposals," said Mr. Bush's campaign. For example, under the plan, a senior making $160,000 will receive a 35 percent subsidy from the government compared with the 50 percent subsidy under current law.

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