On December 16, 2014, Congress approved a tax extender bill (H.R. 5771) that includes the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act provides for tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities to pay for qualified expenses, including medical, education, housing, and transportation expenses. To pay for the bill, which President Obama is expected to sign, Congress included three Medicare “offsets.”
These Medicare cuts include:
- imposing a target 1% reduction for 2016 in Medicare Physician Fee Schedule expenditures to be achieved through adjustments to the relative values for misvalued codes, by accelerating the application of “relative value targets” that were previously scheduled to apply beginning in 2017, but retaining the target reduction of 0.5% in each of 2017 and 2018;
- prohibiting Medicare Part B coverage for vacuum pumps used to treat erectile dysfunction; and
- delaying by one year the implementation of oral-only end stage renal disease (ESRD)-related drugs in the ESRD Prospective Payment System until 2025.
H.R. 5771 is available here.