Alert
Close

Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Close
AARP Games Tournament

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Most Popular

Viewed

share your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

You've Earned a Say

The Future of Medicare: 15 Proposals You Should Know About

Pros and cons of options on the table in Washington

11. Address the Sustainable Growth Rate (Physician Payment) Formula

In 1997, the law established a new formula for paying Medicare doctors. The goal of the "Sustainable Growth Rate" (or SGR) was to reduce health care costs by setting limits on how much doctors who treat Medicare patients could be paid. Fees have not been reduced in recent years, as the SGR formula calls for, because Congress has repeatedly intervened to prevent payment reductions. There are several proposals to reform the Medicare doctor payment system. Some proposals include freezing payments for primary care physicians while temporarily decreasing rates for specialists. Maintaining current payment rates for Medicare doctors would cost $316 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Opinion:
The SGR formula was flawed from the beginning. The physician fee cuts that it calls for cannot be implemented. That formula should be replaced with payment rules that encourage more doctors to provide primary care. (Henry J. Aaron, Brookings Institution)

Opinion: Doctors who take Medicare patients rightly complain bitterly about a government payment rule that is designed to cut their fees automatically every year to keep Medicare spending on doctors within a budget. This rule needs to be eliminated and other steps taken to prevent the future cost of Medicare from skyrocketing. (Stuart Butler, Heritage Foundation)

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% off eye exams and 30% off eyeglasses at Pearle Vision.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.