New bill would pay seniors for staying healthy

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Together with their doctors, Medicare patients would develop plans to improve their health based on these standards.

Seniors would be eligible for up to $200 by the program's second year and $400 by its third year.

"This is exactly the kind of bold, concrete and common-sense legislation that we need to rein in health care spending and help our seniors live healthy lives," said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), a co-sponsor of twin House legislation.

"This program sets achievable health goals, outlines specific plans to meet those goals and provides incentives to keep participants motivated and engaged."

Under Medicare, seniors are eligible for a yearly checkup. These "wellness" visits would provide the basis for doctors to evaluate seniors' performance under the Rewards Program.

The initiative would be funded by Medicare savings generated by healthier seniors. It's one of several options being debated for lowering the program's healthcare costs.

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