Combined Fund Update

HEHS-95-168R: Published: May 25, 1995. Publicly Released: May 25, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Combined Benefit Fund, focusing on the fund's: (1) beneficiaries, expenses, and revenues; and (2) Medicare reimbursement arrangements. GAO noted that: (1) as of October 1, 1994, the fund had 96,700 beneficiaries, about three-fourths of whom were coal industry operators; (2) 29 firms terminated their contributions to the fund between October 1994 and March 1995, which necessitated the reassignment of 3,114 beneficiaries; (3) the fund had billed all operators about $162 million for fiscal year 1995 premiums; (4) the fund's Medicare per capita reimbursement rate was renegotiated and reduced for the year beginning July 1994, which makes it unlikely that future annual surpluses will occur; and (5) overall annual operating deficits are expected to begin in 1995, which would eliminate the current surplus by 2003.

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