Doctors' pay: Absent a fiscal cliff deal that includes a so-called "doc fix," Medicare physicians are facing a nearly 27% cut in their payments for treating Medicare patients.
But here again there may be a few weeks' grace period for Congress to change its mind and reverse the cut. That's because a claim submitted will be paid no less than two weeks after it's received.
Unemployment benefits: A federal extension of unemployment benefits is set to expire. If Congress does not renew it, workers who lost their jobs after July 1, 2012, will only receive up to 26 weeks in state unemployment benefits, down from as many as 73 weeks in state and federal benefits that have been available in 2012. As a result, more than 2 million of the long-term unemployed will run out of benefits in January, according to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group.
If Congress chooses early next year to keep the extension in place, and makes the extension retroactive, then many of the 2 million who fell off the rolls may be paid retroactively, said Rick McHugh, a NELP staff attorney.