- If you are one of 4 million Medicare beneficiaries who hit the gap in their Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits, better known as the “donut hole,” you will get a $250 rebate in 2010.
- Drug company discounts on brand-name drugs will be improved gradually until the donut hole closes completely in 2020. Seniors, who now pay 100 percent of their drug costs once they reach the donut hole, will eventually pay just 25 percent.
- Beginning in 2010, all Medicare preventive services, such as screenings for colon, prostate and breast cancer will be free to beneficiaries.
- The Medicaid program will be expanded to cover people up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or $29,327 a year for a family of four, with childless adults to be covered for the first time beginning in 2014.
- Federal payments to Medicare Advantage programs, the private-plan part of Medicare insurance plans, will be cut over the next 10 years, starting in 2012.
- These plans, however, will remain unaffected in 2010, with members continuing to enjoy many of the extra Medicare health benefits such as vision and dental visits, wellness services and health club memberships that Medicare Health Advantage plans has long provided its beneficiaries.
It’s too early to know what long-term effect the new health care reform bill will have on Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. However, cuts to plans in a high-cost area like New York City will be phased in gradually over as many as seven years.
The overall health care proposal is expected to extend healthcare benefits to 32 million uninsured Americans and cost approximately $938 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Cuts in spending on government programs, including Medicare, and revenues from new taxes and fees will reduce future federal deficits by $143 billion over a decade, according to the budget office.
This press release is based on unbiased health care reform information from the following resources:
1. Congressional Budget Office. “Medicare Advantage Enrollment and Additional Benefits” March 18, 2010. cbo.gov/doc.cfm?
2. Reuters. “Q+A: How does healthcare overhaul affect Medicare?” reuters.com/
3. Kaiser Health News. “The Immediate Effects Of The Health Reform Bill” kaiserhealthnews.org/
4. The New York Times. “Making Sense of the Health Care Debate” March 23, 2010.
5. Healthcare Media. “How Care Reform Provisions Look in Over 10 Years” March 23, 2010.
6. Associated Press: “A Look at the Details of the Healthcare Overhaul Bill” March 22 2010.
To read additional health care reform news and to learn more about the changes to the health care industry, please visit http://www.TouchstoneHealthNow.com.
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Touchstone Health currently has more than 14,000 Medicare beneficiaries in New York City and in Westchester, Orange, Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Onondaga counties. Touchstone Health was founded in 1998 by a group of neighborhood physicians to bring personalized health care to New York. Visit http://www.TouchstoneHealthNow.com for more information or contact a Touchstone Health representative 24/7 at 1.877.867.5750, TTY users: 1.888.777.0368.