Aker Kasten Blog

Medicare Coverage and the Affordable Care Act

by: John Aker | October 31st, 2013

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the subject of many headlines in recent months. Due to the various elements and timetables contained in the ACA, there is also plenty of confusion about what the Act will mean for you.Affordable Care Act

Thankfully there are also many resources to help determine what changes and what does not change in light of the ACA. We will share a list of resources at the end of this brief overview. But when you have questions or receive information that you don’t understand, do not feel badly. Even so called “experts” are confused by the various provisions and deadlines so you are in good company. So don’t panic or let it stress you. If you have questions, simply write them down then access the resources below. They will either have your answer or know where to find them!

First, it is important that you realize that the ACA seeks to strengthen Medicare, not to diminish it. And because it contains benefits such as free preventative services, free annual wellness visits, and a 50% discount on prescription drugs, it will definitely behoove you to make and keep an appointment with your physician for your annual visit and discuss some preventative measures you should take to enhance or improve your health!

  • Existing Medicare-covered benefits won’t be reduced or taken away. Nor will your ability to select your own physician.
  • If you had Medicare prescription drug coverage and had to pay for your drugs, you received a one-time, tax free $250 rebate from Medicare to help you pay for your prescriptions.
  • If you have high prescription drug costs that put you in the donut hole, you now get a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs while you are in the donut hole. Between today and 2020, you’ll get continuous Medicare coverage for your drugs. By 2020, the donut hole will be completed closed.
  • Medicare covers certain preventative services with charging you the Part B co-insurance or deductible. You will also be offered a free annual wellness exam.
  • The life of the Medicare Trust Fund will be extended which will provide you with future costs savings on your premiums and co-insurance.

So, these facts should help you rest a bit easier now that you know Medicare benefits are not under attack by the ACA. In fact, you should realize better benefits as a result.

If you have other questions or concerns, utilize these resources for more information:

Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE)  http://www.youragingresourcecenter.org/shine

You may also be receiving flyers, letters, and postcards from various Medicare supplement health plans in your mailbox suggesting you consider a new Medicare supplement. If you are unsure if you current plan is the best one, you owe it to yourself to allow the counselors at SHINE to help you evaluate your options.

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.


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