The Health Care Law:
What the Law Does Now for People 65+
If you are age 65 or over, the health care law benefits you in several ways. The law lowers prescription drug costs, strengthens Medicare, and improves long-term care services. These benefits are in effect now. Lowers out-of-pocket prescription drug costs
• If you reach the Medicare Part D coverage gap in 2012, you will receive a 50% discount on brand-name drugs and a 14% discount on generic drugs while you are in the coverage gap. How much you’ll pay out of pocket for each drug may vary depending on your Part D plan, the prices your plan negotiated, and how it has structured its gap coverage. These discounts will gradually increase until the Part D coverage gap disappears in 2020.
• If you have Medicare, you qualify for an annual wellness visit, mammograms, and other screenings for certain cancers and diabetes—important preventive care at no additional charge to you.
• Medicare Advantage plans that give better quality care will receive bonus payments. Plans must use some of this bonus money to offer you added health benefits.
• New rules stop Medicare Advantage plans from charging people more than Original Medicare pays for certain services. These services include chemotherapy administration, renal dialysis, and skilled nursing care.
Reduces waste, fraud and abuse
• The law cracks down on waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and the health care system.
• To guard against medical identity theft, the law also protects the privacy of your personal information.
Improves long-term care services
• You have more information about nursing home inspections, complaints against facilities, and consumer rights. This information will help you make decisions when selecting a nursing home.
• Your state may receive more funds to expand home- and community-based services. For example, under the Community First Choice Option participating states get more federal dollars to provide home-and community-based services to people with disabilities who live at home but need a higher level of care.
Go to www.aarp.org/healthlawguide for personalized information
about how the health law works for you.