During the consideration of health insurance reform, the debate was intense and often filled with frightening–and wrong–information. Opponents spread misinformation and even told outright lies about reform and seniors–from ‘death panels‘ to claiming reform would ‘slash’ Medicare. The truth is Medicare–which has provided health care for Americans age 65 and older for the last 45 years–will be strengthened under the Affordable Care Act. The new law brings better benefits and lower costs, and will preserve Medicare's solvency for years to come. In fact, seniors will even be seeing immediate benefits this year:
BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE
Provides a $250 rebate to those Medicare beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in 2010. Beginning in January 2011, there is a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the donut hole. (Also completely closes the donut hole by 2020.)
FREE PREVENTIVE CARE UNDER MEDICARE
Eliminates co”payments for preventive services and exempts preventive services from deductibles under the Medicare program. Effective on January 1, 2011.
HELP FOR EARLY RETIREES
Creates a temporary re-insurance program (until the Exchanges are available) for employer health plans providing coverage for early retirees, helping to protect coverage while reducing premiums for employers and these early retirees age 55-64. Effective on June 21, 2010.
Today, Speaker Pelosi, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Leader Steny Hoyer, Barbara Kennelly of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and Dr. Ben Williamowsky, a Medicare recipient who talked about the “baloney” he heard about the bill, held a news conference to discuss benefits of and misconceptions about the Affordable Care Act and Medicare:
The participants highlighted a four-page brochure which was mailed this week to seniors outlining the benefits for Medicare recipients in the new health insurance reform law:
Learn more about how the Affordable Care Act works for Seniors: