Making Sense of Obama Care as a Senior Citizen
As we age, we plan for our health care and make estimates on the possible expenses. We look for valuable information about elder care and benefits that we may use during the time we need it. However, with the existing health care reform under Obama care changes senior’s care, you may wonder how it affects your lives and health plan. Well, Obama care looks promising to seniors since it provides additional provisions and free health care benefits. Medicare added prevention services and more options on health care plans.
The provision of health care information and resources to research are available online. So, you can compare prices, know your health benefits and learn more about elder care.
The following are the provision of seniors care under Obama Care Changes Senior’s Care:
Free preventive care. Under the health care reform, annual wellness visits are provided to seniors. Preventive care means consulting your doctor and get advise on how to stay healthy. Nicole Duritz, vice president for health, education and outreach at AARP said that as you call your doctor’s office to schedule appointment, you should say “I would like to schedule my free annual wellness benefit”. Free preventive care includes cholesterol and diabetes screenings and consultation about diet.
During the consultation, your doctor will review your medication and may ask you some laboratory tests. It is possible during the preventive check-up, that the doctor find something is wrong and may proceed to further medication and be listed to your medical bill. You may want to inquire ahead during appointment in which costs you are responsible for. Duritz says “clarify before every appointment which costs you are responsible for ”. “You will need to keep the cost conversation open with your doctor”, he added.
Lower prescription drug costs. Under the reform health care, 50% discount on the brand name and 20% discount on generic prescription drugs are available to seniors since last year, 2013. In fact, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimated that an average of $866 each senior saved in 2013. This is good news to seniors. If we compare to the old “doughnut hole” before health care reform, many seniors reach the gap of $4,550 for the year. It makes them shoulder the costs of their prescription drugs. It is expected that the doughnut hole will be abolished 2020 as the discounts grow each year. Seniors will then pay a $310 deductible and 25 percent of prescription costs.
Medicare fraud protection. Under the new health care, it is their goal to protect consumers from fraud. With the internet, consumers can be protected. Duritz said that the health care law adds $350 million over 10 years to catch people who fraudulently bill Medicare, and consumers need to be informed, knowledgeable and engaged in their coverage by reviewing their quarterly summary of benefits. MyMedicare.gov provides information of your claims and you can log in to review it. Are you overly charged? Or perhaps billed laboratory test you did not take. “Sometimes innocent mistakes are made that can easily be corrected,” Duritz says. “Other times the charges are intentional and fraudulent.” If you are suspicious with your Medicare bill, you can call Medicare Office of the Inspector General at (800) 447-8477.
Improved care after hospitalization.
To prevent readmission, the Community Care Transitions Program (CCTP), part of the health law, went into effect in 2011. This agency helps Medicare beneficiaries to connect to services in their community such as as a home health agency, an Area