THE CARE PACKAGE: Special Edition - Obamacare Helps Seniors. Anything less would be scary.

October 31, 2012

Nicole's Notes

In our Campaign for Better Care meetings, participants have heard many things about the health care law, but they still have questions about Medicare and how the changes affect them. They are happy to learn that the law provides them with increased access to preventive care and a decrease in the costs of prescription drugs. They are also looking forward to 2014, when the law will ban insurance companies from discriminating against adults who have pre-existing conditions and from charging women more than men for the same coverage.

Preventive Care

Thanks to Obamacare, Medicare now provides for an annual wellness visit, screenings and preventive services with no co-pay, personalized prevention plans and more. Over the past year, we have met seniors who tell us they used to put off screenings because of finances. So far this year, more than 805,000 North Carolina Medicare beneficiaries have received free preventive services.

Prescription Drug Savings

With current Medicare Part D coverage, seniors who fall into the “donut hole” coverage gap have to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs. Under Obamacare, seniors in this “donut hole” received $250 rebate checks in 2011, and this year they are receiving a 50% discount on brand-name drugs and a 14% discount on generic drugs.

In our state so far in 2012, this discount has resulted in an average savings of $623 per person and a total savings of $41,662,376. The “donut hole” will get narrower each year until it disappears for good in 2020.

If you have benefitted from the new preventive services or from prescription drug coverage discounts and would like to share your story, we’d like to hear from you. Contact me at Nicole@ncjustice.org or 919-856-2146.

To learn more about provisions of the new law see Consumer Reports’ free guide, Health Reform: Seven Things You Need to Know Now. You can also get more information at www.healthcare.gov and www.medicare.gov, or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.

Calendar

Campaign for Better Care Community Meeting - November 14

Join the NC Justice Center and AARP NC on Wednesday, November 14 for the next Campaign for Better Care community meeting and make your voice heard on one of the most important, complex issues in North Carolina today.

The goals of the Campaign for Better Care are to make improvements in the health care system for vulnerable older adults and build a strong and lasting consumer voice for better health.

Be sure your voice is heard! You can share your experiences and tell us what you think needs to change in the health care system. You will also learn about important programs from AARP, the Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), and others who will be available to answer your questions.

The free event will be held from 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the South Iredell Senior Center in Mooresville, NC. To reserve your seat, contact the Senior Center at 704-662-3337 or sisc@iredellcoa.org or Nicole Dozier of the NC Justice Center at (919) 856-2146 or Nicole@ncjustice.org.

If you are interested in hosting a NC Campaign for Better Care event, contact me at 919-856-2146 or Nicole@ncjustice.org.

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