It has been awhile since the debate was in full swing and then the final vote of approval for health care reform. Most people, especially seniors, are still struggling to understand what the Affordable Care Act means.
What changes in Medicare and Medicaid services will be coming their way? What will the cost of service mean to the national budget and potentially their taxes when living on a fixed income? Will they have to pick new doctors, pay more for prescriptions or leave their home sooner?
The National Council on Aging recently completed a poll among 636 Americans 65 years and older and found that most were confused about the changes and how they will be impacted. Only 22% of those polled knew that the new law would not cut their Medicare benefits while 42% thought their benefits would be cut and 37% had no idea about how they would be impacted. 49% erroneously believed that the new law would increase the federal deficit. Most understand that the donut-hole loophole has been closed.
As a result, a campaign for educating seniors (and their loved ones) called Straight Talk for Seniors and Loved Ones has begun. The following are a few of the facts that they are highlighting to increase awareness:
- Medicare benefits will not be cut and some have been improved such as a yearly wellness checkup with a prevention plan, prescription drug donut-hole loophole closed, and help getting you back home after a hospitalization
- Reduce Medicare growth and improve solvency while reducing the deficit over the next 10 years; payments to doctors have not been reduced
- Increase long term care help in the home, CLASS program-national long term care insurance
- Improve care for elders through increased education of caregivers, quality measures for nursing homes, improved access to doctors, and protection against elder abuse
- Improve health insurance coverage for younger Americans similar to Medicare benefits
Get the facts and read the full impact of the new Affordable Care Act @ http://www.ncoa.org/assets/files/pdf/100722_Affordable-Care-Ltr.pdf
According to the Council on Aging, there will be many improvements in benefits for elders as a result of health care reform that provide hope to millions. We will be following the implementation and reporting on what we see to help you stay informed.