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Key Facts About Health Care Reform for Seniors

Recently there has been a lot of concern and speculation about the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The National Council on Aging created a fact sheet to help clarify how this legislation will affect older Americans.

Fact 1: The law protects basic Medicare benefits and will improve some aspects of the benefit. The Affordable Care Act helps with the cost of prescriptions when seniors enter the coverage gap related to their Medicare part D plans. In 2012 seniors will receive a 50% discount for brand name drugs and 14% for generics when they enter the coverage gap. By 2020 the gap will be eliminated. There will be more preventative services and better care and care coordination when someone becomes ill. This will include help in returning home for seniors who are hospitalized.

Fact 2: The Law reduces Medicare spending growth, extends Medicare solvency, and is projected to reduce the budget deficit. The law reduces overpayment to Medicare Advantage plans and slows payment increases to Medicare providers. Beneficiaries with a higher income will pay a higher premium for prescription coverage. In 2014 a Payment Advisory Board will begin reviewing ways to reduce costs without cutting benefits. The law will slow the growth rate of Medicare spending from itís current 7.6% per year to an estimated 5.1% per year.

Fact 3: The law makes it easier to receive and pay for long-term care at home. The Act provides federal funds to states that provide services through their Medicaid programs, and the law increases protection for spouses of those who need home care services to remain in their homes.

Fact 4: The law improves care for older adults in several other ways: Many early retirees can receive help to keep their insurance premiums down, Medicare will pay bonuses to physicians who provide a higher level of primary care, standards for nursing home quality of care will increase, and there will be new protections against elder abuse and neglect.

Fact 5: The law improves health coverage access for younger adults who donít have Medicare. The law will provide coverage for approximately 32 million Americans who do not currently have health insurance. Small businesses can receive tax credits to help make coverage more affordable for their employees. Companies will be prohibited from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Young adults up to age 26 will be allowed to remain on their parentsí plans. Insurance providers will not be able to drop people from plans when they get sick. Information was obtained from the

National Council on Aging, for additional details visit their website at www.ncoa.org/StraightTalk and contact your ElderCare Specialist Heather Spindler at 314-802-5106, toll-free at 1-888-388-1930, or via email at hspindler@seniorsolutions-stl.com for any other caregiver related issue.