How the Affordable Care Act Affects Medicare Benefits

What Is The Affordable Care Act?

Affordable Care Act ObamaCare and Medicare

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This law is often referred to as the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare. It was the first comprehensive healthcare reform legislation passed during his first administration that attempts to make preventative healthcare more affordable and accessible to American citizens and prevent health insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

 

How The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) Affects Medicare

  • Under the law, your Medicare coverage is protected. With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, your existing Medicare benefits won’t be reduced, taken away, or denied. You also will be able to continue seeing your own doctor, you will not be forced to switch doctors. If you don’t currently have a doctor who accepts Medicare, visit our find a Medicare doctor page to do an instant search online for a doctor that accepts Medicare in your local area.

  • Your doctor will now receive more support. There are now new initiatives in place to help support healthcare coordination as well as your doctor may receive additional resources to make sure that your healthcare treatments are consistent.

  • You can save more money on brand-name prescription drugs. If you’re currently in the donut hole, you will receive a 50% discount when you buy Medicare Part D-covered prescription drugs. The discount will be applied automatically at the counter of your local pharmacy, you will not be forced to fill out any additional paperwork or do any other work other than paying for it at your local pharmacy. The donut hole is also expected to be closed completely by the year 2020. If you would like to know how to possibly save even more money on your prescription drugs, visit our compare Medicare plans page to compare Part D covered brand-name prescription drugs using our quick online form, available for you to use anytime, day or night.

  • You will now receive more preventive services, for less money. Under ObamaCare, Medicare will now cover particular preventive healthcare services, like colonoscopies and mammograms, without charging you for the Medicare Part B coinsurance or deductible. You can also receive one free yearly “Wellness” visit with your Medicare coverage.

  • The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) attempts to guarantee the protection of your Medicare coverage. The life of the Medicare Trust fund will now be extended through 2029, a 12-year extension due to the reductions in waste, fraud, abuse, and Medicare costs, which will provide you and your family with future savings on your premiums and Medicare coinsurance.

Medicare Shared Savings Program

The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the ACA or Obamacare, went into effect on March 23, 2010. Part of the act established a Medicare Shared Savings Program, or MSSP, which served to encourage what are known as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to work with medical providers toward the improvement of the quality of care that is provided to those who received Medicare benefits. In addition, the Medicare Shared Savings Program was created to help reduce unnecessary medical costs. Additional information regarding this change is available in Notice 201-20 which provides guidance for tax-exempt organizations that have chosen to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program though an ACO. This notice also addresses those tax-exempt organizations which are participating in non-MSSP activities through an ACO. Further information regarding the Medicare Shared Savings Program visit www.hhs.gov.

Affordable Care Act Obamacare Healthcare Law

In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has provided regulations which describe in detail the rules that must be abided by for accountable care organizations and the Shared Savings Program. In Fact Sheet 2011-11, confirmation that Notice 2011-20 correctly reflects IRS expectations for the Shared Savings Program and ACO is found. Further information regarding charitable organizations that wish to participate is also provided.

 

Medicare Part D “Donut Hole” Coverage Gap Rebate

In 2010, ObamaCare (Affordable Care Act) provided a one-time rebate of $250 to assist all Medicare Part D recipients who reached their Medicare prescription drug plan’s coverage gap. This payment was not taxable and was not issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Then for 2011 and beyond, anyone who reaches the coverage gap portion of their Medicare drug plan will now get a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs and 7% discount for generic drugs that are covered by your insurance plan. More information about the rebate and prescription drug discounts can be found at medicare.gov.

 

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