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The Suburbanite
  • Minimal effect on Medicare expected

  • For seniors 65 and older and the disabled who count on Medicare for health coverage, Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act will have minimal effect.

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  • For seniors 65 and older and the disabled who count on Medicare for health coverage, Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act will have minimal effect.
    According to a news release from the White House press secretary, the law already has helped “5.3 million seniors and people with disabilities save an average of over $600 on prescriptions” in Medicare Part D’s much-discussed “doughnut hole.”
    What is the doughnut hole? It is the Medicare Part D assistance during which a person must pay the full cost of his prescription drugs until he qualifies for the next level of coverage. By 2020, the Part D coverage gap will disappear.
    Additionally, the release stressed, the law’s provisions “to strengthen and protect Medicare by fighting fraud” will continue.
    For its more than 37 million members, AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for people over 50, outlined Medicare enhancements arising from the new law:
    •  Annual wellness visits, mammograms and other screenings for cancer and diabetes, all at no charge.
     
    •  Medicare Advantage plans providing better quality care will receive additional bonus payments.
     
    •  Those plans must use some of the bonus money to offer recipients added health benefits.
    •  New rules stop Medicare Advantage plans from charging people more than original Medicare pays for certain services. These services include chemotherapy administration, renal dialysis and skilled nursing care.