What’s new with Medicare?

Health care has been a pretty big story in the news for quite a while, and it’s easy to feel confused about what‘s new with Medicare.  The truth is, for most people on Medicare, not much changed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”). Most of the changes are aimed at the commercial insurance industry. One of the only ACA changes that affects Medicare is that many Medicare Part A benefits that were previously subject to out-of-pocket costs are now “free”. Whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll still have the same benefits and security you have now.

Some of the benefits for seniors under the new health care law include:

  • Expanded access to wellness visits. Medicare now pays 100% for your annual wellness visit. That means you no longer need to put off preventive care and check-ups due to costs.

  • No copay for preventive care such as immunizations, cancer and diabetic screenings, or mammograms colonoscopies.

  • The “donut hole” [SMD1] is shrinking which means YOU’LL PAY LESS for brand name and generic drugs when you reach this coverage level.

These improvements are designed to help reduce your out-of-pocket Medicare expenses.

If you have additional coverage through a Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage plan, be on the alert for your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) documents. Every year your Medicare Advantage plan is required to inform you of the changes to your policy. These changes may include benefits, copayments, and/or premiums, just to name a few. It’s important you take the time to review the changes listed in your ANOC so you can become more informed about any actions you may need to take for next year.