|If you are a senior who currently receives Medicare coverage, then you are in compliance with the Affordable Care Act and don't need to replace your coverage with a new plan, explained Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist.
"No matter how you get Medicare, you'll still have the same benefits and security you have now. If you have Medicare, you're considered covered," Brown said.
She added that there will be a few changes made by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will impact Medicare beneficiaries, including;
"The first change the ACA has for Medicare beneficiaries is to reduce the cost of prescription drugs," Brown said.
Once the beneficiary pays $4,550 out-of-pocket for covered drugs, including those expenses prior to entering the doughnut hole, a person enters catastrophic coverage. At this point, a person will either pay a 5 percent coinsurance or a copay of $2.55 for covered generic drugs and $6.35 for covered brand-name drugs (beneficiary pays the greater of the two).
The plan developed to achieve this goal was initiated in 2010. In that year, people who entered the doughnut hole received a $250 rebate. In 2011, beneficiaries who enter the doughnut hole received a discount on brand-name drugs and savings on generic drugs. Below is a table showing the percentage of the cost of medication the beneficiary will be expected to pay between now and 2020.
A second goal of the ACA is to reduce or eliminate the cost of preventive services for all people with health insurance, including Medicare beneficiaries.
A final change provided by the ACA with regards to Medicare involves reducing fraud, waste and abuse, Brown explained.