Strengthening and Improving Medicare
Improving Medicare. For Medicare beneficiaries, the Act lowers prescription drug costs, makes preventive care free, improves benefits for chronic care, ensures that you can keep your doctor and extends the program’s solvency by nearly a decade.
Closing the Part D donut hole. Under the health care reform legislation, these beneficiaries will receive a $250 rebate in 2010, 50% discounts on brand name drugs beginning in 2011 and complete closure of the donut hole within a decade. A typical beneficiary who enters the donut hole will see savings of over $700 in 2011 and over $3,000 by 2020.
Free preventative care. This Act ensures Medicare beneficiaries will receive a new, free annual wellness visit and will no longer pay any out-of-pocket costs for preventive benefits under Medicare, such as immunizations and screenings for diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.
Improved benefits for chronic care: Eighty percent of older Americans have at least one chronic medical condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes, which causes visits to several doctors who do not always work together. This Act will help by funding community health teams that will provide the patient-centered care seniors need. If you are hospitalized, the plan also will help you return home successfully – and avoid going back – by teaching you how to care for yourself and connecting you to services and supports in your community.
Keep your doctor. Nothing will stand between you and your doctor, or prevent you from making the best health care decisions. Reform actually takes insurance company bureaucrats out of the decision making process for your family and improves the level of care you get, at a lower cost, with no government bureaucrats making decisions for you.
Further, the law increases reimbursement for primary care services and encourages training of primary care physicians through new scholarships, loans and loan repayment assistance to help recruit new doctors and nurses into the profession. Health reform will also help move us to a system of more computerized medical records to save your time and your doctor's time - as well as money and lives.
Extend Medicare solvency. Much of the cost savings achieved through health reform are reinvested into Medicare, which will improve benefits and extend the life to the Medicare Trust Fund by nine years, to help ensure Medcare can cover every American as they get older.