The new Federal healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), provides new benefits to seniors on Medicare that emphasizes preventative care. The following is a list of the new benefits to seniors.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides relief to seniors who fall in the Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) “donut hole” when drug costs hit a maximum coverage cap. At this point Part D no longer covers drug costs until the cost reaches a certain level. This means that seniors in this coverage gap struggle to pay for, or go without, their medications. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will eliminate the Donut Hole by 2020 in incremental steps.
Under the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2011 all Medicare recipients qualify for Preventative Care Benefits at no additional cost, including new procedures to diagnose potential problems early on. These preventive care benefits include:
- Bone mass measurement
- Cervical cancer screening, including Pap smear tests and pelvic exams.
- Cholesterol and other cardiovascular screenings
- Colorectal cancer screening (except for barium enemas.)
- Diabetes screening
- Flu shot, pneumonia shot, and the hepatitis B shot
- HIV screening for people at increased risk or who ask for the test
- Medical nutrition therapy to help people manage diabetes or kidney disease.
- Prostate cancer screening (except digital rectal examinations.)
In addition Medicare will now provide and pay for an annual Wellness Exam. This service will now be covered under Medicare at no additional cost to seniors.