The New Year of Healthcare Benefits

As you welcome the new year, there are a number of new healthcare benefits that come with it of which you need to be aware. In March of 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. As of January 1, 2011, the benefits are in effect.

One of the biggest changes is now seniors who are on Medicare will be able to go to a doctor for an annual wellness visit at no cost. In addition, they will also receive a free personalized prevention plan. Seniors on Medicare will also be able to get screening and immunizations for diabetes without being charged copay.

Anyone with Medicare coverage for prescription drugs will qualify for a discount on brand name drugs for as much as fifty percent off. The discounts will continue to increase annually until 2020, when the donut hole will be eliminated.

According to the new law, affordable health insurance companies must now spend from eighty to eighty-five percent of collected premiums on medical care, or activities that will improve the care quality. Insurance companies that do not comply have to provide their policyholders with a rebate, as opposed to slipping the excess premiums in their pockets.

Finally, community health centers providing low cost or free medical care will receive new federal funding in support of those centers.

The federal government believes that all of these changes taking place are for the better. When asked to explain, many say to just wait and see what happens. According to Vernell Lester, “You got to take what comes so why worry about it? There’s not going to be big changes in our favor we’re getting too old to live around for that.