New Benefits for the New Year

Related topics: Senior Life

Woman Pharmacist

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) shares information about prescription drug cost relief and other components of the Affordable Care Act that pertain to seniors.

January 1 ushered in several new Medicare benefits for older adults, thanks to last year's health reform law. Those benefits include:

  • A 50% discount on the price of brand-name prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries who enter the Part D coverage gap (often called "the doughnut hole").

  • Free preventive screenings, including mammograms, colorectal cancer screenings, bone mass measurement, and nutritional counseling.

  • One free wellness visit per year for Medicare beneficiaries who request it.

This year will also see the creation of the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The center's mission is to help slow the rapid rise of health care costs and foster innovation in both caring for patients and processing payments and claims.

Seniors Want to Know More

With all the confusion and misinformation about the new law and how it will impact older adults, it's great to have a reliable source of information, based on non-partisan sources. In the September 2010 issue of Aging in Stride, the National Council on Aging shared information to help seniors separate myth from fact when it comes to health care reform. The Straight Talk for Seniors educational campaign continues to help older adults, caregivers and aging services professionals understand what's in the new reform law and how seniors can best take advantage of the new provisions. Visit the NCOA's Straight Talk for Seniors to find factsheets, webinars and a toolkit for professionals.

Learn More About the Timeline for Health Reform

The Kaiser Family Foundation website includes an interactive timeline tool designed to explain how and when the provisions of health reform will be implemented.

The U.S. Administration on Aging offers a factsheet explaining how the new law impacts people with Medicare, detailing the new benefits and services.