A key part of the Affordable Care Act is to strengthen Medicare. This means that your guaranteed Medicare-covered benefits will not be reduced or taken away and you will continue to choose your own doctor based on Medicare guidelines.
However, there will be some changes to look out for. See below on how the health care law will affect those who have Medicare.
The Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) tax rate on wages will be increasing for higher-income taxpayers (individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000) by 0.9% — from 1.45% to 2.35% — beginning in 2013.
The law freezes the income thresholds for the Medicare Part B and Part D income-related premium at 2010 levels ($85,000 for an individual, $170,000 for a couple) through 2019. It also adds a new income-related premium for Part D.
The Medicare Part D prescription drug program is going through some changes over the next few years.
See the table below to see what you will pay through 2020.
|Year||% You Pay for Brand Name Drugs in the Coverage Gap||% You Pay for Generic Drugs in the Coverage Gap|
Medicare now covers certain preventive services at 100%. This means that you will not have to pay out-of-pocket for flu shots, preventive mammograms, colonoscopies, osteoporosis screening and immunizations. You will also get a yearly wellness exam for free.
Skilled nursing facilities will put out information about the owners and how they operate to help you compare places. The new health care law also gives high-need Medicare patients access to basic health care services in their home to help prevent hospital stays and improve their satisfaction.
Learn about Medicare options that work for you.
Please note that Medicare plans are not available on the new Health Insurance Marketplace. The Medicare Open Enrollment period (October 15 – December 7, 2013) overlaps with the Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period (October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014), so make sure you are reviewing Medicare plans and not Marketplace plans.
To learn more read the Medicare and the Marketplace flier at Medicare.gov.
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