How the Affordable Care Act May Affect You
Keeping track of health care options can be tough—especially since the changes in national reform (Affordable Care Act) are rolled out gradually. So, what’s new for 2013? Here are some highlights that are most likely to affect you or someone you care about:
- Medicare Part B will cover more preventive services, including screening and counseling for weight loss, depression, cardiovascular disease and tobacco use. New federal funding for expanded preventive coverage in Medicaid programs also became available January 1.
- Your insurance company’s summary of benefits will be shorter and easier to understand—and if you’re buying new insurance, the summaries will be consistent from one company to another. Plus, the larger font size will be welcome to anyone who’s ever tried to read the old “fine print.”
- New York’s EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) program was restored as of January 1. EPIC is a supplement to the Medicare Part D drug program. To see specifics on the changes and find out if you’re eligible for EPIC, visit the StateWide Senior Action Council’s website or call 1-800-333-4374.
- You will save more on prescription drugs after reaching the Medicare Part D coverage gap (also known as the “donut hole”). These savings will increase as the gap continues to close over the next seven years and will be automatically applied at your pharmacy.
- Medicaid primary care providers will get a raise. This might not seem important to you, but federal funds to ensure Medicaid physicians are paid as much as Medicare doctors will help keep Medicaid providers serving people in need.
Additional information, including handy timelines, about the Affordable Care Act can be found at HealthCare.gov, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Federal Health Care Reform in New York State.