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  • Archive for June, 2010

    Blogger on the Scene: President Obama Answers ?’s on Health Reform and Seniors!

    Thursday, June 10th, 2010

    At yesterday’s town hall meeting in Wheaton, Maryland, President Obama discussed health reform and answered questions.  I was able to see the event broadcast live on cnn.com and whitehouse.gov.

    Here are some of the highlights:

    *  Current Medicare benefits will not change, nor will the eligibility for the program.

    *  Medicare will cover costs in the same way, and you can keep your current physician.

    *  On June 10, seniors with Medicare Part D will begin to receive their $250 checks from the government to help pay for prescriptions for those who are currently in the “doughnut hole” coverage gap (and required to pay out-of-pocket for medicine.)

    *  Starting next year, seniors in the coverage gap will receive a 50% discount on prescription drugs, and each year the price will decrease until 2020, when the “doughnut hole” will be eliminated.

    *  Next year, preventive care you receive from your doctor, such as mammograms, will be free of charge.

    *  The administration has created a Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, (called HEAT),  to cut down on Medicare fraud and scam artists that are trying to swindle seniors out of money under the guise of the Medicare program.

    *  The CLASS Act:The President answered questions about “aging in place” and the long-term care options available. The CLASS Act is still a work in progress but will allow individuals to contribute a portion of their paycheck into an account to pay for care later in life. Residential care will also be part of this program. By 2012 or 2013, individuals will likely be able to sign up for the program.

    *  In addition, the Administration on Aging awarded grants to communities to provide funding for counselors who can reach out to inform families about care options, for themselves or their loved ones.

    Having the technology that lets us connect to decision makers is a great way to stay informed and make your voice heard when important policies are being discussed.  For more background information on long-term care and Medicare, check out WISER’s website!

    WISER

    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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