The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

March 26, 2010

Carney: Health insurance law will benefit senior citizens

WASHINGTON — A series of provisions in the new health insurance law will benefit seniors, including lower prescription drug costs and free preventative care services, U.S. Rep. Chris Carney said Thursday.

He also unveiled a new online resource to help constituents navigate the impact of the new law and encouraged people to call his office for help in understanding the legislation.

“This strengthens and protects services for seniors while cutting the costs of prescription drugs and preventative care,” Carney, D-10 of Dimock, said. “People on Medicare who enter the so-called prescription drug ‘doughnut hole’ will get $250 rebate checks this year and eventually see that loophole closed completely. Preventative care under Medicare will be free beginning next year. Most importantly, this bill extends the life of Medicare for nearly a decade to protect coverage for seniors.”

His Web site, www.carney.house.gov, contains detailed information about the benefits included in the legislation and when they will take effect. He encouraged anyone with questions to call his Washington office at (202) 225-3731.

Details on some of the provisions follow:

n The bill makes prescription drugs more affordable this year by providing seniors in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” with a $250 rebate. Eventually, health insurance reform closes the “doughnut hole,” so that seniors can avoid the out-of-pocket expense they’ve been bearing for years. A typical senior who hits the doughnut hole will save more than $700 in 2011 and more than $3,000 a year by 2020.

n The measure increases access to preventive care by eliminating co-payments and deductibles for these services for Medicare beneficiaries and includes important provisions to improve care coordination for seniors with multiple physicians. It is effective beginning Jan. 1.

n The health reform bill places Medicare on firmer financial footing, extending the life of the Medicare trust fund by almost a decade.

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