FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beginning soon; if not already, folks nearing the age of 65 or older will be inundated by countless commercials, mailers, and emails in regards to the approaching Annual Medicare Open Enrollment. This year's Medicare Open Enrollment will begin on October 15th, 2013 and end on December 7th, 2013.
There is one burning question that Medicare beneficiaries will have this year. How will the Affordable Care Act (often referred to as Obama Care) affect Medicare and their plans? Although there are some drastic changes occurring in the under age 65 market, the changes and impact to Medicare will be subtle. Matter of fact, most of the changes that will take place will only benefit Medicare beneficiaries and occur behind the scenes.
The Affordable Care Act will attempt to replace the current "fee for service" system, where providers are compensated based on the number of tests or procedures conducted with a full comprehensive "coordinated benefits" system. The coordinated benefits system promotes preventive care and treatment of chronic illness. The coordinated benefits approach is designed to make the overall system more efficient by curing and preventing illness versus continuous treatment.
Another change that has been in the works since 2010 (when the Affordable Care Act was initially signed into law) is the closing of the dreaded Prescription Drug Coverage Gap or Donut Hole. The Part D doughnut hole is the gap in drug coverage during which people with Medicare pay the full cost of their prescriptions out of pocket. Health Care Reform phases out the coverage gap by decreasing the beneficiary's cost share of the drug each year until it reaches 25 percent in the year 2020 for both brand-name and generic drugs.
Even though there is a lot of negative press looming around Health Care Reform, the impact to the Medicare market is minor. The minor changes that will take place are safeguards for the seniors to reduce their out of pocket costs. The other important objective is to make the ailing Medicare system more efficient. So when October 15th rolls around, shop and compare Medicare Plans as you do every year. Start your research at websites like www.MedicareMedics.com and always consult with an Agent or Broker.
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Source: Insurance Medics