The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed amidst a lot of fanfare on one hand and a lot of fear and dismay on the other. The folks from the latter half feared, amongst other things, that these new health reforms would take away or reduce their Medicare benefits. However, if one examines the Act, you will find that to be far from the truth.
Let’s address 2 critical issues that have been worrying a lot of people.
1. The reforms will adversely affect my prescription drug coverage
Incorrect. The reforms will positively impact the beneficiaries of the Medicare prescription drug plan or the Medicare Advantage plan who hit the coverage gap. In 2011, when the beneficiaries hit the dreaded ‘donut hole’, they are eligible for discounts of about 50% on brand name drugs and about 7% on generic drugs. As a matter of fact, these discounts will keep increasing until the coverage gap is closed in 2020.
2. The reforms mean the demise of the Medicare Advantage program
On the contrary, Medicare Advantage plans have and will remain strong. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage plans have shown a growth of 5% in enrollment from 2010 to 2011.
The Internet is alive with discussions about the Reforms and its implications on a number of healthcare services that are a part of most Americans’ lives. Here, Tom Paul, CEO of United Healthcare is quoted as saying ‘Medicare Advantage plans have a track record of providing comprehensive, cost-effective health coverage, helping more than 11.5 million beneficiaries save money and access services not covered by Original Medicare.’
The PPACA at its core intends to provide each and every American – rich, poor, young and old with affordable healthcare. Insurance companies and the states will both have to come together to provide a marketplace that will educate and provide all Americans with affordable and all-encompassing healthcare solutions.