Carper explains Medicare changes

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, some new Medicare benefits are available to Delaware seniors in 2011.

 

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and a panel of health care experts were on hand Monday at the University of Delaware’s Wilmington Campus to explain those benefits to about one hundred seniors in attendance.

Carper says the changes will be good for seniors and the nation.

“We’ll get better outcomes,” he said. “People will have healthier lives, happier lives and we’ll save money at the end.”

All 140,000 Medicare enrollees in Delaware will now be eligible to receive preventive services, like mammograms and cognitive screenings, to test for health conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes, and an annual wellness visit without co-payments, coinsurance or deductibles.

Seniors who are in the coverage gap (also known as the “donut hole”) will get a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs and a 7 percent discount on generic drugs. Every year after that, the discount will increase until the donut hole is closed for Medicare participants in 2020.

In the New Year, Carper said he’d also like to reduce fraud.

“We’ve set up a program called the Senior Medicare Patrol,” he said. “I’ve invited everybody here today to be part of that to help us identify fraud as they come across it in their own lives as Medicare patients.”

Another information forum is scheduled for Tuesday at the CHEER Center in Georgetown at 1 p.m.

For more information about Medicare in Delaware call 1-800-336-9500 or go to delawareinsurance.gov.

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