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Do Medicare Recipients Pay Any Premiums?

Although the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has made many changes to the health care system, those who are on Medicare will not be required to make changes to their benefits or to the way in which they receive their Medicare coverage.

If you are currently a Medicare enrollee, your Medicare coverage is protected. This is because Medicare is not considered to be a part of the Health Insurance Marketplace that was established by the new health care laws. Because of this, you will not be required to replace your Medicare coverage with Marketplace health care coverage.

Regardless of how you receive your Medicare benefits – through Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) or Medicare Advantage (Part C) – you will still have the same Medicare benefits.

Additional Preventive Health Care Services

Because of the new health care laws, however, those who are on Medicare will be able to receive certain preventive services such as colonoscopies and mammograms, without being charged a Part B deductible or co-insurance fee.

In addition, Medicare enrollees are now eligible for a free annual “Wellness” visit. This “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is allowed to take place during the first 12 months that you have Part B of Medicare. It will include a review of your medical and social history as it relates to your health, education, and counseling about preventive services. This includes certain screenings, shots, and referrals for additional care, if required. It also includes the following:

  • Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements
  • Calculation of body mass index
  • Simple vision test
  • Review of your potential risk for depression and your level of safety
  • An offer to discuss the creation of an advance directive
  • A written plan regarding any screenings, shots, and other preventive screenings that are needed

Savings on Brand Name Prescriptions

For those who have Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage and are in the “donut hole,” you are eligible for a 55 percent discount when purchasing Medicare Part D-covered brand name prescription drugs. This discount will be automatically applied at the counter of your pharmacy, so there is no need to fill out any additional paperwork in order to receive this benefit.

Other Advantages

There are other potential advantages for those with Medicare now that the new Obamacare health care laws are in place. For example, with new initiatives to support the coordination of care, your doctor could now have access to additional resources in order to ensure that your treatments are consistent.

Medicare’s coordinated care programs include the Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative. With the ACOs, your doctors can use data from Medicare to help improve how they provide care. Here, the doctors and other providers who are helping to care for you will communicate with each other, and partner with you in making important health care decisions. The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is a partnership between Medicare and other insurance programs and organizations to help selected primary care providers and their practices provide additional resources to improve the quality of care.

With Obamacare, the life of the Medicare Trust fund may also be extended to at least the year 2029, due in large part to reductions in fraud, waste, and abuse. These cost reductions can help in providing you with future savings on both premiums and co-insurance payments.

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