HEALTH REFORM: ACA Impact on Medicare Recipients Unclear

Seniors may not grasp effects of health care reform

FRIDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will help millions of uninsured Americans access affordable health care coverage, but it's unclear what effect the law will have on people covered by Medicare.

Advocates for the ACA say Medicare recipients are already benefiting from aspects of the law, such as the closing of the "donut hole" in Medicare's prescription drug benefit, as well as the addition of free preventive care services.

Others, however, are concerned that some of the more troubling aspects of the bill could harm access to health care services for seniors. For instance, Medicare providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices, will experience slowed increases in their reimbursement rates. Also, Independent Payment Advisory Boards are designed to identify ways to tighten the reins on Medicare spending if per-person spending exceeds a certain target.

"We're hoping with all the press surrounding the ACA and all of the noise about health insurance that seniors will be encouraged to take a look at their Medicare coverage," Andrea Callow, policy attorney in the Center for Medicare Advocacy's Washington, D.C. office, told HealthDay.

More Information

Physician's Briefing