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Health Care Reform

Health care reform became law in March 2010 through 2 bills: Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act of 2010 (PPACA); and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA). This section links to articles and resources on various aspects of health care reform, some affecting people with Medicare, and some affecting the pre-retiree population, ages 50-65. Also see the government’s website for more information.

Can I Choose Health Coverage through Covered California Instead of Medicare?
Aug 8, 2014 REFORM The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released FAQs Regarding Medicare and the Marketplace (PDF) in response to questions from us and other advocacy organizations. The 5-section document answers questions about prescription drug coverage, premium tax credits and penalties that may apply to Medicare beneficiaries.
(updated) Medicare & Covered California ~ Get Your Questions Answered
Jan 23, 2014 REFORM Get answers to some of the most common questions about Medicare and Covered California, our state's new health insurance marketplace. (Also view our quick reference chart)
Protect Yourself from Obamacare Scams this Fall
Sep 20, 2013 REFORM The roll out of the new health care program known as "Obamacare" begins in October, with enrollment from October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014. This enrollment period is not to be confused with Medicare’s fall Open Enrollment which is October 15 – December 7, 2013. Learn important tips to avoid scams both for people with Medicare and those without.
How Does Covered California™ Affect People with Medicare?
Aug 19, 2013 REFORM Covered California™ is our state's insurance marketplace and was set up as a result of the Affordable Care Act. It won’t affect your Medicare choices or your benefits, and if you have Medicare, you don’t need to do anything. You are considered covered. You should, however, be aware of potential scams to sign you up for insurance you don’t need.
What Will Your Medicare Cost in the Future?
Apr 30, 2013 REFORM With the federal budget reduction looming, many politicians have their eyes on Medicare as a way to cut spending. This article examines several proposed changes and how beneficiaries may be affected.
Learn the Facts versus Fiction on the Affordable Care Act ~ Be an Informed Consumer
Sep 14, 2012 REFORM Be an informed consumer by learning about a new fraud scheme resulting from the ACA, and reviewing the facts about how health care reform impacts people with Medicare, people with other insurance, and people with no insurance.
NAIC’s Team of Consumer Reps Announce Recommendations for Implementing Health Care Reforms
Aug 23, 2012 REFORM The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' group of consumer representatives just published their recommendations for the ongoing implementation of comprehensive insurance reforms called for by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010.
“Skinning” Medicare Beneficiaries
Feb 17, 2012 The proposals for Medicare changes in Washington DC aim to have beneficiaries put more "skin in the game," basically pay more for their care as a means of cutting Medicare's costs. Yet, none of them address the issue of skyrocketing health care costs. All of them save Medicare dollars by imposing higher costs on Medicare beneficiaries, or by limiting benefits.
What's Happening to My Medicare?
Nov 21, 2011 The Super Committee announced that it will not reach a "debt deal" by this Wednesday, hence triggering a host of automatic cuts across the board. During the recent deliberations, proposals to reform Medicare have become pervasive around the growing concern of our federal deficit. This article provides a summary of these proposals and why they will not reduce Medicare spending in the long run.
50% Discount on Part D Brand Name Drugs Continues for 2012; 14% Discount on Generics
Nov 8, 2011 Prescription Drugs Starting January 1, 2012, beneficiaries who reach the Part D coverage gap continue to have a 50% discount on their brand name drugs; their generic drug discount will double to 14%, up from 7% in 2011.
Understanding Medicare's Annual Wellness Visit: Frequently Asked Questions
Nov 3, 2011 Medicare Basics As of January of this year, Medicare began offering an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), a benefit covered once every 12 months after the first year of Medicare coverage that has no deductibles, coinsurance or copayments. Under this benefit, beneficiaries to develop a plan with their doctors to keep them healthy, vital and independent.
Health Reform Creates a New Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan for Californians
Jan 11, 2011 As a result of the federal Affordable Care Act of 2010, California has a new federally-funded program called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). The PCIP offers health coverage to people who are not yet eligible for Medicare, have been denied health coverage due to a pre-existing condition, and haven't had any coverage in the 6 months before applying.
Review Upcoming Changes in Medicare Due to Health Care Reform
Oct 26, 2010 As of January 1, 2011, health care reform brings changes in cost-sharing for preventive services, a newly covered annual wellness visit, a new maximum out-of-pocket limit for MA plan enrollees, a new Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, and higher Part D premiums for people with high incomes.
50% Discount on Part D Brand Name Drugs Starts January 1st
Oct 26, 2010 As of January 1, 2011, beneficiaries in the coverage gap will receive a 50% discount on all Part D covered brand name drugs and a 7% discount on generic drugs.
An Overview for Consumers: Selected Aspects of Health Care Reform
Oct 26, 2010 Learn some of the most important issues about how health insurance will change in the coming years, specifically: 1) regulations on medical loss ratios (MLRs); 2) standards and disclosure on insurance companies’ unreasonable rate increases; 3) standardized definitions and terms to be used in health insurance contracts; and 4) standardized summary of health care benefits that will allow you to make side-by-side comparisons of health care coverage offered by different companies.
What Does Health Reform Mean for Medicare Beneficiaries? Summary of Key Provisions
Jun 22, 2010 After being a topic of debate for over a decade, health care reform became law this March through 2 bills. Learn some of the major changes affecting Medicare and its beneficiaries.
Scam Artists Beware! Health Care Reform Makes Medicare Fraud Prevention a National Priority
Jun 15, 2010 Now is one of the worst times to engage in health care fraud as the newly passed health care reforms is one of the strongest pieces of anti-fraud legislation in history. Learn about local fraud investigation efforts and successes.

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Updated April 23, 2013

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