[Part 7 of a 7-part series]
's Plan for America: Seniors
President Barack Obama has implemented steps to help America’s seniors by closing the Medicare "doughnut hole," lowering premiums and cracking down on fraudulent billing.
Medicare doughnut hole
The Medicare doughnut hole is a very confusing, yet expensive portion of Part D prescription drug coverage. In order for Plan D prescription drug coverage to cover the costs for medication for seniors, a deductible must be met as well as co-pays and this can total $2,840 out-of-pocket expenses. This is when seniors enter the doughnut hole. Seniors must pay for prescriptions until they have paid $4,550. Under Obamacare, seniors are now eligible for a mandatory 50% discount on brand names and 7% discount on generics. These savings can be significant for seniors on limited incomes. At least 5.1 million senior citizens have saved $3.4 billion in prescription drugs due to these provisions. More than 220,000 seniors saved an average of $837 per month during the first three months in 2012. Seniors are also eligible to receive a rebate to help cover their prescription costs. The doughnut hole will be completely closed in 2014.
Obamacare also implements changes that lower the premiums for Medicare coverage by an average of $200 per year. By lowering the premium, seniors will have more funds available to cover food costs or other essentials.
Crackdown on Medicare Fraud
President Obama has vowed to crack down on Medicare billing fraud to free up funds to cover for actual care that is being provided to seniors. Investigations uncovering millions of dollars in Medicare billion fraud have led to arrests in Tampa, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge and Houston brought in 100 people in the biggest crackdown in history. As these investigations continue, more funds are freed up from paying fraudulent bills to helping our seniors.
Free preventive care
Seniors are now eligible to receive free preventive care. This means that seniors are more likely to receive routine screenings for prostate cancer, breast cancer and many other illnesses that can be life threatening. Seniors no longer have to decide if they want to buy groceries or receive necessary medical screenings.
President Barack Obama has vowed to help bring relief to America’s senior citizens. The continually increasing costs for seniors have been detrimental. By implementing changes in Medicare’s doughnut hole, lowering Medicare premiums, cracking down on Medicare billing fraud and making preventive care available at no cost, the president has improved the quality of life for our seniors.
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Additional articles in this series:
Analysis of President Obama’s plan (summary)