On today's blog, our office would like to share an article out of the "NAELA News" magazine sent to us from the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). The article is entitled, "Affordable Care Act 2014 Implementation: What It Means for the Elder Law Practice." The part of the article that we find the most interesting is the section that discusses the rumors of how the Affordable Care Act is going to affect Medicare. Please read on and enjoy:
"We must help to dispel any myths that say the ACA will be replacing Medicare and Medicaid. The ACA, instead, has added years of solvency to the Medicare Part A Trust Fund now guaranteeing coverage until 2026. As cited in a recent newsletter of the Medicare Rights Center (http://www.medicarerights.org/resources/newsletters/medicare-watch/archive/9-19-13/,September192013), the top three myths to be dispelled are:
1. Medicare beneficiaries will pay more for their medications under the ACA.
False. While the Part D premium will increase slightly for Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes (individuals with annual incomes over $85,000 or couples with annual incomes over $170,000), the majority of Medicare beneficiaries have already started paying less for their prescriptions. Over time, the ACA closes the prescription drug coverage gap, or doughnut hole, and according to a recent CMS press release, more than six million seniors have saved more than $7 billion on prescription drugs at the end of June 2013.
2. Medicare beneficiaries won't be able to see their current doctors.
False. Nothing in the ACA expressly changes the doctors that Medicare beneficiaries can see. In fact, the program has created incentives to encourage doctors to provide primary care, hopefully increasing the number of doctors attracted to this practice area.
3. Medicare premiums are rising.
False. The ACA has not contributed to the rise in Medicare premiums. In fact, Medicare costs are rising more slowly as a result of provisions in the ACA. Also, according to the most recent Medicare Trustees' Report, the Medicare Part B and D and Medicare Advantage premiums will remain stable through 2013 and 2014 (see http://downloads.cms.gov/files/TR2013.pdf)"
Article: "Affordable Care Act 2014 Implementation: What It Means for the Elder Law Practice" in the NAELA News , Volume 25, Issue 6, December2013/January2014.