Affordable Care Act affects Tennessee Seniors

Monday, 03 March 2014 14:21
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The Affordable Care Act has been the source of great controversy. You may know it as Obamacare, as some have called it. What does this program mean for seniors in the Ooltewah, Tennessee area?

Lawmakers created the ACA to increase affordable health care options by creating marketplaces for purchasing private insurance. They also sought, with this law, to reduce the growth rate of Medicare spending so the life of the program can be extended. This is accomplished by fighting fraud, waste and abuse in the system, reforming payments to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions that can lead to harmful acquired infections.

People who qualify for Medicare do not need insurance from the marketplace, but that doesn’t mean there’s no impact on seniors from Obamacare.

The program saves seniors money by reducing the coverage gap for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage – the so-called “doughnut hole” – and completely eliminating it by 2020. Seniors also save money they had been spending on deductibles, copayments and other cost-sharing for preventive care by taking advantage of annual wellness checkups. 

In the first 11 months of 2013, 85,302 participated in annual wellness screenings and 72 percent of Original Medicare Part B enrollees in Tennessee received all free services.

Tennessee seniors benefit from incentives Obamacare creates to reward providers that meet quality goals or show significant progress in improving the outcome of patient care. Focusing on quality improvement moves the entire system toward one rewarding better care rather than simply more care.

Beneficiaries can make more informed choices when it comes to their health care. The ACA invests in developing quality of care measures across all providers.

The law also establishes criminal background checks for employees of nursing homes. Employees with direct access to patients in long-term care facilities

There are controversial aspects to the law, but these are just a few of the ways Ooltewah seniors benefit from the Affordable Care Act. 

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