What You Need to Know About Health Care Changes - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

What You Need to Know About Health Care Changes

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Medicare Part D is a federal program that offers prescription drug coverage to anyone with Medicare. Today, thirty-two million Medicare beneficiaries, more than half of those enrolled in Medicare, received their prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D as of September 2012.

This year, there has been a lot of debate about the new health care law. Here's what you need to know:

  • Anyone who is eligible for Medicare may join a Medicare prescription drug plan to get help paying for prescription drug costs.
  • The health reform law calls for gradually lowering out-of-pocket costs when seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D reach the coverage gap, otherwise known as the "doughnut hole." 
  • Beginning in 2011, enrollees who reached the gap began receiving a 50% manufacturer discount on the total cost of brand-name drugs and additional subsidies for generic medications. 
  • Medicare will phase in additional subsidies for brand-name drugs beginning in 2013. 

If you qualify for Medicare, you only have until December 7, 2012 to either sign up for or switch your Medicare prescription drug coverage. There are a number of prescription drug plans to choose from, so Medicare beneficiaries can't afford to miss the opportunity to make a choice that is best for them.

For more information, go to www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

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