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Affordable Healthcare Act Enters Its Second Year

The Affordable Healthcare Act turns two years old this month however the bill has not been without controversy. However the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services believes overall the AHA is making preventative care and life saving screenings more available to all.

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(photo courtesy Flickr User 401k)

Friday, March 23rd is the official two year anniversary of the bill, and Dr. Jaye Weisman from the Center says now that all of the dust has settled over debate on the matter people can still take advantage of the benefits allowed to them within the law.

She says that within the two years some of the tangible benefits include no out-of-pocket-cost preventative services, Medicare beneficiaries who are paying less while in the “donut hole” coverage area, and fraud fighting efforts that have returned billions.

 

For Medicare beneficiaries, Weisman says the Affordable Healthcare Act provides no out of pocket costs for a variety of preventative benefits that are now free. Those include the “Annual Wellness Visit”, which allows patients a sit down meeting with their doctors for a review of how to stay healthy. Mammogram screenings, colonoscopies, bone density scans, and tests to keep future health care costs are offered as well.

The law also extends those services to younger patients who otherwise didn’t have it as a means of preventative healthcare for the future generation of seniors.

Weisman says that in 2011 32.5 million Medicare beneficiaries received a free preventative care service, with 985,000 of those people in New Jersey. Nationally 54 million Americans with private insurance have had preventative coverage services in 2011, 1.7 million of those from the Garden State. Adding that the AHA offers features including small business tax credits, fraud fighting efforts, and reduced cost initiatives which not only keep people healthy by save money for tax payers.

She notes that Medicare cost growth is down while choices have increased, the Part B deductible dropped by 22 dollars in 2010, and since then Medicare Advantage enrollment has risen by 17% while average premiums dropped by 16%.

“It’s not a law that affords anything but opportunities for people to take advantage.” Says Weisman.

The law however does require that most Americans must carry or get qualifying health insurance or face a surtax, and many opponents of the bill claim that it violates their right of freedom of choice.

Weisman says that though it’s a political matter, she wants to ensure that people know about all of the advantages allotted to them within the law.

“So if there is a repeal of any particular standard within the health law, there still are so many great things in this law that are simply benefits to people, that are cost saving that I want to make sure people want to know about and those are not on the table.”

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