BY BILL PIECUCH
For The Vista
Last week, while in Stonehenge having dinner with my wife, we struck up conversation with a pleasant couple. After chatting for awhile the conversation turned chillingly tense when the gentleman said off-handedly, “…forget about Medicare. It’s gone.”
Uh, oh. Not a good sign. Especially since I almost had an accident falling off the pile of proposals that I rummaged through prior to the December 2012 deadline.
“Yeah,” he said as he chugged down a beer, “this law will make it impossible to get good health care.”
“Why do you say that?” I countered.
His reply was political and partisan. But got me thinking. How much truth is there in Medicare Advantage plans be cut or taken away?
Or, will it take longer to see my own doctor because the political guys are tinkering with Medicare? Or new laws ratchet up my premiums?
Well, I checked out some of myths with some financial people who, while not always understandable or even comforting, they have no axe to grind. Here’s what I learned:
The Affordable Care Act actually disallows cuts to guaranteed Medicare benefits. Check it out. That act also closes the Medicare Part D prescription drug thug, the “doughnut” where beneficiaries paid full price for prescriptions when exceeding a certain dollar limits. Those who reach the “doughnut” get hefty discounts and by year 2020 the hole will close.
Longer wait for doctor
Not entirely true. If the current plan allows you to see any doc in the plan, nothing changes.
Health plans are already building bigger networks with the idea of attracting new patients. Check out the opening here in the Glade of a new, prominent health care insurer. The upside is choices could be greater.
You need more than Medicare
Not necessarily. Some confuse the Affordable Care Act as a requirement to obtain more insurance on top of Medicare. Not accurate. There are no requirements for more insurance.
Look for more discussion on Medicare in the coming weeks. Send questions and comments to me at [email protected] While not an expert, I am a journalist who will try hard to run down unvarnished facts.
But I’ll do my best to get VISTA readers the real skinny regarding Medicare Myths.
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