Health reform and Medicare in 2011

Law offers much more than an ‘ounce of prevention’

A physician from Minnesota penned a thoughtful column this week, asking insurers to stop scaring seniors about Medicare. We think the column was also asking, in effect, for seniors to take a close look at the Medicare provisions within the Affordable Care Act.

While opponents of reform have done plenty to confuse beneficiaries about the effects of reform on Medicare – and in particular the way they might affect Medicare Advantage – there’s nothing confusing about the fact that the law mandates insurers to cover 45 preventive services, including preventive services for seniors. Starting in 2011, Medicare plans will provide an annual wellness check and a personalized prevention plan.

There’s a whole lot more that Medicare beneficiaries should know about – and that shouldn’t frighten them a bit. A full timeline for 2011 is at the Kaiser Family Foundation site.