Today, Rep. Joe Baca announced the release of new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that shows nearly 20.5 million people with Medicare reviewed their health status at a free Annual Wellness Visit or received other preventive services with no deductible or cost sharing this year, including 1.54 million Medicare recipients living in California.
"The Affordable Care Act is already improving the lives of American families, giving millions of Americans access to free preventive health services," said Rep. Baca. "In addition, the new health care reform law is making prescription drugs more affordable for millions of seniors and people with disabilities."
Some of the free preventive services available to people with Medicare include:
* Mammograms and cervical cancer screenings;
* Annual Wellness Visits;
* Cholesterol and other cardiovascular screenings; and
* Colorectal and prostate cancer screenings.
The rising numbers of people who are taking advantage of preventive benefits and prescription drug discounts comes as people with Medicare are beginning to review their plan options for next year. The annual enrollment period begins earlier this year than last year, on October 15th, and runs through December 7th. People with Medicare will have seven weeks to review Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug coverage benefits and plan options, and choose the option that best meets their unique needs or keep the plan they have today. The earlier open enrollment period also ensures that Medicare has enough time to process plan choices so that coverage can begin without interruption on January 1st, 2012.
"The Affordable Care Act has put America's families, not the insurance companies, back in charge of their health care," said Rep. Baca. "It ends denial of coverage for patients who have a pre-existing condition, allows young adults to remain on their parents' health plan until age 26, and prohibits insurers from dropping people when they get sick. As we continue to responsibly implement health care reform, I will fight to protect and maintain these life-saving reforms."
To access the Medicare Plan Finder for assistance during the annual enrollment period, go to: https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/. For more information on Medicare's prevention benefits, go to the Share the News. Share the Health! website: http://www.medicare.gov/share-the-health/or call 1-800-MEDICARE.