Sen. Carper Highlights Medicare Open Enrollment Season and New Medicare Benefits

New Medicare Benefits Established Under Health Reform Law Begin January 1, 2011

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) highlighted the start of Medicare’s open enrollment season and implementation of several Medicare provisions of the Affordable Care Act that will benefit Delaware seniors. Starting today through December 31, 2010 Medicare beneficiaries can review and change their coverage to find the plan that will work best for them in 2011. Starting in January 2011, Delaware’s 140,000 Medicare beneficiaries will be also able to take advantage of the following provisions as a result of the Affordable Care Act:


•All 140,000 Medicare enrollees in Delaware will get preventive services, like mammograms and cognitive screenings, to test for symptoms like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and an annual wellness visit without copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles.


•Seniors who are in the doughnut hole will get a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs and 7 percent discount on generic drugs. Every year after that, the discount will increase until the doughnut hole is filled completely in 2020.


“Delawareans have already begun to see many benefits of the health care reform legislation,” said Sen. Carper. “Starting today through December 31, 2010, Medicare beneficiaries can review and change their coverage to find the plan that will work best for them in 2011. Starting January 1, 2011, seniors will benefit from stronger, more comprehensive Medicare services. Thanks to our health care reform law, seniors will now be able to receive free annual physicals. These yearly physicals will hopefully help improve seniors’ health by detecting and managing diseases early on through free annual preventive screenings, which can be helpful in diagnosing chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Early diagnosis of these types of diseases common among Medicare patients can result in better, more cost effective treatment. Seniors with high prescription drug costs will also see their financial burden greatly reduced through a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs in the doughnut hole. The Medicare open enrollment season is always an important time of year for Delaware seniors to make sure they are getting the best benefits Medicare has to offer. This year seniors should take full advantage of Medicare’s new, potentially life-saving benefits made possible through the Affordable Care Act.”


For more information on the Medicare open enrollment process, please click HERE.