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LOOKING IN: MANDY PINO; HEALTH CARE ACT SAVES MONEY AND EXPANDS ; COVERAGE FOR SENIORS.

Byline: Mandy Pino

There are few things as frustrating frus·trate  
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
1.
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart:
 as falling ill. Not only does it dampen your spirits and keep you from doing the things you love, it can become a logistical and financial nightmare if you're dealing with insufficient coverage. For seniors especially, the process of getting medical treatment and filling prescriptions is often confusing and expensive. Thanks to Medicare, we have a safety net for our nation's seniors, ensuring that they are not left out in the cold when sickness or injury strikes.

In fact, new data released just this week shows that thanks to health care reform, seniors have saved billions.

In 2011 alone, 3.6 million seniors with Medicare saved $2.1 billion. By 2021, the average savings to individual seniors such as myself on Medicare will be about $4,200.

Thanks to the new Affordable Care Act, seniors have actually enjoyed an expansion in their medical benefits and options for care. Since the new law was passed in 2010, some 4 million seniors have received assistance paying for expensive prescription drugs. The Medicare part D "doughnut hole" is a gap in drug coverage that can leave seniors paying out-of-pocket, but thanks to the new law, they've already saved an average of $604 on the cost of our prescription drugs. Those same individuals are receiving a 50 percent discount on those medications until 2020, when the ACA ACA - Application Control Architecture  will ensure that the doughnut hole is fully closed.

Until now, Medicare did not guarantee access to preventive care Preventive care is a set of measures taken in advance of symptoms to prevent illness or injury. This type of care is best exemplified by routine physical examinations and immunizations. The emphasis is on preventing illnesses before they occur. See also
  • Public health
 for seniors. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, annual wellness visits are now free, and recipients can take advantage of preventive care like cancer and diabetes screenings, mammograms, cardiovascular screenings and even help to quit smoking. These are the types of procedures and tests that can save a person's life. Thanks to the new law, seniors don't have to choose between what they can afford and what's best for their health.

Our seniors deserve the best health coverage available, regardless of their financial status. That's why we created Medicare in the first place. Thanks to this new law, the program is working harder and more efficiently for them than ever before, ensuring that no one is left behind and that a full spectrum of care and coverage is available to our over-65 population.

Mandy Pino, 86, is a board member of Health Action New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S).  and a senior ambassador on health care issues for the New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans The Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of retired trade union members affiliated with the AFL-CIO. The organization was originally known as the National Council for Senior Citizens, but changed its name in 2001.  and Know Your Care. She lives in Albuquerque.
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Title Annotation:Editorials
Publication:The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
Date:Apr 24, 2012
Words:420
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