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Covered California: Will Medicare be affected?

With the Affordable Care Act, called Covered California here, many want to know if Medicare will be affected.
October 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
With the Affordable Care Act, called Covered California here, many seniors are struggling to figure out how this new health care law affects Medicare, if at all.

Covered California: What you need to know

"I don't even know what to ask first. I really don't," said Helen Frank.

Senior centers, including one in Glendale, have been holding educational events to help those who have or are about to qualify for Medicare.

The local event was hosted by United Health Care in Los Angeles with Regional Vice President Mike McCarthy as the expert.

"Folks who have Medicare think they know what they have, but when you start asking some detailed questions, they don't necessarily know all the details," said McCarthy. "For those folks who are just now approaching Medicare eligibility, the majority of them are saying they don't know really know a lot about it."

"Will Obamacare replace traditional Medicare?" Lane Frank asked at the event.

"It's really important that folks understand that the Covered California or exchange program is completely separate from what's happening with Medicare," said McCarthy.

Which means your Medicare coverage is protected. In fact, the Medicare trust fund will be extended to at least 2029.

"I would just like to know how it integrates with the Medicare that we know and love," said Kay Adams.

The new law does add some new Medicare provisions, such as getting more preventive services for less; included are mammograms and colonoscopies without charging you a co-pay or deductible.

"I understand it's going to definitely jack the prices up; that's what I understand. I don't know for sure, but I hope not," said Pamela Troumbly.

Besides the preventive services, you can save on brand-name drugs too. If you're in the donut hole, you'll get a 50 percent discount when buying Part D covered brand-name prescription drugs.

If you have Medicare now, open enrollment begins Tuesday, Oct. 15. If you're approaching Medicare age, then your enrollment is in the month you turn 65.

Covered California: What you need to know


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