Goal Is to Educate Professional Staff Who Work With Seniors About New Health Care Reform Law
GLEN BURNIE, MD -- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today participated in a Maryland Department of Aging forum to help educate the state’s Department of Aging county directors, senior center directors, and auxiliary staff about the newly enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“There has been a lot of misinformation about the new law and I want to be sure that seniors have the correct information and are fully informed about their new benefits,” said Senator Cardin.
The health reform bill was signed into law on March 23 and it contains a number of provisions that will benefit seniors, including closing the Medicare Part D “donut hole” for prescription drug coverage by 2020, elimination of deductibles, co-pays and other cost sharing for preventive care beginning in 2011, free annual wellness checkups beginning in 2011, and the creation of a voluntary long-term care insurance program in 2012. In 2014, the new law will institute a number of provisions, including the creation a pathway for the approval of generic biologic drugs to lower the cost of medications, promotion of better care after hospital discharge, development of better reporting about quality of health care services and using provider payments to reward high-quality, efficient health care.
“Good health is beneficial to long life. The enactment of the Affordable Care Act provides many opportunities for Americans to have healthier and better quality lives as they age. The HHS' Administration on Aging looks forward to working with seniors in Maryland and throughout the country to share information about how the law will benefit them,” said Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Seniors are the biggest users of our health care system and that’s why it’s so important that they understand the additional benefits that are contained in the health reform law and how it will improve the health care they receive,” said Senator Cardin. “I commend the Department of Health and Human Services and the Maryland Department of Aging for their commitment to ensure that their staff members have the facts and have the training so they can help seniors and their families understand the new law and its impact on them.”
"I commend Senator Cardin for taking a proactive role to provide a formal exchange of information on health care reform. Many Marylanders are anxious to learn more about how health care reform will affect them, especially the almost 750,000 Marylanders on Medicare,” said Gloria Lawlah, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging.