Health Care Reform: Medicare and Family Health Coverage

Jul 20th, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

This week SCJ takes the spotlight off the politics of health care reform and looks at the reality of what is included in the new law.  First Lady Michelle Obama sent out a letter that focused on family care; it is paraphrased here, with an emphasis on Senior Care:

Most Senior Americans will find help in staying healthier with a reduction in the cost of doing so.  You will have more control over your own care, and all seniors, indeed the vast majority of citizens, will be covered.  There’s a lot to know. To help, this administration has set up HealthCare.gov, where folks can see customized information about how care will improve for their families.

So much of what makes this law great is its emphasis on preventive care — right now, too many people aren’t getting the check-ups or the screenings they need to stay healthy. Seniors will have preventive tests like mammograms and colonoscopys that Medicare will now pay for.  We are all probably shocked to learn that twelve percent of grandkids in the country haven’t seen a doctor in the past year for preventive care of any kind. And 59 million adults — and 11 million children (someone’s grandchildren) – depend on an insurance plan that does not cover basic immunizations.  Health reform is changing that. Under this new law, all new private plans will provide basic preventive services — things like childhood immunizations and checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies, cervical screenings, and treatment for high blood pressure — absolutely free of charge. No copay. No deductible. No co-insurance needed.

And, on HealthCare.gov and the Medicare site, as well, describes preventive steps, insurance coverage options and a list of FAQs that are very helpful in understanding how the new law will affect you.  

A focus on prevention will help us to combat diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure — chronic illnesses that right now lead to seven of ten deaths in the United States and 75 percent of our national health care costs.  Many of the victims of these illnesses are senior citizens

A national health issue that is getting worse, not better, is childhood obesity. Many of our grandkids are either overweight or just plain obese.  Their projected life span is below average because of their weight.  The new health care law addresses issues like this and covers care for and prevention of childhood obesity. 

Each of us needs to take responsibility for our own health and the health of our families, and the new health reform law can help. Please visit HealthCare.gov and find out more about your care:  http://www.healthcare.gov



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