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The Health Care Law & You

Fact Sheet: What the Health Care Law Can Do For You

What's in effect, what's still to come

For people who have Medicare

  • The health care law expands coverage for wellness and preventive care: The law protects your guaranteed Medicare benefits and covers annual wellness visits and screenings for diabetes and certain cancers — at no cost to you. Be sure to make an appointment with your primary care doctor to take advantage of these new preventive care services.
  • The health care law lowers out-of-pocket prescription drug costs: If you reach the Medicare Part D coverage gap, or "doughnut hole," in 2012, you'll receive a 50 percent discount on your brand-name prescription drugs and a 14 percent discount on your generic prescription drugs while you're in the coverage gap. The gap will get smaller until it disappears in 2020. As long as you are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan, you don't need to do anything to get these benefits.

For people planning for long-term care 

  • The health care law provides better information and accountability for nursing home care: It's now easier to file complaints about the quality of care in a nursing home. You also have access to more information on nursing home quality and resident rights.
  • The health care law extends financial protections to the spouses of people on Medicaid: If you're married to someone on Medicaid who is receiving care services at home, you will have the same protections for your income and other resources as do spouses of people on Medicaid who live in a nursing home. These protections begin in 2014.
  • The health care law promotes independent living: Your state may receive financial incentives to provide greater access to the services and supports you need to live independently in your own home and community.

Also of interest: More fact sheets about the health care law.

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