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Health Care Reform and You

Congress enacted a new healthcare law which brings a number of benefits to all Americans, including people over 50. Some of these changes you will see this year. Others phase in over the next several years. Whether you are on Medicare, buy insurance on your own or through your employer, or can’t afford health insurance, the changes to the health care system will affect you. By knowing what’s in the law and when the different provisions take effect, you can take advantage of the changes for yourself and your family.

Over the past several weeks AARP Pennsylvania has been in touch with members and consumers tackling myths and questions about the new healthcare law. AARP volunteers and staff will continue to sponsor special education workshops on the new law, outlining the main components and answering member questions.

In certain areas of the Commonwealth, AARP members participate in the Medicare Advantage plan, and currently it remains unknown just how the law will affect people receiving Medicare Advantage benefits. A relatively small number of people nationwide participate in the program that allows private insurers to administer Medicare, however a much larger percentage of people in Western Pennsylvania participate in Medicare Advantage.

Planning For Retirement

Another concern will be the impact on retirement health coverage from the new law. In a recent article, AARP Pennsylvania Advocacy Manager Ray Landis told the Philadelphia Inquirer that for many AARP members thinking of early retirement the biggest equation in their decision making will be health care coverage.

Need help understanding the new health care reforms? You’re not alone. The legislation is more than 2,000 pages—and is packed with new benefits, rules, penalties and projects, spread out over years. To help you find out just what it all means to you, the AARP Bulletin will be answering your questions about health care reform online. E-mail your questions to HCRquestions@aarp.org. Then check back for answers and information you need to know. Unfortunately the high volume of e-mails makes it impossible for us to respond to all questions either online or individually.

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