Wednesday, October 18 , 2017, 10:09 pm | Fair 67º

 
 
 
Your Health: A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Capps Highlights New Data Showing Health Reform Benefits to California Medicare Beneficiaries

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Wednesday highlighted benefits to California’s Medicare beneficiaries as a result of the Affordable Care Act, with new data made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Since the enactment of health-care reform, Medicare beneficiaries in California have saved $410.8 million thanks to the assistance the health-care law provides to beneficiaries who get caught in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole.”

In the first 10 months of 2012 alone, 235,245 individuals in California have saved an average of $594 on prescription drugs. During the same period, about 1,921,565 people with Medicare in California received one or more preventive services at no additional cost, with 203,038 having received an annual wellness visit.

“Helping seniors maintain their health by managing out-of-control prescription drug costs and gaining access to free preventive care is one of the biggest accomplishments of health care reform,” Capps said. “These new data clearly demonstrate that seniors are continuing to benefit from health-care reform in their daily lives. What’s more, these beneficiaries are saving money while making smart choices to improve their health.”

“The health-care law is saving money for people with Medicare,” U.S. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “Everyone with Medicare should look at their health and drug plan options for additional value before the Medicare open enrollment period ends this week.”

Beginning in January 2011, all Medicare beneficiaries received a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs when they hit the Medicare Part D prescription drug “donut hole.” The benefits to seniors with high prescription drug costs will continue to increase under the Affordable Care Act — the discount on brand-name drugs increases to 52.5 percent in 2013 and to 55 percent in 2015 and will continue to grow until the hole is eliminated in 2019.

Also beginning in January 2011, all Medicare beneficiaries became eligible to receive preventive services, including an annual wellness visit, vaccines, mammograms and colonoscopies, without a co-pay, co-insurance or deductible. Before the health reform care law, seniors were permitted only one physical over the course of their time on Medicare, and often faced high out-of-pocket costs to access preventive screenings.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



 

Special Reports

Heroin Rising
<p>Lizette Correa shares a moment with her 9-month-old daughter, Layla, outside their Goleta home. Correa is about to graduate from Project Recovery, a program of the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, and is determined to overcome her heroin addiction — for herself and for her daughter. “I look at her and I think ‘I need to be here for her and I need to show her an example, I don’t want her to see me and learn about drugs’,” she says.</p>

In Struggle to Get Clean, and Stay That Way, Young Mother Battles Heroin Addiction

Santa Barbara County sounds alarm as opiate drug use escalates, spreads into mainstream population
Safety Net Series
<p>Charles Condelos, a retired banker, regularly goes to the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics for his primary care and to renew his prescription for back pain medication. He says Dr. Charles Fenzi, who was treating him that day at the Westside Clinic, and Dr. Susan Lawton are some of the best people he’s ever met.</p>

Safety Net: Patchwork of Clinics Struggles to Keep Santa Barbara County Healthy

Clinics that take all comers a lifeline for low-income patients, with new health-care law about to feed even more into overburdened system. First in a series
Prescription for Abuse
<p>American Medical Response emergency medical technicians arrive at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with little time to spare for victims of prescription drug overdoses.</p>

Quiet Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse Taking a Toll on Santa Barbara County

Evidence of addiction shows an alarming escalation, Noozhawk finds in Prescription for Abuse special report
Mental Health
<p>Rich Detty and his late wife knew something was wrong with their son, Cliff, but were repeatedly stymied in their attempts to get him help from the mental health system. Cliff Detty, 46, died in April while in restraints at Santa Barbara County’s Psychiatric Health Facility.</p>

While Son Struggled with Mental Illness, Father Fought His Own Battle

Cliff Detty's death reveals scope, limitations of seemingly impenetrable mental health system. First in a series