As of 2011, further improvement have been made:
New preventative services are offered at no cost to the patient. (Availability depends on what insurance plan you have. These new offerings are in effect for plans created after March 23, 2010). For a list of services covered, download this PDF.
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)
The PCIP is designed to hold individuals with pre-existing conditions who have been denied private insurance over until 2014. In 2014, everyone – regardless of pre-existing condition status – will have access to private insurance.
Go to www.picip.gov to determine eligibility and apply today.
- Increased coverage for people aged 65 and up.
- Reduction of the "donut hole" (the Medicare Part D coverage gap) with newly implemented automatic discounts. Seniors on Medicare Part D receive 50% off brand-name drugs and 7% off generics.
- All individuals covered under Medicare get a free annual "wellness" visit (dependent on your doctor accepting Medicare assignments). One visit will be covered per 12-month period. These visits include a full physical, medical history, and preventative tests and screenings.
- Find more information on what you are eligible at: www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/index.html
National Diabetes Prevention Program
Increased funding and resources have been alloted toward community-based diabetes prevention intervention programs. These year long lifestyle programs are designed to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in people at high-risk for type 2 and people with prediabetes. You can find a program at your local Y: www.ymca.net/diabetes-prevention/
Empowering the consumer
A major goal of healthcare reform is to enable consumers to take back control of their healthcare. Search through the insurance options available to you by state at: www.healthcare.gov/.
- American Diabetes Association. Updates on Healthcare Reform. http://advocacy.diabetes.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ADA_health_care_reform_updates. (Accessed 03/10)
- Diabetes Health. Moving Toward a Healthcare Bill: What People with Diabetes Need to Know. http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2010/01/19/6526/moving-toward-a-healthcare-bill-what-people-with-diabetes-need-to-know/. (Accessed 03/10)
- The New York Times. How Different Types of People Will Be Affected by the Health Care Overhaul. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/24/us/politics/20100319-health-care-effect.htm#tab=5. (Accessed 03/10)
- The New York Times. For Consumers, Clarity on Health Care Changes. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/your-money/health-insurance/22consumer.html. (Accessed 03/10)
- Kaiser Health News. How The Health Bill Would Affect You. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Daily-Reports/2010/March/22/Consumer-Impact-of-Bill.aspx. (Accessed 03/10)
- The New York Times. The New Landscape of Health Care. http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/the-new-landscape-of-health-care/. (Accessed 03/29/10)
- Diabetes Forecast Magazine. Health Care Reform Promises Coverage for All With Diabetes. http://forecast.diabetes.org/magazine/advocacy/health-care-reform-promises-coverage-all-diabetes. (Access 03/10)
- Novo Nordisk. Issue 1: Healthcare Reform. Novo Nordisk Bluesheet: Quarterly Perspectives on Diabetes and Chronic Diseases (Accessed 07/10)
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Occasionally my mailbox or follow-the-link browsing will come up with something discussing whether (and if so, when) to ease the restrictions on treatment goals when the patient is elderly, arguing either to favor a higher quality of remaining life (lifestyle choices less limited by chronic illness) or to take into consideration geriatric cognitive decline (aka "senility") and simplify, as much as possible, the regimen. While the goal of medicine is, obviously, not to...