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Friday, July 30, 2010

Medicare: The Andy Griffith edition

Erin Kelly

Staff Writer

Some of you may know TV legend Andy Griffith by his work, and some of you may have just heard about him through your parents. He was known as the ornery old lawyer on Matlock and was probably most popular as the wise sheriff of the fictional town Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show in the late 1960s. Now, 50 years later, he’s back and just like the old times, he’s offering sage advice to the American public.

This time, however, his advice isn’t about how to maneuver life in a small fictional town, it’s about how seniors will benefit from changes in Medicare now and for years to come.

Starting today, Andy Griffith will appear in commercials across the country to talk about how the Affordable Care Act benefits seniors and those with disabilities who are enrolled in Medicare.

Here are some highlights:

• Millions of seniors have and will continue to receive checks to help them through the “doughnut hole.” Additionally, beginning in 2011 brand name drugs will be discounted 50 percent in the doughnut hole, and by 2020 the doughnut hole will be completely closed.

• The new law improves the quality of care that beneficiaries receive. The law gives doctors incentives to focus on the quality of the care they give, not the quantity of services they perform.

• Preventive care will now be offered free of charge. Services like colonoscopies and mammograms will be free of charge for Medicare beneficiaries, both saving money in the long term and saving lives by early detection.

• The new law invests in fighting fraud, waste, and abuse in the system.

And that’s just skimming the surface. Visit http://www.medicare.gov/ to watch the video and find out more about the new and improved Medicare!