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Health Care Reform: How the law is to affect senior citizens
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By: Elliot Bigman Email Article
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Health Care Reform: How the law is to affect senior citizens

The federal Health Care Reform law was passed on March 26, 2010. Individuals interested in Florida health plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, BCBSF, are very eager to learn how Florida health insurance will be affected.

Whether one has coverage or is seeking a quote for affordable health insurance, and whether or not one resides in Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers, or in Lakeland near our four Bay Marketing offices, Floridians ask what the rest of the country wants to know: "How will my future, and my family's future, be impacted this year, and later, when the federal changes are fully underway?"

With a greater and greater percentage of the population being in the "senior citizen" demographic as years pass, we will surely all be affected by issues that elder Americans face.

Many rules are being written now, but one clear change health care reform brings is that Medicare will begin paying $250 in annual rebate to those in the coverage gap of the "donut hole" of Medicare Part D. Historically, this "donut hole" has affected no less than 300,000 Floridians. The $250 rebate check will be sent within a few months after a senior's lapse in Medicare D coverage starts in a given year. Once a person is in the "donut hole", and receives the check, no other Medicare funds are available. Well over 10 times this amount may be spent out of pocket before catastrophic coverage from Medicare takes over till year-end. The cycle begins again the next year and is a serious concern for millions of Americans.

Beginning in January 2011, a more significant change for seniors is coming around the bend. Name-brand drugs will be at a 50% discount during one's lapse in Medicare D coverage. Since rising drug costs are a big concern, it's difficult to predict overall outcome. In 2009, the AARP noted that name-brand drug costs rise at levels exceeding that of overall inflation. If the donut hole closes as the new law promises will take place by 2020, seniors will still pay 25% of their total drug costs under Medicare D, unless they have insurance to supplement or replace Medicare.

Long-term value and security are provided through a number of different plans through Bay Marketing and BCBC of Florida. With the financial burdens the future will surely bring, people of all ages can benefit by having the right coverage at the right time. Advantage65 offered by BCBSF includes a variety of network-based Medicare supplement plans that can be customized to fit one's needs. CompCoverage offers five supplemental insurance plans. Blue Medicare PPO – features no referrals plus prescription drug coverage. Blue Medicare HMO (offered by Health Options, Inc.) includes prescription drug coverage and preventive health care. Blue Medicare Rx (Medicare Part D) has improved, low cost options - some with no deductibles. BCBSF also offers dental, disability, life, and long-term care insurance policies, and flexible Spending Accounts, (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA). See http://www.floridahealthplansonline.com/products.html for our great line of products for all ages and stages of life. Bay Marketing has a plan to fit your every need. With many questions still unanswered, there is one thing we can be certain about: The overall security available through having insurance coverage that's right for us (and those we love) now is an essential element in building the health care and financial picture we all wish to see in the years to come.

Serving central and west coast Florida, Bay Marketing, a licensed independent contractor with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, has been providing insurance plan information for individuals and employers during the last twenty years. Contact Bay Marketing for an online individual and group insurance quote at Florida Health Plans Online, http://www.floridahealthplansonline.com

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