78,488 people with Medicare in Vermont received free preventive services through November 2013

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78,488 people with Medicare in Vermont received free preventive services through November 2013

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 12:04am -- tim

According to new data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently, 78,488 people with Medicare in Vermont received at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first eleven months of 2013, because of the Affordable Care Act. Nationwide, more than 25.4 million people covered by Original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first eleven months of 2013, more than the 24.7 million who used preventive services by this time last year.’ 
‘Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Vermont seniors have been able to receive important preventive services and screenings such as an annual wellness visit, screening mammograms and colonoscopies, and smoking cessation at no cost to them,’ said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.’  ‘Prevention and early detection are so vital to ensure that Americans are healthy and Medicare is healthy. The Affordable Care Act makes Medicare stronger and improves the wellbeing of millions of beneficiaries who have taken advantage of preventive services and wellness visits.’ ‘ 
Nationwide, an estimated 24.7 million people with Original Medicare received one or more preventive benefits at no out of pocket costs by this point in time during 2012.’  In total, when factoring in Medicare Advantage utilization rates, an estimated 34.1 million people with Medicare took advantage if at least one preventive service in 2012.’  ‘ 
According to today’s data, in the first eleven months of 2013, 13,348 people with Medicare in Vermont took advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit established by the health care law.’  Nationwide, more than 3.5 million beneficiaries with Original Medicare took advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit established by the health care law ‘ a significant increase from last year’s 2.8 million who used this service by this point in the year in 2012.’  ‘ 
Before the Affordable Care Act, Medicare recipients had to pay part of the cost for many preventive health services. These out-of-pocket costs made it difficult for people to get the important preventive care they needed. For example, before the Affordable Care Act, a person with Medicare could pay as much as $160 in cost-sharing for a colorectal cancer screening. Today, this important screening and many others are covered at no cost to beneficiaries (with no deductible or co-pay). The Affordable Care Act helps tear down a significant barrier for some seniors to staying healthy and helps their care providers prevent, identify and treat problems early.’  Today’s news comes after last month’s announcement showing that the health care law also saved seniors $8.9 billion on their prescription drugs since the law’s enactment.’  ‘ 
To see the figures for Vermont visit: http://downloads.cms.gov/files/Preventive_Services_Utilization_by_State_...