Free Wellness Services and Discounts Available to New Yorkers on Medicare

More than 1.3 million New York state individuals have received free preventive services through Original Medicare this year so far. But only a little more than 113,000 people have taken advantage of its free annual wellness exam. With more than 1.77 million New Yorkers enrolled in Medicare Part B, these recipients should use these free services to better their health and longevity.

Along with these benefits through Medicare Part B, the average prescription drug premiums are not expected to rise in 2012. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 900,000 Medicare recipients who are in the prescription drug donut hole had 50 percent discounts on their prescription drugs this year.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services notes that generic prescription coverage will not increase for those in the donut hole in 2012. Out-of-pocket costs will also be lower due to discounts on brand name prescription drugs. Individuals should still carefully review their Medicare plan elections for 2012 to see that their pharmacies, prescriptions, and preferred doctors are still available at reasonable prices as plans can fluctuate annually.

For those on Medicaid in New York, the program made a change earlier in the fall. Medicaid’s pharmacy benefit and the Family Health Plus pharmacy benefit is now part of the managed care benefit package. Each health plan has its own category of medicines, including prescription drugs, some over-the-counter drugs and medical supplies. It is important to make sure the plan has the medicines each individual needs. The New York health plans do allow a one-time only fill of a drug in the event that individuals cannot reach their doctor to get guidance to switch to a plan that does cover what they need.

Littman Krooks LLP counsels seniors and families to access government benefits as well as plan for health care needs and personal decisions. Our New York City, White Plains and Fishkill elder law attorneys and estate planning attorneys are accomplished in comprehensive planning for a senior’s golden years. To learn more about New York elder law, visit http://www.littmankrooks.com/elder-law/ or http://www.elderlawnewyork.com.

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