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Fact vs. fiction and affordable care law

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1. A mass email circulating since 2010 claims under the ACA, Medicare Part B premiums will reach $247 per month by 2014.

Fact: News from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services disproves that email. Standard premiums for Medicare Part B, covering doctors’ services and outpatient care, remain at $104.90 per month for 2014, the same as 2013. People who pay surcharges because of higher incomes will see their rates remain flat. The annual Part B deductible stays unchanged at $147. Officials say the premium, calculated as 25 percent of the program’s costs in previous year, has been held flat because Medicare costs have slowed, in part because of provisions of the ACA.

2. I’m 66 and enrolled in Medicare. Do I have to get a new insurance plan in the marketplace because of Obamacare? Will it cut my Medicare benefits?

Fact: No. If you have Medicare coverage, you met ACA requirements to have health coverage. And no, Medicare benefits will not be cut. The ACA guarantees all existing Medicare benefits, makes many preventive services free of charge and reduces the cost of prescription drugs by gradually closing the Part D “doughnut hole.”

Source: AARP Bulletin, December 2013.

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