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Affordable Care Act Offers Prescription Drug Cost Relief to 11,169 Medicare Beneficiaries in Minnesota


Wed, Aug 11th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness



Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the third round of one-time, tax-free $250 rebate checks have been mailed to eligible Medicare beneficiaries whose drug costs are so high they have reached the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap known as the "donut hole." Experts estimate that more than a quarter of Part D enrollees hit the donut hole and often stop following their drug regimen as a result of the added cost burden. The $250 rebates will go a long way in preventing seniors from having to make such difficult and almost certainly harmful health decisions. In Minnesota, 11,169 seniors and persons with disabilities who rely on Medicare for access to health care have received new help with their prescription drug costs to date, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Across the country, more than 750,000 Medicare beneficiaries have already received checks this year, and more beneficiaries will be receiving checks in the coming months as they enter the coverage gap.

"High prescription drugs costs are a problem for many seniors and other Medicare enrollees with limited incomes," said Secretary Sebelius. "These checks are an important first step in helping them afford the medications they need - and are evidence of how Americans are already seeing the very real benefits of the Affordable Care Act. From strengthening the long-term future of Medicare as evidenced by the recent Medicare Trustees report, to saving seniors and the disabled money on everything from prescription drug costs to preventive services, the Affordable Care Act is helping to preserve and protect Medicare."

The rebate checks will partly close the donut hole this year, with the $250 one-time checks for beneficiaries who enter the gap. In 2011, the Affordable Care Act takes an additional step for Medicare beneficiaries in the donut hole by providing them with a 50 percent discount on their brand name medications. Every year from 2011 to 2020, the Affordable Care Act will take progressive steps to close the donut hole.

In addition to savings on prescription drugs, the new law takes a series of steps to strengthen Medicare. Under the Affordable Care Act:

Medicare beneficiaries will receive free preventive care services like mammograms and certain colon cancer tests and a free annual physical starting in 2011;

By 2018, seniors can expect to save on average almost $200 per year in premiums comp .....
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New law protecting youth from tobacco products takes effect August 1

Wed, Jul 28th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness



A new state law protecting Minnesota youth from the harmful effects of tobacco products takes effect Aug. 1. The Tobacco Modernization and Compliance Act was passed by the 2010 Legislature and signed into law by Governor Pawlenty.

The ..... 
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Staying in shape -- at 88!

Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Hidden in Fountain is an inspiring story that reminds us that we are never too old to start a new, healthy habit. It is there, at Fillmore Fitness, that 88-year-old Winnie Klockeman works out three times a week.

Klockeman has always been ac ..... 
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Harmony blood drive collects 56 units

Mon, Jul 19th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

The blood drive held in Harmony on July 6th succeeded in collecting 56 units of blood. There were 58 donors that presented and three first-time participants. Congratulations to these four donors who reached the following milestones:

•Ch ..... 
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Health Organization Expands to Focus on the #1 Killer of People with Diabetes

Tue, Jul 6th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

The Minnesota Diabetes and Heart Health Collaborative (MN-DC) is urging the nearly 230,000 people with diabetes in the state to take steps to prevent heart disease and stroke-the leading killers of people with diabetes.

The MN-DC hopes that pe ..... 
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American Red Cross - Southeast Minnesota Chapter Summer 2010 Lay Responder First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor Course

Tue, Jul 6th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

The Southeast Minnesota Chapter will be offering the First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor

course. Students who complete the course will be able to teach American Red Cross

classes in First Aid, CPR and Automated External Defibrillation (AED). T ..... 
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Community-based health care

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Health care needs occur in the lives of everyone. In the previous article, we explored the community efforts to keep health care close to home. The advent of Medicare and Medicaid encouraged the development of hospitals and nursing homes in small co ..... 
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Beat the Dog Days of Summer and donate blood through the American Red Cross

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

While the temperature outside is rising, and according to the American Red Cross, the blood supply often drops due to donors being on vacation or busy with summer activities.

"Summer is a fun, but busy season for a lot of people," said Geoff ..... 
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Red Cross racing season revs up summer

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Greg Biffle - driver of Roush Fenway Racing's No. 16 Ford Fusion - has signed on again as a Red Cross spokesperson this 2010 racing season to help raise awareness among the 75 million NASCAR fans across the country about the ongoing need for blood d ..... 
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