Medicare Update 2005: Part Two
WebMD Live Events Transcript
How well is Medicare working for you? Do you know how to get the most out of your benefits from this program? Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD, joined us again on May 3, 2005 to answer your questions about Medicare coverage.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
Since January, the Medicare program, which is health insurance for seniors and people with a disability, has taken important new steps to provide up-to-date prevention-oriented coverage. That includes free screening benefits for heart disease, and diabetes, and it also includes new programs to help our beneficiaries with chronic illnesses avoid the complications of their diseases.
We are also getting ready for Medicare's new prescription drug coverage which will be available to all of our beneficiaries to help them with their drug costs starting on Jan. 1, 2006.
We are turning Medicare into a program that's not just there for seniors when they get sick, but is also their partner in helping them stay well.
Some people think Medicare covers long-term care; it mostly does not. Medicare covers long- term services that people sometimes need after they're in the hospital. For example: After one of our beneficiaries gets a knee replacement they often need rehabilitation services which can be provided at home or in a nursing facility, but that's different than providing chronic long-term care for people who have long-term needs for supportive care. That's the type of care that is often provided in a nursing home or through long-term care services provided in the home. Medicare generally does not cover those services and that's something we want people to know so they can plan for their long-term needs effectively.