Seniors have again been gouged by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Seniors who thought Medicare would pay for an annual physical ended up paying for a visit to the physician because the handbook distributed by the federal government used the wrong word to describe what Medicare would pay for.
Sound confusing? Just wait until the government socializes the whole healthcare sector.
The latest gouging was detailed by one of the biggest promoters of PPACA—the act is commonly called ObamaCare. AARP, the organization many seniors pay to join, praised the Democrats’ healthcare bill.
Seniors got their first surprise when they learned cuts to Medicare and other programs would begin in 2011.
The Weekly Standard explained:
“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, in 2011, Obamacare will cut Medicare Advantage by $2 billion. According to the CBO, that $2 billion is the first part of the $638 billion that Obamacare, if not repealed, is poised to cut from Medicare and related federal programs over the next decade.”
The latest gouging caught seniors in a bureaucratic error.
After PPACA/ObamaCare was passed by Democrats who didn’t even read the bill, seniors were led to believe they could get a free physical. That’s because the official Medicare handbook said so—the book promised a free “wellness visit” and called that service a “physical exam.”
Imagine seniors’ surprise when they learned the “wellness visit” was basically a conversation with the physician—not a physical. Seniors caught by the labeling error ended up paying $70 or more because Medicare denied claims.
AARP said in the September bulletin [pg. 4] that the term “physical exam” was “misleading.” Government bureaucrats will change the term in the 2012 handbook.
Meanwhile AARP offers this advice:
“To get a Medicare wellness visit, ask for it specifically by that name or by its billing code, GO438.”
Bottom line: Don't expect a physical. You're basically signing up to have a chat with the doc.
Read more about ObamaCare at The US Report
(Filed by Kay B. Day/Sept. 14, 2011)
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