AARP plans forum on health care
by Rory Doyle
Oct 18, 2012 | 2787 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mississippi Delta seniors will have the opportunity to learn what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can do for them at an Oct. 29 meeting at the St. Gabriel Mercy Center in Mound Bayou.

The AARP-Mound Bayou Area Chapter will host the meeting at 4 p.m. and will discuss what is in effect with the act and what is still to come.

Meigan Thompson, community organizer for the Mississippi Center for Justice, will be the event presenter.

The health care law, enacted in 2010, brings a number of benefits to Americans, including people over age 50.

Some of these benefits are available now, while others will phase in over the next few years.

According to Mound Bayou AARP Chapter President Dr. Elaine Baker, the law makes it easier for Mississippi Delta seniors to obtain and keep their health insurance by making discriminatory insurance practices a thing of the past.

"Health insurance is more affordable — Medicare is strengthened — help is provided for long-term care services," said Baker.

By understanding what's in the law, Baker said individuals could make better health care choices for themselves and their family.

Baker also listed a number of stipulations, as reported by the Mississippi AARP:

*For all Americans health insurance companies can no longer drop health coverage if the insured become sick. Health insurance is guaranteed as long as the premiums are paid.

*Children under age 19 can't be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. In 2014, adults also can't be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

*The health care law prohibits insurance companies from setting dollar limits on the amount of medical care it will cover.

*The insured’s benefits won't run out when they are needed the most. The protection against lifetime limits began in 2010 and the ban on annual limits will take effect in 2014.

*The health care law requires coverage for preventive care. Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, must now cover — without cost to the patient —proven preventive care services such as immunizations and screenings for diabetes and certain cancers.

*The law helps contain premium costs. Insurance companies must now justify any rate increase of 10 percent or more.

Baker said knowledge is power and it imperative that citizens remain informed.

"People need to know the facts," she said. "The people of this great country deserve access to information bases on accurate data."

Visit www.msdh.state.ms.us and www.aarp.org/states/ms/ for more information on the law.

For more information on the AARP Mound Bayou Area Chapter’s programs, including the “Drive to End Hunger” campaign in support of the Food Bank at St. Gabriel Mercy Center, contact Baker at 662-741-2683 or ajewelofthedelta@gmail.com.