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Report: 418K Virginians benefitted from Medicare services under ACA

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released a report on the Affordable Care Act detailing how the health-care reform law helped 418,231 people in Virginia with original Medicare receive at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first five months of 2012. This includes 26,047 who have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Nationally, 14,297,266 people in Medicare received at least one free preventive service during the first five months of this year.  This includes 1,100,592 people who benefited from the Annual Wellness Visit.  In 2011, 32.5 million people in Medicare received one or more preventive benefits free of charge.

“Thanks to the health care law, millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms and other preventive services for free,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.  “These free preventive services are helping people in Medicare stay healthy and lower their health care costs.”

One of the major goals of the Affordable Care Act is to help people stay healthy by giving them the tools they need to take charge of their own health and prevent health problems before they happen.

Prior to 2011, people with Medicare faced cost-sharing for many preventive benefits such as cancer screenings.  Under the Affordable Care Act, preventive benefits are offered free of charge to beneficiaries, with no deductible or co-pay, so that cost is no longer a barrier for seniors who want to stay healthy and treat problems early. The law also added an important new service for people with Medicare — an Annual Wellness Visit with the doctor of their choice— at no cost to beneficiaries.