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New Health Care Reform Rules Aid Seniors

Some important pieces of the massive health care reform legislation approved last year went into effect January 1. These new rules will help those caught in Medicare's prescription drug "doughnut hole," offer seniors more preventive care, and limit how must of customers' money health insurance companies can keep for profit and overhead. 

These new provisions are part of the historic health insurance reform legislation Congress passed last March that will bring badly needed help to millions of Americans, including many African-American families and children.

According to the U.S. Office of Minority Health, in 2007, just 49% of African Americans, in comparison to 66% of whites, had access to employer-sponsored health insurance. Also in 2007, 24% of African Americans, compared to 9% of whites, relied on public health insurance. And, 19% of African Americans, in comparison to 10% of whites, were uninsured.

More information about the changes that took effect on January 1 can be found at www.healthcare.gov. This web site was launched on July 1 by the Dept. of Health & Human Service.  On this site, consumers can learn about their health care options based on the following situations: families with children, individuals, people with disabilities, seniors, young adults, and employers. This is an informative and easy-to-use web site.

And to read more about the health reform law, follow this link to The Kaiser Family Foundation's comprehensive summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Also, Medicare has a brochure that outlines key provisions of the Affordable Care Act for people with Medicare as well as family members. Click here to read "Medicare and the New Health Law--What it Means for You."

And keep watching the Center for African-American Health's web site to learn more about how you will be affected by health care reform.

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