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Chippewa Valley seniors ask questions about the health care law and get answers

January 27, 2011
In The News


Over the coming years, parts of the health care reform law are set to go into effect. But right now, local senior citizens have many questions about how the legislation affects them. They got answers Thursday morning from a member of Congress.

Hundreds of seniors gathered in Eau Claire with a lot of questions.

"As a senior citizen, a man who's a month away from being 78 years old, I'm concerned about my health currently and particularly in the future," says Tom Frisbie.

Their concerns revolved around the health care reform law passed nearly a year ago.

"People are very curious as to how the law will impact them, how it will impact their children and whether the law is really of benefit to the country," says D'Anna Bowman, senior state director for AARP. "There are just tons of questions about the law that passed."

Questions and confusion among those 65 and older.

"Especially when it comes to Medicare, there are so many myths, so much misinformation in regards to health care reform and the impact on seniors," says Representative Ron Kind (D) of Wisconsin's third district.

Congressman Kind, along with AARP representatives, fielded concerns from Chippewa Valley seniors like Barbara Gosch.

"I was very surprised to find out that, although I was currently on Medicare and had a supplement, if I changed plans and wanted to go back to my old one, I could be denied," the Eau Claire senior says.

Denied if she developed what would become a pre-existing condition. Barbara learned how the health care law will help.

Starting in 2014, seniors and people of all ages cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

Another benefit brought up Thursday: starting this year, seniors on Medicare get certain preventative care free.

For Barbara and other seniors, the information is something everyone should pay attention to.

"I think the reason health care is such an important issue is that we're all affected by it," Barbara says.

Coming with questions about their health care and leaving with answers.

The federal government has set up a Web site to answer questions from seniors on the health care reform law. Click on the link on the side of this Web story to get to that site.