Medicare safe, DeLauro tells seniors

WALLINGFORD — As the Affordable Care Act rollout continues, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro on Monday reassured an audience at the Senior Center that they will still receive Medicare benefits.

Speaking with DeLauro was Judith Stein, founder and executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. DeLauro and Stein said they are trying to counter false information on how the Affordable Care Act affects Medicare.

“There are no damages, only benefits, to the Medicare program,” Stein said.

DeLauro, a Democrat whose 3rd Congressional District includes Wallingford, told seniors that they don’t have to visit any websites to continue their coverage.

“You do not have to worry about making any changes to your enrollment or signing up on the website,” she said.

Medicare will not end, despite what they might have read or heard, DeLauro said.

“Who today would roll back Social Security? It’s not where we’re going. Medicare and Social Security are not going away,” DeLauro said, which was met with loud applause.

Stein said seniors have told her that they’ve heard there will be new age limits on medical services as part of the new health care law.

“There are no such things as age limits to services under the Affordable Care Act,” she said.

A majority of the questions from seniors focused on UnitedHealth Group’s recent move to end thousands of doctors’ contracts on its network. Stein said over 2,200 physician contracts were terminated by UnitedHealth Group.

DeLauro said that an official with the company refused to say what doctors were dropped. Without this information, Medicare Advantage recipients won’t know how they could be affected.

A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare.

DeLauro said the state attorney general, as well as state Reps. Mary Fritz and Mary Mushinsky, will continue to put pressure on UnitedHealth Group. Fritz and Mushinsky, both Democrats representing Wallingford, attended Monday’s event

As she ended the forum, DeLauro warned the seniors to be careful of scam artists.

“Needing an ‘Obamacard’ or having to reapply or sign up for new insurance or you’ll go to jail,” DeLauro said, “it’s all untrue.” (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ

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