Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., says a number of provisions to help Nevadans with their health care go into effect with the new year.
Health insurers are now required to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on health care and quality improvements for patients rather than on overhead and executive salaries. Those insurers who fail to meet that standard will be required to provide customers a rebate beginning in 2012.
Several other provisions taking effect benefit seniors, including the 50 percent drug discount for those who reach the so-called doughnut hole Medicare gap for prescription drugs.
In addition, seniors now get free preventative services such as annual checkups, and the Community Care Transi-tions program will begin coordinating care to avoid hospital readmissions by connecting patients to various services. Reid said that goes along with the provision creating a Center for Medicare and Med-icaid Innovation which will be looking at new ways to deliver care to patients, improve quality and reduce costs.