Affordable Care Act and the Elderly: Four Changes That Might Impact Your Life

Grandpa's 90th Birthday

If you are older than age 65 and receive health insurance through Medicare, you may be concerned about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, will affect your benefits. The good news is that most seniors are expected to receive better care at lower costs under the new plan. Read on to learn about four changes that might affect your coverage.

1. Safeguards Protecting the Medicare Trust Fund

In recent years, there has been concern that the Medicare Trust Fund, which pays for Medicare coverage, could go bankrupt. Fortunately, new provisions in the ACA reduce Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse, which means the Fund is expected to stay solvent (and your coverage protected) through at least 2029.

2. Free and Low-Cost Preventive Services

Now seniors can get a yearly wellness visit with their primary care doctor without paying a co-payment. In addition, screening tests for cancer, such as colonoscopies and mammograms, are now available free of charge under Medicare coverage, as well as flu shots, tobacco use cessation counseling, diabetes and blood pressure screening, and other preventive services. Seniors on Medicare are expected to save an average of $420 per year with these changes.

3. Medicare Benefits Will Stay the Same

Many seniors have expressed concern that under the Affordable Care Act, their benefits will change and that they may need to see different doctors. However, the good news is that this is absolutely untrue. Under the Affordable Care Act, the coverage you receive will not change and you’ll be able to see the same primary care doctors and specialists who you already have a relationship with. In addition, these doctors will have access to new resources to be able to better coordinate your care across different providers.

4. The “Doughnut Hole” Will Close

Many Medicare members found themselves in “the doughnut hole,” meaning that they had to pay out of pocket for medications after they reached a certain coverage amount until they hit a second coverage amount. This made it difficult for many seniors to afford the prescriptions they needed. Under Obamacare, the government is beginning provisions to close this gap, with an aim of completely eliminating it within ten years. In the meantime, seniors will receive a 50 percent discount on all prescriptions and receive rebates to ease the financial burden of paying for medications. These provisions are expected to save each eligible member over $1,200 per year.

It can be troubling to know exactly what will happen with insurance when laws are changed rather significantly. Seniors should talk with insurance professionals if they have any questions regarding their own status, or if they are looking to make changes or alterations to their life or health insurance standing.

Information credit for this article goes to PNW Insurance Services who offer life insurance in Medford.

This article is from Rianne Hunter, a wife, mother of three, and an independent blogger who writes for a broad range of topics and types of publishers.

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