How Does the Affordable Care Act Impact Seniors? (Part 1 of 2)
How Does the Affordable Care Act Impact Seniors?
Since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act has been the subject of debates and the cause of confusion. If you are wondering how the Act specifically affects those aged 65 and older, you’re not alone. Read on.
If you are over age 65 and enrolled for Medicare, you will not face any penalties. However, starting this year, any individual who fails to obtain healthcare insurance will be fined $95. The fine will rise each year until 2016 when the penalty reaches $695.
Prescription Drug Coverage
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires Medicare to pick up more of the tab and will close the “donut hole” by 2020. Eventually, Medicare recipients will pay 25% of all prescription drugs across the board.
The ACA requires that Medicare cover preventive care procedures and screenings, including flu shots, cancer screenings, diabetes screenings, tobacco use cessation counseling, and more. Seniors are now allowed an annual wellness visit.
The National Council on Aging states that not only are the key benefits of Medicare protected, but seniors will get even more benefits. Medicare Part A (hospitals, hospice, and some home health services) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) are protected and may not be cut.
Medicare Advantage Plans
The ACA now limits the amount of money that managed care plans can spend on administrative, marketing, and other non-medical expenses. It also prevents the plans from charging higher cost-sharing fees for seniors receiving chemotherapy or dialysis. Over the next ten years, payments to managed care plans will be reduced by $145 billion, leaving uncertainty as to the future of the plans.
Wayne R. Coulter, Attorney at Law