The Affordable Care Act’s Senior Care Benefits: Seniors Without Medica…

In general, if you’re a senior citizen and you aren’t using either Medicare or Medicare Advantage, you’re in a fairly limited number of circumstances. In general you:

• Don’t qualify for Medicare (usually because you haven’t lived in the US for five consecutive years before turning 65),

• Already have insurance other than Medicare (usually in the form of retiree health benefits), or

• You have no health coverage (almost always because you missed the opportunity to apply for Medicare during the first 7 months of the year.)

Let’s cover how the Affordable Care Act benefits each of these groups, working from the bottom up.

If You Have No Health Coverage

Obamacare will levy a tax penalty against you if you fail to acquire health insurance by the beginning of the next year. On one hand, that’s not great — but however, the penalty is generally smaller than the cost of acquiring health coverage, and however, having insurance is pretty darn important if you’re 65 or more years old in the first place. (The penalty for not having insurance in 2015 is 2% of your yearly household income.)

Fortunately, the time of action for obtaining healthcare coverage under the ACA is pretty easy. Every state has a new health insurance marked known as an ‘exchange’ that is run by either the state or the Federal government. Each exchange offers a variety of insurances tailored to that state’s laws and to the local healthcare economy.

So, in short, the dominant assistance of Obamacare if you don’t have health coverage is to make it easy for you to acquire insurance. As an additional assistance, if you don’t have health insurance because you can’t provide it, you may qualify for a tax subsidy that will make a low-end health plan easy to provide!

If You Have Health Insurance Already

Seniors who already have health coverage that qualifies for Obamacare’s restrictions (which, by now, 100% of all insurance plans should) assistance less directly from the ACA, but they do assistance.

• Coverage Doesn’t End for ‘basic Benefits’: Preventive care, hospital visits, chronic disease care, and a few other ‘basic benefits’ cannot be capped by your insurance policy anymore.

• You Don’t Pay More for Pre-Existing Conditions: Having a disease when you purchased your insurance used to average you either wouldn’t get insurance, or you’d pay by the nose for your insurance. No longer, thanks to the ACA.

• Free Preventive Care Benefits: The ACA ensures that all health insurance must provide a wide range of annual preventive care benefits at no cost to you.

If You Don’t Qualify for Medicare

If you don’t qualify for Medicare for any reason, but you are over the age of 65, you are treated exactly like anyone else who has no medical coverage (above.) But there is a critically important observe that needs to be made here: be absolutely certain that you don’t qualify for Medicare before you go shopping on the exchanges — because if you do qualify, it’s a crime for anyone to sell you a non-Medicare health plan.

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