With the deadline for Medicare open enrollment looming, the question on many seniors’ minds is “how will the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affect my Medicare coverage?” We talked to senior insurance expert Linda Gubitosi, owner of Boomer Insurance Solutions, to clear up some of the concerns and confusion.
- Medicare is still Medicare. The first thing you need to know is your Medicare coverage won’t be replaced with coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace. That means you can steer clear of the overburdened healthcare.gov site and the Marketplace altogether!
- More free preventive care. Your Original Medicare plan now provides many preventive screenings such as colonoscopies and mammograms plus an annual wellness exam for free.
- Closing the donut hole. The infamous “donut hole” will slowly shrink over time. Each year you’ll pay less and less for drugs while you’re in this coverage gap, with the donut hole completely gone by 2020. (At that time, you will be responsible for 25 percent of the cost of their prescription drugs.)
- The good news and bad news for those with Medicare Advantage plans. The government is rewarding Medicare Advantage providers who improve the quality of their coverage and penalizing those who don’t. As a result, those insured by the former should receive better care, while those insured by the latter could see some of their benefits change or their costs increase.
- More cuts. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is also reducing Medicare reimbursements to hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies.
- Better coordination of care. As a result of the ACA, doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers will have the support and resources to work together more effectively, minimizing redundancy and medical errors, and ultimately, lowering costs and improving the quality of care for patients.
Let us know your thoughts about the Affordable Care Act.