How Does Obamacare Affect Medicare? What Do I Have To Do To Keep My Plan?
Terms such as “Affordable Care Act (ACA)”, “Obamacare”, the “Health Insurance Marketplace”, the “Marketplace” or the “Exchange”, and the ‘Open Enrollment’ date October 1, 2013 are currently getting a lot of media attention.
Many Medicare beneficiaries are currently confused, how the new health care reform may impact their Medicare coverage and benefits, and wonder:
- I am on Medicare – what do I need to do in regards to the new Obamacare?
- How does the Affordable Care Act Affect Medicare?
- Will I lose my Medicare coverage if I don’t act?
- Will my Medicare coverage be affected by the new the Health Insurance Marketplace that starts in 2014?
In the following, we want to bring clarity and answer those questions:
How Does Obamacare Affect Medicare?
Obamacare DOES NOT impact or even replace Medicare health insurance.
If you are Medicare eligible, it does not matter whether you are insured through Original Medicare or enrolled in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare prescription drugs Part D plan, you WON’T have to act on ‘Obamacare’. U.S. seniors on Medicare do NOT need to apply for ‘Obamacare’, or worry about the new Health Insurance Marketplace.
The new law won’t affect your Medicare coverage. You DON’T have to enroll in the Marketplace to maintain your Medicare coverage. Your options and responsibilities are not affected, and have not changed, if you are eligible for or insured by Medicare.
Medicare beneficiaries CANNOT enroll in a health or prescription drug plan through health insurance exchange put in place by the Affordable Care Act.
“Obamacare” and the “Affordable Care Act Exchange or Marketplace” was created to provide more affordable coverage for those who are currently uninsured or those who have to buy health insurance themselves because their employer does not provide it.
As a matter of fact, it is against the law for anyone who knows that you have Medicare to sell you a “Marketplace plan” under the Affordable Care Act.
How Does The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Affect Medicare?
There are however some benefits for persons on Medicare that were established under the Affordable Care Act. They include for example specific free preventive benefits, cancer screenings, and your annual wellness visit, which are available with no cost to patients when furnished by qualified and participating health professionals.
How Can I Change My Medicare Health Insurance For 2014?
Like in previous years, seniors on Medicare will be informed from October 1st 2013 on about new Medicare plan options for 2014.
If you want to change your current Medicare health or prescription drug plan, you can do so during the Fall Open Enrollment Period between October 15 and December 7, 2013. This is the annual time where you want to carefully review your current policy and compared it to other Medicare options available to you.
Reviewing your current health plan and your prescription drug coverage is especially important, if you received notice from your insurance company about changes in costs, coverage, or benefits that will take effect in 2014.
Each year, new Medicare advantage plans and prescription drug plans are offered by the insurers, so if you shop around, you may be able to find a plan that offers more benefits, better choices for health care providers, or lower total costs.
However, you don’t need to do anything if your medical needs have not changed and you are satisfied with your current policy.
Seniors with questions about coverage may call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit medicare.gov – although please be careful, as due to the government shutdown in October 2013 the information at Medicare’s official website may not be up to date.
More about Medicare News 2014:
By: Joseph Rosario