How Seniors Are Impacted by the Affordable Care Act

Posted by Lexington Square

The Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land. Unfortunately, for many seniors that leaves a lot more questions than answers. The act itself is more than 2,000 pages of legislation. In the best of times, that’s a lot of information to absorb. At Lexington Square, we want to help you understand what the healthcare act involves and how it impacts seniors in the community.

Affordable Care Act Benefits for Seniors

The single largest benefit of the new healthcare law for seniors is the fact that you can no longer be denied coverage for past health problems or dropped from coverage due to current healthcare problems.

In the past, this has been a big problem for seniors who, after faithfully paying health insurance premiums for decades while healthy were often dropped from coverage when their health began to decline. In other words, insurance companies were dropping their insurance when they needed it most. This is now a worry that seniors no longer need to face.

Another key benefit for seniors is that insurance companies are no longer allowed to place limits on lifetime coverage amounts.

Additionally, Medicare coverage for seniors has been extended to include yearly wellness visits, preventative care, immunizations, and screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Seniors using Medicare Part D are now eligible for deep discounts on prescription drugs including brand-name as well as generic medications. The “doughnut hole” where seniors were required to pay for 100 percent of their prescription drug costs was closed, in a fashion. Medicare recipients now receive a $250 rebate, and drug companies are required to discount brand-name prescription drugs by 52.5 percent and generic drugs by 28 percent in order to “fill in” the hole. By 2020, the doughnut hole will be eliminated altogether.

Disadvantages of the Affordable Care Act for Seniors

Senior health concerns should never be ignored. While the new healthcare law does take into account many issues seniors face when it comes to health and medical care, there is one looming problem that the healthcare law cannot correct with the stroke of a pen in Washington. There aren’t enough physicians to meet the current healthcare demand. In fact, The Association of American Medical Colleges is concerned that the introduction of tens of thousands of new patients flooding an already crowded medical infrastructure will only exacerbate the existing physician shortage in the U.S.

Another area of impact regarding the physician shortage is the rising number of Baby Boomers approaching retirement age, when medical problems often begin creeping in and cropping up. While many Boomers may have been too busy working, and playing, to keep up with their medical needs in the past, they now have more free time to take care of this important business. Unfortunately for them, this comes at a time when demand for physician attention and medical services is experiencing unprecedented growth.

Another disadvantage the AARP wants seniors to consider is the number of scammers who will try to use confusion over the new healthcare law in an attempt to steal money, banking, and identification information from seniors. There have been some provisions built into the law to prevent fraud, but few provisions, if any, exist to educate seniors about various tactics scam artists employ, such as scare tactics.

How to Overcome Healthcare Law Disadvantages

For the most part, the benefits of the healthcare law for seniors outweigh the disadvantages. Can you imagine, though, how much more beneficial it would be to overcome the disadvantages so that they aren’t problematic for you? It’s possible to overcome two of the biggest.

First, overcome the scam artists and scare tactics by arming yourself with the facts about the healthcare law as it relates to senior health. Never give out personally identifying information over the phone. If someone calls you claiming to be from Medicare, get a name and contact number and then contact the Department of Insurance for your state. Report any suspicious activities regarding insurance and the ACA to this department as well.

Second, the issue of diminished supply of physicians is a trickier one to overcome. However, Lexington Square nursing home residents have access to a skilled nursing staff to handle immediate needs at any hour.

Lexington Square offers a diverse range of care options including independent living, assisted living, and memory care to meet the diverse needs of our residents. We are sure you’ll find the level of care you need at Lexington Square to help make this a comfortable choice for your medical, lifestyle, and social needs.