Now that the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, has been upheld by the Supreme Court, seniors stand to gain a lot more healthcare options.
The aim of ACA is to expand healthcare options for all Americans – but if you’re a senior, your options may be even more “expandable.” For example, many of the guaranteed benefits under Medicare Parts A and Part B will be expanded…and none will be cut.
One provision that could bring immediate benefits is assistance with the Medicare Part D “donut hole,” in the form of a $250 rebate. And if you qualify, you don’t need to lift a finger to get your check; it’ll come automatically. Once you reach your donut hole, you’ll receive a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs, and a 7% discount on generic drugs. And if you’re on Medicare, you’ll be entitled to a free annual wellness exam.
Medicare Advantage plans will provide the same benefits provided under Medicare Parts A and B; they’ll continue to lower your out-of-pocket expenses for certain expensive services, and if you require extensive care. ACA will eventually reduce payments to Medicare Advantage plans from the current 14% profit-over-costs to 1% profit, with bonus payments to those with high ratings. So if you’re considering a Medicare Advantage Plan, look for one that’s been around for at least five years, with a high rating from Medicare.
If you’d rather receive medical care at home than in a nursing facility, ACA will provide financial incentives to states offering assistance.
You’ll still have to pay more for Medicare Part B if you reach a certain income, as well as Part D. Additionally, you’ll be paying a higher Medicare tax rate…which will now include unearned income such as investments.
The ACA isn’t easy to understand. It’s a combination of medical jargon and legalese. (And it certainly hasn’t eliminated the need to plan ahead for long-term care.) The only person who can fully understand the ramifications of this law is an Elder Law attorney.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we practice Elder Law – and only Elder Law.
Over the past 33 years, we’ve walked thousands of South Florida families through the Elder Law Journey, with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid and the VA.
We can show you the way. And we’re just a phone call away.
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