The Supreme Court ruling upholding most of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) will offer some interesting benefits to seniors with disabilities, or on Medicare. But that doesn’t mean, however, there won’t be any more hurdles to jump.
There are still some things we don’t know – especially regarding costs – before we can breathe easier.
With the current system so badly broken, it’s hard to envision ACA as a panacea for every problem. But there’s no doubt it can benefit Medicare recipients, who will now receive preventive care coverage and smaller donut holes.
But, again, until we know more about costs, it’s hard to project an accurate picture. For example, we still don’t know exactly how ACA will address the problem of pre-existing conditions.
What we do know is that every American will be required to have health coverage starting in 2014.
Insurers are already required to provide coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Starting in two years, they’ll have to cover everyone with a pre-existing condition. In addition, lifetime pay-out limits will be eliminated.
Seniors who receive SSDI benefits must now wait two years to become eligible for Medicare. Many end up losing their health insurance during this period, and are unable to obtain new insurance because of pre-existing conditions…or high costs.
PCIPs (Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans) currently provide insurance to people with pre-existing conditions who can’t get coverage elsewhere. However, participation has been lower than expected. And costs have been higher than expected. The average participant still has to lay out $29,000 this year – more than double what was expected.
However, the state exchanges mandated by the new law will afford more choices, and will also tell seniors whether they’re eligible for Medicaid or other reduced-cost insurance programs.
ACA will actually penalize for people without coverage, starting at $95 per adult in 2014, and increasing for the next two years. After 2016, cost-of-living adjustments will be applied.
Sound confusing? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Wait until two years from now, when everybody’s trying to figure out every provision of this new act. Actually, though, there’s only one person who can really figure it out – an Elder Law attorney.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we practice Elder Law – and only Elder Law. And 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 plans, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid or the VA.
We know every step of the Elder Law Journey. And we’re just a phone call away.
Healthcare Act Still Leaves Some Hurdles For Seniors (Part One)