Senior citizens need to know details of how
Obamacare affects them; don’t join Marketplace plan
Sen. Nelson posts detailed information on how health
care reform impacts senior citizens on Senate Select Committee on Aging
By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com
5, 2013 – There is a daily barrage of news and advertising for and
against the Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – and it has
left many senior citizens confused about what they should be doing.
Basically, seniors are not involved in the major provision of the plan,
which mandates insurance for all Americans and has established the
Health Insurance Marketplace to help them locate plans
that meet their needs at the best price possible. Seniors on Medicare,
however, already have outstanding insurance coverage and should not
enroll in a Marketplace insurance plan.
“The Marketplace won’t affect your
Medicare choices, and your benefits won’t be changing. No matter how you
get Medicare, whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage
Plan, you’ll still have the same benefits and security you have now. You
won’t have to make any changes,” according to
HealthCare.gov, the government website for Obamacare.
• Medicare’s Open Enrollment
Period (October 15-December 7) hasn’t changed.
• To learn more about your
Medicare coverage and choices, visit
Special Committee on Aging has
details for seniors
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chairman, Senate
Special Committee on Aging, has prepared a special presentation for
senior citizens on how health reform affects seniors.
“The health and safety of America’s seniors are of
paramount importance to me,” Sen. Nelson said. “This new law will
strengthen Medicare and begin to reign in the cost of the program while
also extending its solvency.”
Following are the details Sen. Nelson posted on
website outlining the provisions that
relate directly to senior citizens.
Despite rumors to the
contrary, no provision included in this new law will cut benefits to
Medicare beneficiaries. It will transition Medicare to a more efficient
system, where quality health care outcomes are rewarded and waste is
reduced. In terms of the cuts to Medicare Advantage, this law will only
cut back on overpayments to private Medicare insurers. No guaranteed
benefits under Medicare will be cut.
Medicare Part D
This year, seniors will
receive a $250 rebate check once they hit the donut hole. In 2011,
seniors will begin to receive a small discount, 2.5 percent, on brand
name drugs, increasing yearly until 2020, when the discount reaches 25
percent. For generic drugs, government subsidies will cover seven
percent of costs starting in 2011, increasing to 75 percent by 2020. The
donut hole will be completely phased out by 2020.
For the 871,000
Medicare beneficiaries in Wisconsin, they will receive free annual
wellness visits under Medicare beginning this year. Any out-of-pocket
costs are eliminated for preventive care and screenings, such as
Long-Term Care and
The new law will give
seniors and their families safer and more transparent long-term care
options. Below are long-term care provisions that I sponsored in the
health care law.
• A provision to
provide consumers with more information about individual nursing homes
and their track record of care; offer the government better tools for
enforcing high quality standards; and encourage homes to improve on
• A provision that
will prevent those with violent or criminal histories from working with
vulnerable elders in long-term care settings through the creation of a
comprehensive nationwide system of background checks. We will be
expanding a highly successful three-year pilot program instituted in
seven states that kept more than 9,500 serial predators out of the
long-term care workforce.
• Key provisions to
help expand, train, and support the health care workforce focused on
• A provision to
provide states with financial incentives and more flexible plan options
for restructuring their Medicaid programs in order to provide an
increasing number of beneficiaries with cost-effective home and
community-based (HCBS) services.
The new law will
improve health care quality for all Americans and begin to reduce health
care costs over time. Insurance companies will no longer be able to
deny coverage for people who have preexisting conditions, drop coverage
when someone gets sick and needs health insurance the most, or put
annual or lifetime limits on benefits. This legislation will be
implemented responsibly over the course of ten years, but many of these
important insurance reforms have already begun.
Below you will find
information and links to other sites that I hope you will find helpful.
To learn more about the
provisions I personally worked to include in health reform,
please click here. As always, should you have additional questions
or comments about health reform, please feel free to
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