Will The Affordable Care Act Impact Medicare Coverage?

Keeping track of the Affordable Care Act and wondering how, or if, it will impact an individuals’ Medicare or Medicaid coverage is a sometimes confusing maze.

One of the most pressing questions seniors and baby boomers have is “Will the Affordable Care Act impact my Medicare coverage?” and the answer to that is a confusing “maybe.” Because the Affordable Care Act is still a program that is in flux, and because its purpose was to provide healthcare coverage to those who didn’t have it, the way it could potentially impact Medicare and Medicaid have not been fully determined.

Some of the questions that have been raised include:

  • Will I have to switch doctors?
  • Will it cost me more to pay for a policy under the Affordable Care Act than I am paying now?
  • Does this mean that the Medicare program will no longer be in effect?
  • If I use a home medical alert device, will that have any impact on the fee I pay for it?
  • How will my prescription medications be impacted?

Here are some of the positives that appear to be a part of the Affordable Care Act provisions:

  • The money you spend on prescription drugs may be less than you’re paying now
  • You should be able to keep your same physician
  • Medicare coverage will not go away even if you’re covered under the Affordable Care Act policies. As a matter of fact, the Affordable Care Act law prohibits any cuts to Medicare coverage benefits.
  • Annual, free wellness exams will be provided.
  • The Affordable Care Act will effectively put an end to the “donut hole” that many individuals found themselves in as it relates to out of pocket costs for prescriptions.

One of the major disadvantages found in the new program is that it will cause a reduction in Medicare spending by more than $700 billion. What does this mean? Some worry that the reduction in Medicare spending could lead to a reduction in coverage standards, however assurances have been made that it shouldn’t. It’s believed that any potential cuts in Medicare will not impact the healthcare quality a patient receives but could be in the form of the way providers receive reimbursement from Medicare.

The Affordable Health Care Act won’t likely make any changes to coverage of or payment for home medical alert devices. In some instances, though, the new coverage may provide a provision for the payment of this medical alert equipment. It’s always best to contact your insurance carrier to gain a clear understanding of the type of coverage you may be eligible for as it relates to this equipment.

Answers to specific questions about coverage and its provisions are best answered by your individual insurance provider or by contacting a Medicare or Medicaid representative.

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