Many patients are confused about how ObamaCare and Medicare relate to each other? If your patient is retired, will they have to sign up for ObamaCare. The answer is “it depends.”
“First and most importantly, if you are on Medicare you are already covered and do not need to take any action. For those with pre-existing conditions, you may be able to now get a Medicare supplemental plan that you were not able to get before.
Those who are on Medicare or covered through their workplace will not have benefits change as a result of this act and do not need to do anything at all….
With all the confusion, the current climate is a scam artist’s paradise. Be particularly wary and check with your insurance adviser or attorney before signing up or paying out money for a program you may not need or you don’t fully understand.”
So when trying to determine if your retired patient needs to apply for Obamacare, the question to ask is whether they are over the age of 65? Most employers do not provide retired employees with health insurance beyond the age of 65. Medicare is the health insurance for the majority of retirees over the age of 65. Thus, if the patient is over the age of 65, they will be covered by Medicare and they don’t need to apply for Obamacare.
If the retiree is under the age of 65, they are eligible for Obamacare. The health exchanges are opening October 1, 2013 and the patient will be able to determine what insurance is available in their state. The ObamaCare health coverage will begin January 1, 2014.
Because ObamaCare expands Medicaid and Medicaid is a state-run program, the insurance coverage will vary from state to state. Because some states have decided not to expand Medicaid, the retired patient will be able to access a federal health exchange. Many retirees who couldn’t afford to buy healthcare coverage as an individual will now benefit from having insurance be available.
It’s important that you advise your retired patients over 65 not to confuse the enrollment period for Medicare which runs from October 15 – December 7 with the October 1 enrollment date for ObamaCare. The key for healthcare providers is to keep informed.
An informed patient is a happy patient!
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