When the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, was signed into law, many were impacted by the changes. Young adults could remain on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26. Individuals with pre-existing conditions could no longer be denied healthcare coverage. Even seniors and older adults could expect to see changes to their healthcare.
As a leading provider of senior care in New Hampshire, we know that a lot of misinformation has created a bit of confusion about Obamacare and the future of Medicare. Here are some important things to know:
- Cuts were made to spending. Prior to the ACA, Medicare costs were allowed to increase beyond the rate of gross domestic product (GDP). Such an increase is not sustainable over the long-term, so it contributed to the system’s steady decline. Under the ACA, Medicare spending will be placed under the global budget. In short, a cap will be placed on federal Medicare spending. This cap should help keep Medicare’s overall budget at or below the rate of GDP plus 0.5 percent.
- Better access to care. Most preventative care services are now covered under Medicare. Seniors can now receive breast exams, certain cancer screenings, and many other preventative care screenings without shouldering any of the costs. In addition, instead of one introductory screening, Medicare fully covers an annual physical exam for seniors with their primary doctors.
- Lower prescription costs. Medicare recipients are aware of the gap in prescription drug costs known as “the donut hole”. This gap forced seniors to cover the full cost of their prescriptions. By providing a 50 percent discount, the ACA brings down the out-of-pocket costs for seniors. However, the overall goal is to close the gap completely.
- The future of Medicare. The Medicare trust fund was expected to be depleted by 2016. Due to cuts imposed by the ACA, the life of the system has been extended to 2029 and seniors should expect to see other benefits arise over the long-term.
Obamacare is also aiming to curb health costs by encouraging home care for the elderly instead of extensive nursing homes, allowing seniors to age in place safely and with comfort and dignity. If you’re interested in learning more about part-time or live-in home care in New Hampshire, reach out the experienced Care Managers at Home Care Assistance. We are available 24/7 to answer questions and can help you determine the best care options for you or an aging loved one.