How does the Affordable Care Act help older Americans?

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, which put in place comprehensive health insurance reforms aimed at making health care more affordable, accessible and of a higher quality, for families, seniors, businesses, and taxpayers alike.  Beneficiaries include previously uninsured Americans and Americans who had insurance that didn’t provide adequate coverage and security.

Refinements to the law have followed every year. Here are the highlights:

In 2010,  a new Patient's Bill of Rights went into effect, protecting consumers from the worst abuses of the insurance industry. Cost-free preventive services began for many.

In 2011,  people with Medicare began getting key preventive services for free, and also received a 50% discount on brand-name drugs in the Medicare “donut hole.”

In 2012,  Accountable Care Organizations and other programs helped  doctors and health care providers work together to deliver better care.

In 2013, open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began.

In 2014, all  Americans were given access to affordable health insurance options. The Marketplace allows individuals and small businesses to compare health plans on a level playing field. Middle and low-income families get tax credits that cover a significant portion of the cost of coverage. And the Medicaid program was expanded to cover more low-income Americans. All together, these reforms mean that millions of people who were previously uninsured now have coverage.

And in 2015,  the program was amended to begin paying  physicians based on value,  not volume.  The new provision ties physician payments to the quality of care they provide; those who provide higher value care will receive higher payments than those who provide lower quality care.  

Older Americans are benefiting also, as the Affordable Care Act provides affordability, access and quality for this age group.  New protections include strengthening Medicare, offering a range of preventive services at no cost, and giving discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap (also called the “donut hole”) in prescription drug coverage. For instance,  if you have Original Medicare, you may qualify for a yearly wellness visit and many preventive services for free.

Learn the details of how the health care law affects all people with Medicare:

Statistics show that Medicare is stronger today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. In 2014, the Medicare Trustees projected that the Medicare Trust fund financing Medicare’s hospital insurance coverage will remain solvent until 2030, four years beyond what was projected in the 2013 report. Just a few years ago, the Medicare Trust fund was projected to run out of money by 2017.

For more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. Or click here to go online to the government’s Website for the Affordable Care Act.

We at Blue Sky Therapy are ready to assist your therapy – we’re the experts!

Blue Sky Therapy has a continued commitment to patient-driven quality, excellence, integrity and innovation in everything that we do. That’s why we are scrupulous about planning the treatment of each and every client, and carefully documenting the outcome!

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Blue Sky disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

This information only applies if you have Original Medicare. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), check with your plan for information about your plan’s coverage rules.