January 1, 2014 Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) went into effect. People all over the country have questions, and I think it would be fair to say that no one understands each nook and cranny of the Affordable Care Act but there are a lot of people with good advice and guidance. However, it seems that most people over the age of 65 are asking how are Obamacare and Medicare going to work together?
Obamacare and Medicare
Obamacare has many benefits to consumers that have been in tough spots due to health conditions, and most of these features in Obamacare already apply to Medicare. Some of these benefits include:
- No health questions
- Coverage for Pre-Existing conditions
- Catastrophic Coverage – No Limits
- Availability and Enrollment Periods
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage for seniors over 65 and those under sixty-five that are disabled. Where Obamacare is actually just laws on health insurance companies telling them how they must operate. The ACA also offers subsidies for low and middle income families. Currently Medicare does not provide subsides but it does charge “penalties” to those with higher incomes starting at $88,000 for individuals.
A Big Misunderstanding
Over the past month or so we have received calls asking how do we sign up for our Medicare Supplement without having to answer health questions? Unfortunately Medicare Supplements still have health questions; the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) only requires primary insurance to not ask health questions. Secondary insurance such as Medigap policies can still underwrite their policies.
This applies for all secondary insurance in both the under age 65 market as well as the Medicare market. As you can see Obamacare and Medicare are similar but they do not function exactly the same. The primary difference being that Medicare is a health insurance program and Obamacare is just laws regulating the insurance companies tighter.
If you would like more information on Obamacare and Medicare please contact our office at 1-877-936-2991 or visit us on the web at Medicare Insurance Finders.
At the beginning of each year it is always encouraged to get a handle on your financial awareness and make sure all your insurance policies and investments are in line with your expectations. We agree with this an recommend our clients to consider a 2014 Medicare Review which would entail sitting down to make sure your coverage is providing the benefits that you want it to provide. This includes evaluating what you currently have and the gaps in coverage that you may or may not realize you have.
Statistics show that over 50% of people do not realize the exposure they have with their current insurance plan. Example people who have not purchased Medicare Supplement Insurance do not realize that a diagnosis with cancer does not have a limit with Original Medicare. This means that if you were to have a six figure chemotherapy treatment there is not a cap to your out of pocket. However, if you have supplemental insurance this can help you limit your exposure. Another reason for having a 2014 Medicare Review.
2014 Medicare Review – What Should it Entail
Please know that we are just going over a Medicare review in this article we will not be covering the other insurance reviews that you should do on an annual basis; however, you can craft a plan around the following information:
- Find out what you have. In Proverbs it explains that we should know the state of our flocks. This means that we should know what we have and what it covers from a Medicare standpoint. Do you have supplemental insurance? Do you have a Medicare Advantage Plan? Do you have Prescription Drug Coverage?
- Do you need supplemental insurance? I am a strong proponent of having supplemental insurance. The main reason being that an unlimited maximum out of pocket is not something that 97% of the population could handle. Basically I am saying that unless you can stroke a check for whatever amount without it messing up your financial planning you need a supplemental plan. Compare Supplemental Plans Here.
- Take Inventory. Figure out the prescriptions you are taking and do an online comparison with Medicare. If you do not know how to do this you need to get with one of our certified specialists that can help you compare this. The average person usually spends over $400 more than they need to on the prescription drug plans each year. It is very important to compare these plans each year during the Annual Election Period.
These are our three basic steps for your 2014 Medicare Review. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us at 1-877-936-2991. Thanks.