Obamacare Repeal Could Raise Medicare Costs

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) your premiums may be subject to an increase if Obamacare is repealed, according to an analysis by Kaiser Family Foundation. Even though Medicare Part D (Rx coverage) changes are not being considered directly, the changes to funding could mean that those prices will increase as well, and the infamous “donut hole” will not shrink as planned, according an article in Forbes.

Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D Plans are administered by private insurance companies, but regulated by the federal government. It is not yet clear how this relationship with private insurance companies will affect Medicare beneficiaries if Obamacare is repealed.

Currently, older adults cannot be charged more than 3 times the amount as younger people for their insurance premiums through private insurance companies. Changes in the law could allow insurance companies to charge up to 5 times more. If the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare or ACA) is repealed, reformed or repaired it is likely that insurance companies will be able to increase how much they charge older people for health insurance coverage. The ACA limits how much insurance companies can charge individuals for their insurance premiums.

According to a report by AARP, adults ages 50-59 could see an average 13% increase in premiums. Adults ages 60 and older could see an average 22% increase. Younger adults would see their premiums decrease, but the report states that this decrease would be significantly less than the corresponding increase in premiums for older adults.

Obamacare expanded Medicare benefits to include many preventative screenings and wellness visits at no cost. It also included several cost-saving measures, such as fraud prevention improvements, that have increased the expected solvency of Medicare by an estimated 11 years.

However, opponents of Obamacare say that the cuts to federal reimbursements have hurt hospitals, and may lead to many hospital closures in the near future, if something is not done soon.

You can switch back to Original Medicare during the disenrollment period, which ends February 14th.

If you decide to disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes drug coverage, do not forget to make sure you pick up new prescription coverage right away, to minimize any gaps in coverage.

Other Sources:

http://www.aarp.org/ppi/info-2017/impact-of-premium-support-on-medicare-beneficiaries.html

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/jan/05/what-would-be-impact-if-affordable-care-act-repeal/

 


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