ACA Repeal: The Potential Impact on Seniors

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The new administration is ready to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with the promise to replace it with a better plan. Many seniors benefit from the ACA, and repealing the act could take those benefits away, affecting their quality of life.  

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Lincoln, CA, at-home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Here is a closer look at how repealing the law could affect the elderly.

Preventative Health Services 

Seniors with Medicare are currently able to receive a variety of preventative services, including diabetes, cancer, and colorectal screenings without paying money out of pocket. Seniors are also given one wellness visit per year, where they can speak to their doctor about any health issue or concern. However, if the ACA is repealed, there is no guarantee that seniors will receive any of these services without paying out of pocket. Seniors may also have to pay for tobacco cessation counseling and flu shots on their own, which will be hard for those who live on a fixed income. Without these screenings, seniors are at a greater risk for a variety of illnesses and conditions, many of which are fatal. 

Higher Prescription Drug Costs 

Since the ACA was signed into law, seniors around the country have saved billions of dollars on prescription drugs. The ACA reduces the costs of medications for seniors, in addition to closing the coverage gap. This is known as the “donut hole.” Seniors who receive Medicare are given a discount on prescription drugs. They can purchase branded drugs at a cheaper price. If the ACA is repealed, the price of prescription drugs for seniors can rise and prevent them from getting the treatment they need to survive. Many seniors can also be denied coverage or be dropped by their provider due to existing health conditions.

Aging in place can pose certain health challenges for seniors, even if they have ACA benefits. As they lose their motor skills, they may need assistance with their daily activities. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive 24-hour care. Lincoln seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.

Changes to Medicare Advantage Plans 

These plans are not only getting stronger under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are also less expensive. Enrollment has increased since the ACA was signed into law, and Medicare Advantage premiums have reduced. The ACA currently offers seniors some protections, including the amounts that can be spent on administration costs. These plans also limit the profits insurance companies make, according to the amount of a senior’s Medicare payment. The limit is currently set at no more than 15 percent of the Medicare payment. 

Medicare Advantage plans do not charge seniors for the traditional amounts of chemotherapy administration, care in a skilled nursing home, or other specialized services seniors need. Repealing the law could take these benefits away and increase costs. 

More Affordable Medicare Part B Premiums

Due to ACA reforms, the Medicare program is running efficiently, and the overall costs of healthcare have decreased. For most seniors, this reform has helped with containing the costs of the Medicare Part B premium. The deductible is also lower for seniors. This also applies to seniors who are billed directly for Part B premiums or for those who do not receive social security benefits. If the ACA is repealed, those premiums will increase, the deductibles will rise, and overall healthcare costs could also increase.

Whether your senior loved one has ACA benefits or not, caring for him or her may seem challenging at times. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Lincoln families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. If you need a break from your caregiving duties, give us a call at 916.226.3737.