Setting The Record Straight: Obamacare And Medicare

Posted on Jan 15 2014 - 10:40am by Jennifer Gilligan

Medicare

Since its inception, there have been many things said about the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. There have been many inaccuracies reported, especially when it comes to Medicare. Once and for all, it’s time to set the record straight. Here’s what you should know about the Affordable Care Act and Medicare.

MYTH: The End of Medicare is in Sight

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the end date for Medicare was set to be in 2018. However, thanks to the new legislations that the Affordable Care Act provided, as well as their commitment to reduce Medicare fraud, Medicare is now projected to last until 2029 — a full 12 years later than it was prior to the passing of Affordable Care Act.

MYTH: You Won’t Get to Keep Your Current Doctor

The Affordable Care Act does not explicitly state which doctors you can see. However, those physicians, pharmacies, and other providers can choose to withdraw from the Medicare program. As it currently stands, though, there’s nothing in the Affordable Care Act that forces you to choose a new provider.

MYTH: Seniors Must Buy More Insurance

If you’re satisfied with your current plan, you’re set. There’s nothing further that you must do. If you want to join or change your plans and coverage, though, you must do so during the Medicare open enrollment period, which lasts from October 15th to December 7th.

MYTH: Your Medicare Benefits Will Decrease

There is nothing inside of the Affordable Care Act that states that your Medicare benefits will decrease. If anything, you’ll get more benefits, thanks to free cancer screenings, mammograms, colonoscopies, and more. There is nothing written inside of the Affordable Care Act that states there will be a reduction in benefits for those that have Medicare.

Seniors will pay much less for prescription drugs. In fact, the 5.2 billion seniors caught in the coverage gap have saved $3.7 billion on prescription drugs. More than 32 million seniors have already taken advantage of the free preventive services, which, in addition to mammograms and colonoscopies, includes diabetes screenings and wellness visits.

MYTH: The Affordable Care Act Increases the Deficit

In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that, thanks to the various reductions in the Affordable Care Act, as well as cutting back on Medicare fraud, the law will reduce the deficit by $109 billion. The spending cuts and tax increases offset the expansion of health insurance to millions of people. (For more information on how the act will affect senior citizens, check out this Affordable Care Act infographic.)

FACT: The Affordable Care Act Saves More Than $700 Billion

There are several ways that the affordable care act will save this amount of money.

  • Increasing efforts to reduce and eliminate Medicare fraud will save $7.8 billion through 2016, and saved $4.1 billion in 2011, which was a record amount recovered.
  • The Affordable Care Act will make adjustments to the premiums to wealthy Medicare holders, which is only roughly two percent of households. This will save $35.7 billion through 2019.
  • Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, private insurers will no longer get paid more than it would cost Medicare to cover people. These excess payments, over the next decade, will save $156 billion.
  • The health reform calls for rewarding quality, which will save $415 billion over the next decade. It also calls for improving care coordination and safety, which will save $10 billion.

As you can see in the above examples, the Affordable Care Act helps at reducing our deficit, and it increases the benefits for seniors. It also makes it easier for seniors to receive healthcare while at home, so for those that refuse to go into a nursing home, they have other options. One of the best benefits to the Affordable Care Act is the reduced price of both prescription and generic medications. Have you or anyone else you know been impacted by the Affordable Care Act? If so, how has it changed your life?

About the Author
Jennifer Gilligan