Retirees are the real winners with Obamacare!
I received a call from a friend of someone I helped earlier this year enroll in a Medicare plan. Her friend is 63 and had retired from her job in 2011. She was able to continue her health insurance coverage from her employer for a short time, but when it stopped earlier this year she tried to find an individual policy on her own. None of the insurers she called would cover her because she is diabetic.
“I didn’t even get to tell them about my heart condition,” she told me. Because of this she has been without health insurance since July. She is a little over a year away from qualifying for Medicare and she was worried that an upcoming surgery will leave her with several thousand dollars in hospital bills so her friend suggested she call me.
She and I talked about her options under the new plans created by The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. I explained to her how insurers must now offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and they will no longer be able to charge larger premiums on the basis of someone’s health. We also talked at length about how those with lower incomes (Under $45,000) can use tax credits to help lower their monthly premiums.
I wanted to share this story because I think it is important to remember why The Affordable Care Act was created. The Media reports on all the problems, both real and imagined and many people (myself included) are very frustrated with the roll out of the website. But that does not change the need for the health law. And while older people may pay more than younger people the tax credit allows them to buy a policy for much less than they would pay today, particularly those people with expensive medical conditions.
And this is why I think retirees are the real winners in all this.
I talk to people every day who are turning 65 and considering their options. Many times these people are forced to postpone retirement because they need health insurance for a younger spouse. These plans are going to enable people to retire at 65 or 67 and their spouses can bridge the gap to Medicare using one of the new health plans. It may also assist some early retirees who do not yet qualify for Medicare obtain affordable health insurance in the same way.
I should mention that the lady who called me has not yet been able to access the online website to enroll in a plan because of all the technical issues that have plagued Healthcare.gov since October 1st. But I am an optimist and I am hopeful that she and thousands of people like her will be able to enroll before the December 15th deadline and begin their coverage on January 1st.
If you live in Maine or New Hampshire and need help with your health insurance decision then give me a call and we’ll talk. My phone number is (207) 370-0143 or you can contact me through my Contact page. I specialize in Medicare Health Insurance Plans but I am also certified to help people find and compare plans on the new Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.