During the many years of health care reform talk, with a focus on the Affordable Care Act, many senior citizens wondered how this would impact them. While many believed this would cut their benefits, including through Medicare, this has not been the end result. Instead, seniors are finding that the Affordable Care Act has changed health care for the better.
Change for the better
In an overall sense, the most recent changes to the health care system have benefited senior citizens in a number of ways. Here are five of the biggest benefits:
1. Fight against Medicare fraud.
Let’s face it: this has been a big problem in the United States for many years. Seniors, in particular, are often times the target of Medicare fraud and related schemes.
With the Affordable Care Act in place, there is a $350 million investment to fight against fraud, while also going after those who are accused of defrauding the system.
It may cost a lot of money upfront to fight against Medicare fraud, but the money saved in the long run is well worth it.
2. The future of Medicare is safe.
Before the Affordable Care Act, many worried about the future of Medicare, with a lot of attention on the well being of the Medicare Trust Fund.
Fortunately, the Medicare Board of Trustees announced that the health care reform has improved the outlook of Medicare. With this in mind, senior citizens no longer have to worry about the Medicare system going bankrupt.
3. Better preventative care.
Seniors are well aware that preventative care is important to their health now as well as in the future. With the help of the Affordable Care Act, new insurance plans are required to offer preventative care with no out of pocket cost. Best yet, this includes seniors on Medicare.
For example, all seniors are eligible for a free annual physical. Along with this, seniors can undergo screenings, such as for breast and colorectal cancer, without a deductible fee or co-pay.
The best way for seniors to remain healthy for a long time is to avoid trouble in the first place. The Affordable Care Act is making this possible with its preventative care provisions.
4. No more worries about the cost of prescription drugs.
As people age, their dependence on prescription drugs often times increases. In the past, seniors were faced with a gap in coverage that made it a challenge to afford the appropriate medication.
The Affordable Care Act has made it easier for seniors to afford medication, getting rid of the proverbial “doughnut hole.”
5. Treatment for substance abuse.
Many senior citizens find themselves in search of substance abuse treatment. In the past, paying for professional treatment was extremely costly, especially for those who did not have coverage through their insurance provider.
The Affordable Care Act has changed this, adding substance use to its list of the ten elements of essential health benefits. In short, this means that all plans provided by Medicaid or sold through Health Insurance Exchanges are required to include services for substance abuse.
Many seniors were worried that the Affordable Care Act would negatively affect their health care options, however, the five benefits above show that the opposite has happened since the reform was put into place.