What you need to know about Obamacare if you have Medicare

caduceus and cashWith all the media hype on TV about the disastrous roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most of us are taking a second look at our current medical plan and its costs. If you’re over 65, you can change the channel and relax. Your Medicare coverage is protected. Medicare isn’t part of the Health Insurance Marketplace established by ACA, so you don’t have to replace your Medicare coverage with Marketplace coverage. No matter how you get Medicare, whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll still have the same benefits and security you have now.

While you don’t need to do anything with the Marketplace during ACA Open Enrollment, you might want to review your coverage during Medicare’s Open Enrollment time occurring now between October 15 and December 7. Here are a few minor changes in Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans:

Medicare now covers mammograms and colonoscopies without charging you for the Part B coinsurance or deductible. You still get a free yearly “wellness” visit.

The donut hole continues to shrink. You get a 50% discount when buying Part D-covered brand-name prescription drugs. The discount is applied automatically at the counter of your pharmacy — you don’t have to do anything to get it.

Premiums are similar to 2013, but watch out for higher co-pays and smaller pharmacy networks.

The Medicare Trust fund is projected to be exhausted in 2026 – only 12 years from now. So seniors with a good long life still ahead of them probably shouldn’t get too relaxed about the ACA and what it means for our future, and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Tips on Ohio Financial Planning for Senior Care

If you have aging parents who reside in Ohio, there’s a great resource for families who need to plan for affordable senior care provided by Care.com  On the site, you will learn that the median cost of long-term care in Ohio ranges from $44,500 for a private one-bedroom in assisted living to $81,213 for a private room in a nursing home. The bottom line is that senior care is expensive and the time for planning is now.

Ohio Senior CareIf this news is startling, there are programs and levies in Ohio that offer a series of financial assistance programs for seniors on Medicare. Bookmark the Care.com page for tips on how your loved one can qualify for Ohio medicare savings programs and how Ohio aids its senior population financially through Ohio Senior Services Levies. Care.com also offers a comprehensive guide to senior care that helps readers understand the options in detail and answers frequently asked questions.

Getting the professional help to manage an aging parent’s financial resources before these decisions are made can better prepare your family and your loved one for these future draining expenses. With our help, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your parent’s finances are in order and there is a clear understanding of current assets and expenses. This knowledge is invaluable when the time comes to apply for Ohio senior program eligibility.

How to Get Help for Aging Loved Ones

Are you helping your elderly parent locate housing or home care?
Are you helping a senior find employment?
Do you have a parent who needs help paying for food?
Are you concerned that someone you love can’t meet their financial obligations?

The answers may lie in the resources offered by BenefitsCheckUp, a free online resource from the National Council on Aging. NCOA home page NCOA is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization in Washington, DC that makes it easy to find benefit programs than can help pay for medications, health care, food, utilities, and more.

But many people don’t know these programs exist! You can change that by sharing this blog with friends and family who may have concerns about themselves or an aging parent.

NCOA’s mission is to be a voice for older Americans and the community organizations that serve them. They seem to understand that seniors need to retain their dignity and are uncomfortable seeking out help, even when they need it so badly.

For example, are you aware that a senior can apply for a Medicare Savings Program that could increase their monthly income by almost $105?

If a senior doesn’t want to or isn’t able to use a computer at BenefitsCheckUp, a friend or family member can complete the forms on their behalf. Answers to questions generate a personalized report that describes programs that can help with expenses such as:

  • Medications
  • Food & utilities
  • Legal and health care
  • Housing or in-home services
  • Taxes & transportation

The also offer Job Source – free resources to help seniors define their job skills, sign up for free online courses to boost kills, build a resume, prepare for interview, and start a job search.

More the 13 million older adults live in or on the edge of poverty? NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp identifies public benefits that can help. The screening is free and the report is free. What’s not to like about a resource that makes finding help so easy?

Find out at the BenefitsCheckUp website and get help now.