December 14, 2016
If the Affordable Care Act is Repealed, What Happens to Medicare and Seniors?
End to Free Annual Wellness Exams
Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare allowed for a one-time free check-up when seniors first joined the Medicare program. The ACA has provided free annual wellness exams for seniors since 2011.
End to Free Preventive Screenings
Thanks to the ACA, Medicare beneficiaries have not been required to pay for any portion of Medicare-covered preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and rated A or B. The ACA also waived the Medicare deductible for colorectal cancer screening tests.
End of Prescription Drug Discounts
Prior to the ACA, when beneficiaries fell into doughnut hole, they had to pay 100% of the costs of their prescription medications. The ACA provides drug discounts and subsidies to help fill in the doughnut hole. In 2017, the doughnut hole will be between $3700 and $4950. Under the ACA, seniors and disabled beneficiaries who fall in the Part D drug doughnut hole will receive a 60% discount on the price of their brand name drugs and a 49% subsidy toward the purchase of generic drugs. By 2020, the doughnut hole gap will be closed. However, if the ACA is repealed seniors will lose these discounts and subsidies.
No Protections against Discrimination for Pre-existing Conditions
The ACA prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.
No Protections against Rising Insurance Prices
Prior to the ACA, insurers often charged seniors five times more than they charged a young person for their health care. The ACA limited what insurers could charge to no more than three times what they charge a young individual for comparable coverage.