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Understanding Obamacare: Older Americans Get Help

Feb. 24, 2014
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Question: What does Obamacare mean for older Americans?

Answer: The Affordable Care Act has numerous benefits for older Americans, even ones who don’t yet qualify for Medicare. First, let’s look at the problem.

In this economy, working peoples’ lives have been difficult. This is especially true for older Americans. Older Americans who have been laid off during the recession have often seen discrimination in hiring, been subjected to age discrimination by health insurance companies when purchasing coverage and experienced rising health costs before even making it to Medicare age. That’s compounded by the fact that more than half of adults between 55-64 have some form of pre-existing health condition—conditions that used to be a barrier to care.

The Affordable Care Act gives this group of Americans freedom, peace of mind and economic security. Citizens who work jobs they hate just for the coverage they need can consider retiring early or pursue new opportunities and still gain access to health care. That will free up jobs for a new generation of workers.

Pre-existing conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, can no longer be reasons to deny care or price gouge older Americans. This, coupled with a reduction in discriminatory age pricing between young and old, means that older Americans aren’t left with a colossal monthly bill. Likewise, families will no longer be unfairly targeted: young adults can stay on their parents’ plan and wives, mothers and daughters will no longer face gender discrimination.

This means lower sticker prices for older Americans, but fewer individuals will be forced to pay those sticker prices. BadgerCare and tax credits on healthcare.gov will ensure that no matter your income or family size, you can afford coverage.

The Affordable Care Act is a benefit to millions of Americans, but for older Americans specifically it means freedom, peace of mind and economic security.

—Kevin Kane, lead organizer, Citizen Action of Wisconsin

The Shepherd Express and Citizen Action of Wisconsin will answer questions about the Affordable Care Act during its implementation. Got a question? Email editor@shepex.com.


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