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Blog: Older Americans Stand to Benefit from Health Care Reform


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New changes in our health care system suggest that older adults, between the ages of 50 and 64, may very well profit the most from the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Right now this demographic, being below the age requirement for Medicare, has the most trouble finding affordable coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies will now be required to accept applicants and charge consistent premiums, regardless of age or medical history. These companies will also be required to eliminate caps on annual and lifetime benefits, which limit coverage for people with serious, long-term health condition.

"The biggest winners from the federal health reform known as the Affordable Care Act will probably be older adults who are too young to be eligible for Medicare.

Today people between age 50 and 64 who don't get insurance through work face a number of hurdles in finding affordable coverage.

If they've been sick, even with a minor ailment, they will probably be denied coverage due to what insurance companies call a "pre-existing condition."

But even if they are healthy, older adults usually find themselves paying far more than younger people do, sometimes up to five times more for the same benefits.

All of that is about to change.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to take all applicants, no matter what their health condition. So older people who have been ill can no longer be denied coverage.

Seniors who have been sick also can't be charged more than people who are healthy.

And while older people can be charged more based on their age, they can't be charged more than three times what a younger person pays.

There's more.

Annual and lifetime caps on benefits, which once ended benefits for people with expensive illnesses like cancer just when they needed help the most, have been eliminated.

These changes are part of the law's attempt to make health insurance, and health care, accessible to all, and to spread the cost of that care to everyone."

The Affordable Care Act has already benefited millions of Americans across the country. At home, Covered California is an online marketplace that simplifies your search for coverage, helps you compare insurance plans' costs and benefits, see if you qualify for premium assistance, and get coverage. It's your health, made simple.

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