Senior Citizen Health Care Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010. The Health Care Reform was set in place to strengthen Primary Care. It also had placed legal statures on the laws regarding health insurance and medical coverage. Senior citizens will see these changes throughout the next four years, since much of the law does not take effect until 2014.

The senior citizen health care reform laws will increase the number of people eligible for Medicaid. Since this is also a government insurance program for low income people, Medicaid will increase for most of the poverty level people, including the low income elderly. Unlike before, subsidies will be available to help people buy insurance. The Health Care Reform will allow insurance to be placed in the hands of millions that may not have had insurance in the past which then many will need physicals, immunizations, preventive screenings, and care for diseases; thus there is a demand for more primary care physicians. The primary care doctors are trained in family medicine, general internal medicine, and pediatrics. The primary care physician diagnoses and treats acute and chronic conditions, they provide services and counseling, and they write referrals to see specialists. Since this demand will increase the wait time to see a doctor, the rural areas and underserved areas will have a harder time being seen. This could cause problems down the road for the healthcare industry.

Insurance will be mandatory for all United States citizens, therefore people who do not have or buy insurance will be subject to financial penalties. There will be insurance changes that will make people shop for insurance. There will also be a new tax on the sale of medical devices. The Health Care Reform laws also state that there will be an end to lifetime caps on benefits, as well as an end to rejections of medical coverage.

Other laws affect more than just senior citizens. The Healthcare Reform package will prohibit insurers from denying coverage to people if they are suffering from an illness or disease. This is beneficial to those who have been denied in the past by insurers due to their health problems. The new laws will also permit adult children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until they are 26 years old. Many think that this will benefit people in their early 20’s who are recently out of college and actively looking for work. There could be many benefits to the new laws that state that employers with more than fifty employees must offer their employees affordable insurance through the company. Also, small businesses will be eligible for tax credits for providing the insurance to their employees.

The effects of the Health Care Reform will slowly be taking place over the next few years, which means that there is room for changes. As a whole, there can be very beneficial aspects to the new plan for healthcare especially for aging seniors. We will see the “boomer” generation taking advantage of some of the new changes over the next few years. These Healthcare changes may benefit the aging and their families, and will change the way we look at healthcare forever.

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