The healthcare industry is awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act with bated breath, and it will have implications for those in the senior care field.
U.S. News: Money reports:
The law has already influenced an enormous range of prices for procedures and medical products offered under Medicare.
Were the court to strike down elements of the law governing these changes, some experts predict, healthcare providers would be hard-pressed to know what to charge for healthcare.
Two other significant provisions of the law also directly affect Medicare:
Medicare drug prices: This is one of the biggest direct Medicare benefits under health reform. Over several years, the law is set to reduce the amount of money that Medicare drug plans (Part D of Medicare) can charge for drugs when their coverage lapses in what’s known as the “doughnut hole.” Price reductions that have already taken effect have saved Medicare consumers billions of dollars in drug costs, the government estimates.
Preventive health services: Health reform greatly expanded the menu of free preventive services to Medicare consumers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said more than 14 million Medicare users get at least one free preventive health service during the first five months of 2012.
Also, older Americans in their 50s and early 60s who are too young to qualify for Medicare often face enormous challenges—and costs—finding private health insurance. Losing the individual mandate could hurt their health insurance prospects, depending on whether the court also rules on related provisions of the act.
The ruling on the individual mandate could also be key for older Americans in their 50s to mid-60s who are too young to qualify for Medicare and are facing challenges (and high costs) in finding private health insurance, says the article. If it’s upheld, insurers won’t be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, and that could have a large impact on seniors who don’t yet qualify for Medicare.
Read the full U.S. News article.
Written by Alyssa Gerace