What Does Obamacare Mean For You?
Seniors age 65 and older already have guaranteed access to health insurance through Medicare and, for lower-income seniors, Medicaid. They thus would not be directly affected by the most far-reaching and controversial requirement of the law. This is the individual mandate that would require nearly everyone in America to get health insurance or pay a penalty for failing to do so, beginning in 2014.
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.
Beyond the individual mandate, the law’s most significant shift is its requirement that insurers must sell policies to anyone who applies, and can no longer refuse to insure a person because of preexisting health conditions. It is hard to imagine the court invalidating the individual mandate while still forcing private insurers to approve all applicants. Again, the impact on seniors of these provisions affects non-Medicare coverage.