If I have Medicare, Does ACA Impact Me?
By Nate Herpich
As you probably know by now, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) new Health Insurance Marketplaces launched back on October 1. This means that eligible Americans can now use these Marketplaces to compare and enroll in private insurance plans online (or by phone).
You can also get started on your own by visiting Healthcare.gov, which will direct you to the individual Marketplace in your state.
But what do these new Marketplaces mean for those who already have Medicare? In short, the answer is nothing.
If you're covered under Medicare, the following are some important things to remember:
- Medicare isn't part of the Health Insurance Marketplace so, if you are already covered by Medicare, no action is needed.
- Medicare's open enrollment period hasn't changed. In 2013, open enrollment began on October 15 and will run through December 7. During this time, all people who have Medicare can make changes to their health plans and prescription drug coverage for 2014. To find out how to make such changes, visit medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
- The good news is, if you're on Medicare now, the ACA won't affect your choices, and your benefits won't be changing. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), "No matter how you get Medicare, whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, you'll still have the same benefits and security you have now, and you won't have to make any changes."
- Note: The Marketplace does not offer Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance or Part D prescription drug plans.
While those with Medicare are not directly impacted by the new Marketplaces, they can certainly take steps to educate friends and family about the new coverage options available. If you have family and/or friends who are currently uninsured, or who might benefit from switching to a different insurance plan, you can encourage them to visit Healthcare.gov to learn more about the different options available to them in their state.
Finally, everyone should know that, starting in January 2014, most American citizens will be required to be enrolled in health coverage, or face a fine. We'll address this issue in an upcoming blog in this space.
Available to download: Over 100 PDF fact sheets organized alphabetically on various topics from Aging with SCI to Wish Granting Agencies.
Also contains disability resources for each of the 50 United States and 31 countries (where possible the country fact sheets are in the native language of that country).
Affordable Care Act
What the paralysis community needs to know.
- Health Insurance Marketplaces open
- If I have Medicare, Does ACA Impact Me?
- How to prepare for enrollment
- Do I Have to Purchase Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act?
- Does the ACA Require My Employer to Offer Me Health Insurance?
Arkansas Spinal Cord CommissionThe mission of the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission is to administer a statewide program to identify and meet the unique and lifelong needs of people with spinal cord disabilities in the state.
CareCure CommunityCareCure Community features a SpinalNurse bulletin board with informed comments on matters of the bowel, and all issues of paralysis.
Canadian & American Spinal Research OrganizationPromotes and supports funding research to ultimately find a cure for paralysis. Also publishes journal of latest research they fund. Call (800) 361-4004 or use the link above.
Canadian Paraplegic AssociationAssists people with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities to achieve individuality, self-reliance and full community participation. Call (613) 723-1033 or use the link above.
Craig HospitalWith funding from the US Department of Education's National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research, has developed educational materials to help people with spinal cord injuries live in the community maintain their health. Topics include skin care, exercise, heart disease, weight control, alcohol abuse and conditions related to the aging body. Use the link above and click on SCI Health and Wellness.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. provides education, advocacy, and legal assistance to help elders and people with disabilities obtain necessary healthcare.
Features information on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), known as Title XXI, which offers health insurance coverage for eligible kids. Also provides information and resources specific to Medicaid and Medicare along with helpful tools to navigate the system.
Determined 2 HealProvides helpful information for the newly spinal cord injured.
Insure Kids Now!Insure Kids Now! is a national campaign to link the nation's 10 million uninsured children -- those from birth to age 18 -- to free and low-cost health insurance.
FacingDisability.comFacing Disability is a web resource with more than 1,000 videos drawn from interviews of people with spinal cord injuries, their families, caregivers and experts. I know that this is a lot to ask, but we'd be so grateful for your help. I'm looking forward to discussing this link with you, and to answering any questions you may have.
Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery at the University of LouisvilleThe Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery provides activity-based therapies to promote recovery from neurologic injury in children; conducts research to enhance recovery; and trains families, practitioners and scientists to maximize recovery and improve the quality of life for children and their families. In short, we are here to help kids kick paralysis and through science have every reason to hope.
Kaiser Family FoundationFactsheets for consumers on Medicare. Covers prescription drug law, Medicare Advantage program, Medicare and women, etc.
Model Systems CentersA federally funded program of 14 specialty medical and/or rehabilitation centers across the US. The SCI Care System collects and submits acute, rehabilitation and follow-up (annual, long-term post-discharge) data on SCI patients who received care in the these centers following injury.
The Miami Project to Cure ParalysisThe Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has studied functional electrical systems for exercise.
MedicareThis is the official government site for people with Medicare.
MedicaidMedicaid is a federally supported healthcare program administered on the state level.
The Medicare Rights CenterThe Medicare Rights Center (MRC) is a not-for-profit organization working to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities get affordable health care.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC)NSCISC supervises and directs the collection, management and analysis of the world's largest spinal cord injury database. Headquartered at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA)At NSCIA, we educate and empower survivors of spinal cord injury and disease to achieve and maintain the highest levels of independence, health and personal fulfillment. We fulfill this mission by providing an innovative Peer Support Network and by raising awareness about spinal cord injury and disease through education.
New York Online Access to Health (N.O.A.H)Offers information and links related to spinal cord and head injury treatment, rehabilitation, and children. Materials in Spanish.
Neuroscience for KidsOffers an understandable look at the segments of the spinal cord; from University of Washington.
Paralyzed Veterans of America, in support of The Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine, offers authoritative clinical practice guidelines for bladder management. Consumer guides are available to download.
SpineUniverseAt SpineUniverse our goal is to help patients and their families understand their back or neck problems. In clear, straightforward language we aim to explain what causes spinal problems and how they can be treated. We are committed to ensure that all of the information we present is trustworthy and of the highest quality.
Spinal Cord Injury Information NetworkThe Spinal Cord Injury Information Center features clinical information about bowel management and all other medical issues of paralysis.
Tri-State AdvocacyPrivately funded non-profit for spinal cord and burn injured survivors and amputees. Helps families on specific provisions of their health insurance policy. Services are free.
United Spinal AssociationOur mission is to improve the quality of life of all Americans living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and post polio.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Fact Sheet: VA and Spinal Cord InjuryOf the more than 250,000 Americans with serious spinal cord injuries and disorders, about 42,000 are veterans eligible for medical care and other benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Paralysis Resource Center The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Information Specialists are reachable business weekdays, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-539-7309 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET. You may also schedule a call or send a message online.
Reeve Foundation Online Paralysis Community Connecting people living with paralysis, families, friends and caregivers so we can share support, experience, knowledge, and hope.
Quality of Life Grants DatabaseFind resources within the PRC Quality of Life Grants Database. Search by Zip Code, State or an Entire Category.
Library Books and VideosFind resources within the PRC library catalog.
This FREE 442 page book is a comprehensive information tool for individuals living with paralysis and for their caregivers. Request or download your copy now!
Check out programs in your area on our one-of-a kind online searchable Quality of Life program database. You can search by location or topic. GO