Home > Employee Benefits > Working through the Medicare and ACA information overload

Working through the Medicare and ACA information overload

Confusion is abundant in the Medicare world due to the Affordable Care Act. Advertising for state exchanges, media coverage about employers moving their retirees to private exchanges and Medicare Open Enrollment all overlapping have resulted in much confusion for Medicare beneficiaries.

Both national and regional carriers are offering plans to both Medicare beneficiaries and to the non-Medicare population on the exchange platforms. In years past, only Medicare eligible plans have been advertised in the fall. With the new state exchanges launching their open enrollment on October 1st for under 65ers, advertising has commenced for a wide variety of plans. Medicare beneficiaries are not eligible for these plans, but this distinction is not evident to many Medicare consumers. In addition to that, IBM and other mega-employers have been in the press recently with news of how they are discontinuing group retiree plans and utilizing “retiree exchanges” to assist with the transition. These overlaps make seniors question how they are getting their coverage and what, if anything, is going to change due to the Affordable Care Act.

Next month, approximately 50 million Medicare beneficiaries will be sent the “Medicare and Me” handbook. That handbook will expressly state Medicare benefits are not changing. Medicare beneficiaries will still receive primary benefits from Parts A and B and then sign up for Advantage, Supplement and Part D plans directly through the carriers or on Medicare.gov. State exchanges will not have any Medicare plans available for purchase through their portals. Let’s just hope that message isn’t getting to everyone too late.

About the Author

Alyssa Martin is a Vice President at William Gallagher Associates providing proactive service, effective decision-making and advanced problem-solving capabilities to a number of national clients in the mid-sized to large markets. She also works with key WGA clients to assist their employees with Retiree Solutoins for their individual Medicare choices as they are approaching retirement.

617.646.0350 | amartin@wgains.com | Connect with Alyssa on LinkedInFollow Alyssa on Twitter @Alyssaamartin

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