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Questions remain for seniors

Re: Affordable Care Act

 

With the opening of the federal health insurance marketplace last week, there are a lot of questions and concerns we have heard from our Wyoming AARP members.

One of the most prolific concerns is some seniors on Medicare think they have to enroll in the health insurance marketplace or they will lose their plans. The fact is, there is nothing you have to do if you are on Medicare.

The new marketplace is for those individuals who don’t have health care of any type, and that does not include those on Medicare.

Other common questions include:

• Will I lose Medicare coverage? The answer is no.

• Do I need a new Medicare card? The answer is no.

• Do I have to re-enroll in my supplement plan through the marketplace? No, supplemental policies aren’t available in the marketplace.

• Wil seniors in Medicare have to buy supplemental insurance? The answer is no.

• Will they be fined if they don’t buy coverage in the marketplace? No. As long as seniors have Medicare Part A, which covers hospitals, nursing homes and hospice.

Unfortunately, with the new marketplace there are some individuals who prey on those who are unsure of what is going on. We have heard complaints from seniors who were told they would lose their Medicare coverage if they did not divulge their Social Security numbers and other confidential information needed for their new “national health insurance card” under the Affordable Care Act. The Federal Trade Commission issued an alert about such scams in March.

It’s important to remember that if you receive calls to enroll in health insurance, do not give out personal information. Representatives from the marketplace will not make calls or send mail made to enroll people in the health insurance marketplace or any type of health insurance.

If you suspect a scam or fraud, please report it to Wyoming Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-856-4398.

 

Les Engelter

AARP Executive Council


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