Older Americans and the ACA Replacement, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA

The impact of the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is contested. The Congressional Budget Office says that it would eventually reduce health insurance premiums by as much as 10%. How the bill would do that, could be concerning to many older Americans.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently released its evaluation of the impact of the proposed American Health Care Act, the congressional replacement for the Affordable Care Act proposed by House Republicans and backed by President Trump.

Proponents of the bill dispute some of the findings of the CBO, such as that it will lead to 24 million more people without health insurance. Nevertheless, they are pleased that the non-partisan evaluation found that eventually health insurance premiums would drop by 10%.

How the bill would do that, however, is a concern for older Americans as The New York Times explains in “No Magic in How G.O.P. Plan Lowers Premiums: It Pushes Out Older Americans.”

The AHCA would allow health insurers to charge older people considerably more for insurance than they are currently allowed to charge. It would also offer a smaller subsidy for many people to help pay for that insurance.

Many Americans between the ages of 50 to 64 would potentially pay much more out of pocket to maintain health insurance coverage. However, since many could not do so, they would eventually stop purchasing insurance.

What would be the likely result?

Insurance pools would be dominated by younger people who are cheaper to cover and thus their premiums would go down.

This could also be a concern for the viability of Medicare, since presumably people between 50 to 64 who could not afford insurance, would join Medicare with more health problems in need of treatment than they do now.

Reference: The New York Times (March 14, 2017) “No Magic in How G.O.P. Plan Lowers Premiums: It Pushes Out Older Americans.”


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