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Older man in factory, putting box on shelf.
Finally there's some good news for America's near-retirees, hit disproportionately by lay-offs during the great recession and left without decent job prospects. They're also the people who are getting hit by the health issues of middle-age, a reality that has bankrupted millions of Americans. And they're the population benefiting most from Obamacare in this early stage.
Americans ages 55 to 64 make up 31 percent of new enrollees in the new health insurance marketplaces, the largest segment by age group, according to the federal government's latest figures. They represent a glimmer of success for President Barack Obama's beleaguered law.

The Great Recession hit them hard and for some its impact has lingered.

Aging boomers are more likely to be in debt as they enter retirement than were previous generations, with many having purchased more expensive homes with smaller down payments, said economist Olivia Mitchell of University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. One in five has unpaid medical bills and 17 percent are underwater with their home values. Fourteen percent are uninsured.

As of December, 46 percent of older jobseekers were among the long-term unemployed compared with less than 25 percent before the recession.

The new law is a lifeline to these people, a lifeline that could have come from expanded Medicare. Congressional Democrats had that goal within reach, until the skunk at everyone's picnic—Sen. Joe Lieberman—reversed his longstanding support of the proposal and single-handedly nixed that deal. But affordable health insurance is the next best thing, and at least Lieberman couldn't kill that hope.

This is precisely one of the primary goals of this health insurance reform: To save people from financial disaster because of health care costs. It's working just like it was supposed to, and that's one more thing for Republicans to have to worry about in the near political future. This is an age group Mitt Romney narrowly won in 2012, but could very well change their minds, and their votes, in 2014 and 2016 in gratitude.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 08:08 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (39+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 08:08:46 AM PST

  •  I'll send (15+ / 0-)

    the first payment for a Blue Value Bronze 5000 plan in the next week. It will be the first time in my life that I paid a health insurance premium also. I am 59. My coverage will start 3-1-2014

    to bad it was so hard for me to come to terms of signing up. I made my first attempt to sign up around Dec 15th, I couldn't be verified because I've never bought anything using a financial institution, so I had to send a picture of my drivers licenses off, around the 8th of Jan I was verified, & could shop for a plan. I put it off because of my work load at that time. I was going to decide the week of 1-25 what to do. Then January 24th I had appendicitis !
    so far the bills total $22,762.87.

    Life ! lol

    I wish we had easy use of smiley faces on DK

    •  Thanks for the reminder (9+ / 0-)

      I've been having chest pains for months with a history of untreated high blood pressure so I need some care asap.  I've got it narrowed down to 2 silver plans which astonishingly have an OOP max of $1K.  Since you haven't paid your premium you might want to take a look at the OOP because all the bronze plans here were $13,750 - an impossible amount.  I'm 52 and in a group with my son but that will end next year when he is 26. It's been a little struggle to explain health care to him which is why we are so delayed.  Also, I claimed my $203 a week unemployment which I've been waiting for the republicans to reinstate but it doesn't look that way.  We haven't had health care for 7 years now.  Last year when I was working it was too expensive and it wasn't worth it due to preexisting conditions.  Thank you Obamacare.  I'm just going along with what I claimed as income and hope I can keep the house in the meantime. Please, please let me find a job.  Then all this will be up in the air as far as how the subsidy works and reporting changes, but that's ok.  Need to get some health care and a car repair to get going again.  Best of luck to you.

    •  ☺☻ (0+ / 0-)

      ☺ gives ☺

      ☻ gives ☻

      Also, if you have the fonts for them,

      😁 😁

      😊 😊

      Or you can paste them in from a Unicode character utility such as Character Map in Linux, or corresponding tools in Mac or Windows.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 11:15:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. Excellent, concise summary (11+ / 0-)

    of one of the key needs that ACA addressed.

    I'm in this age group, happen to have a good job with benefits, but in the past have had to worry about what happens if my job goes away.  It's nice not having to worry about losing my health insurance.

  •  Joan, you so funny: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, Darmok, ColoTim

    "They could very well change their minds, and their votes, in 2014 and 2016 in gratitude ..."

    Not to be a dick here, but there's no fool like an old fool, and I'm pretty old, so maybe I am one too, but ...

    Will the geezers put on their color-blind glasses and hop off their (keep your government out of my) Medicare Rascals, Larks and Hoverrounds to do this?

    •  NPR this morning was looking at the race in FL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GleninCA

      next month for Bill Nelson's old seat.  Alex Sink is running for it against a former aide to Nelson (who left and spent time running as a lobbyist against Social Security, amongst other things).  Yet at the senior center, as the aide went around for a meet and greet, the seniors were being quoted as on Medicare or Medicaid and anti-Obamacare.  This former aide has said he wants to repeal Obamacare.  Because it kicked people off their plans, forced them to change doctors and raised prices.  Just wtf do these people think the effect of repealing Obamacare would be?  Exactly those things - kicking people off their plans that for many they've got for the first time in years, if ever, force them to go find new plans which would be more expensive without the subsidies, if their pre-existing conditions would even allow them to get coverage, and their doctors would probably not be available to them unless they paid higher rates or perhaps out-of-network costs.

      Alex Sink is apparently running to improve Obamacare (can't recall if she used the word "fix") but I would hope she challenges Republicans that want to repeal it with wanting to do precisely what they claim Obamacare did, with tens of thousands, if not millions by this point, of people who are benefiting from Obamacare.  Call them liars.  Tell them to prove their claims.  Run them out of town as the snake-oil salesmen they are.

  •  "many having purchased more expensive homes" (5+ / 0-)

    Sure, that may be true, but nothing about the fact that many have lost their pensions and their 401K's were wiped out in the crash?

    1. Books are for use.

    by looty on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:12:15 AM PST

  •  In the same category too, and already have had my (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    first "wellness" visit last fall, which costed me NOTHING! I think its the seniors who have to have alot more info on the ACA with all of its benefits before we see a turnaround in this age category.

  •  and dems need to go on offense with this (11+ / 0-)

    as well as the other things that are working.

    on a broader note, I'd like to stop hearing dems say things like "let's fix it and make it better" when talking about ocare in general.

    "strengthen it" makes more sense politically, imo.
    the word fix implies something that is broken.

    we need to stop conceding defeat because of bully repubes.
    sure, its not what many of us wanted... personally, I wanted a single payer/medicare for all type system.

    but we have this now and need to make it work.
    both in the actual sense of the word, as well as politically.

    we don't need to fix it, we need to strengthen it!

    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:16:09 AM PST

  •  The Prophecy of the ACA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GleninCA

    One small step for Democrats, one giant leap for older Americans.

  •  My Mom & Her Husband (9+ / 0-)

    Got a silver plan that covers both of them for $70 a month.  Previously my mom was paying over $550.00 a month for HERSELF.

    I wonder how many people are in similar situations, and I wonder what the stimulative effect of them suddenly having an extra $400+ a month to spend will be?

    •  Might I Add: The ACA is Dead to Me (5+ / 0-)

      Long live Obamacare.

    •  My aunt and uncle (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, GleninCA

      In their 60s, generally conservative, lower income, and had been paying about $1200/month for health insurance for the two of them.  They upgraded to a $250/month plan this year.

      Visiting with them yesterday, I got to overhear my uncle speaking on the phone with Kaiser.  He'd had to go to the ER over the weekend, and they wanted him to see his doctor as soon as possible, so he was trying to make an appointment.  He started the call off with "So I have this Obamacare insurance, and I need..."

      They are very aware of where they got this insurance, and they're happy to have it.  They're not in denial about it.  And they love how low the co-pays are ("instead of $200 at the ER, it was only $25!").  They can afford their medications.  They can afford their premiums (though it's still pretty tight; they have a lot of debt and other expenses).

      Pundits on the left and the right are both underestimating how important this shift is.  The right is just wrong, and the left needs to stop wringing its hands.  The people the law was intended to help the most are being helped.  And they know it.

      •  How could your aunt and uncle... (0+ / 0-)

        ...have "upgraded" to a $250/month plan that offered similar or better benefits as the $1200/month plan when they are in their 60's? That seems very unlikely.

        It seems much more likely that the cost of their new plans are way over $250, but their premiums are subsidized by the Federal government.

        This is fine, but it's important not to confuse the cost of a plan with who pays for it.

        Obviously the subsidies, like all government social programs, are subject to the political whim of whoever controls Congress and the Administration in each two to four year period - just as welfare, SNAP, extended unemployment and other subsidies are.

        That is very important for your aunt and uncle to understand (although, likely they will be on Medicare by the time there's much potential for erosion of the insurance subsidies and will then be subject to the same political whims that affect the entire Medicare pool).

  •  This demographic is a gaping hole (5+ / 0-)

    It's been a gaping hole in our healthcare delivery model.  They were too costly to insure on the open market.  Yet, they are also likely to A. need care, and B. experience a prolonged period of joblessness.  

    It's probably one of the best things about the law.  

    As a political consequence, they are probably very likely to vote.  I don't think that we should shy from that.  This isn't an example of giving away free things.  It's an example of responding to the needs of the citizens.  When citizens have their needs met, they are more likely to vote for the people who got that done.  

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:23:01 AM PST

    •  Sort of (0+ / 0-)

      As the story points out, it protects people from financial disaster, so, for example, my wife and I get some peace of mind for $8 a month. Blue Cross gets a little more peace of mind, in the form of over $12,000 a year from the government.

      I get health insurance, but I don't get much more health care than I could afford before. I'll get an office visit free and maybe some of the lab work covered. I'll still pay for the annual ultrasound I need, and most of the lab work. If I applied the cost of my meds to the insurance deductible, it would cost me more than the what I currently pay for meds using my WA State drug card (free to any WA resident). And after all that, there's still $4000 or so of deductible to pay - none of which I can really afford - before the insurance actually kicks in.  Cutting my Social Security benefits (in real dollars), which is most of my income now,  won't make that better, either.

      The $12K a year that Blue Cross gets would do much more than let me get a few other problems taken care of that I'll continue to not get looked at. It will also help pay for someone else's serious medical bills, which is what insurance is for. And it will also contribute to the huge salaries the officers of the "non-profit" Blue Cross pull down.

      So I'm still hoping that anything major will hold off until November, when I'm eligible for Medicare. My wife has over 5 years to wait for her eligibility.

      I know a lot of people in essentially the same situation.

      No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by badger on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:59:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In Germany (0+ / 0-)

        The German system is made up of about 200 different insurance funds.  

        If you lived in Germany, you would be required to purchase one of those plans.  They are not for profit.  

        Wouldn't the exact same thing be said about that situation?  If it were about the insurance company being for profit, or not for profit, I could understand the distinction.  But, in any insurance system, some of the money is being used to pay for the care of another.  

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 11:12:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  These are also people who very likely ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      otto

      ... have been paying premiums all their lives, but only recently started requiring health care due to the passage of time.  It's a real eye opener to suddenly need the health "insurance" you've been paying for, only to discover how woefully inadequate it is (or was, before the Affordable Care Act kicked in).

  •  It helps older Americans w/ kids under 26, too (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Possiamo, a2nite, askew, GleninCA

    We're employed and have a GREAT health insurance plan. We can retain the plan after my husband retires but we have to pay the full premium. Thank heaven our younger daughter can stay on it for a few years, but we have to pay a much higher premium.

    Remember, even if your kids can stay on your insurance until they're 26, you still have to pay the higher premium! Now, she can get her own insurance (as soon as she gets a job, another story...) and save us a couple hundred a month.

    Roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair.

    by Lisa in Bama on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:25:22 AM PST

  •  I'm tired of this meme. (10+ / 0-)

    Three million enrolled at this point, plus the Medicaid expansion, and this group is only a "glimmer of success" for this "beleaguered" law?  Give me a break.

    •  I noticed that too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QuelleC

      It seems like any credit by the media has to be grudging and balanced by adjectives and caveats.

      Often by the same people who simply regurgitated "death panels" and "$700B cut from Medicare."

      BTW -- Thank you, Joan, for reminding everyone about "skunk at the picnic" (or "snake in the grass" or "not just on the War") Joe.

      Kind of frustrating that if CT Dems had put in Ned Lamont, we would have had the 55 Medicare buy-in (provided, of course, that Roberts would not have applied the same logic to that that he did to Medicaid expansion).

      Steve Gilliard Lives.

      by Bethesda 1971 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:53:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Until we get... (0+ / 0-)

      ...data on how the overall uninsured rate has changed, the number of people who have signed up on the exchanges doesn't mean much. Certainly not everyone signing up on the exchanges was previously uninsured or underinsured - but we don't yet know the ratio.

      As well, if those newly acquiring insurance are overwhelmingly in the demographic of "older Americans" vs the 18-30 year old demographic, obviously rates will go up (particularly affecting middle class people who were previously insured and do not qualify for a subsidy) next year.

      Fortunately, those from the younger demographics are beginning to sign up more, but the mix is still far from original expectations.

      I think "glimmer of success" is appropriate - it is certainly premature to call it an unqualified success.

  •  I saw this story (7+ / 0-)

    in the SF Chronicle a few days ago and was shocked at how many were in the comments section squawking that this age cohort was a bunch of 'generational moochers' and blamed the boomers for stealing money from their pockets.

    When did we become this cruel and selfish? Do they simply expect people to bankrupt themselves and their families after working a lifetime because an insurance company won't cover a pre-existing condition, or because premiums rocketed under the former system?

    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - John F. Kennedy

    by Dem Beans on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:31:25 AM PST

  •  My wingnut co-worker (7+ / 0-)

    had often in the past talked about how she would love to retire early and move to Florida to be with her relatives.  She said her finances were in decent shape to make that move, but that she didn't think she'd be able to get (not to mention, afford) health insurance that she got through her job.

    Since Jan 1, I've taken every opportunity I could to remind her that now she can go ahead with her early retirement plans - thanks to Obamacare.

    Funny how she never really has a response.

    I also have to remember to ask her about all those lines and waiting room delays she said we were going to have (because Faux News said so) once Obamacare went fully into effect.  I know she's had a couple of doctor visits already this year, but I don't recall her complaining that it took months just to get the appointment, and then hours waiting just to be seen in the examining room.

    Hmmmm.

  •  Both good news and bad news. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Libby Shaw, True North, Bethesda 1971

    At 61, I come right in the middle of that pack.

    In spite of all the web site glitches and problems that we've had, I think that ACA has been better for us than worse.

    One thing for sure  -- even though insurers are allowed to charge us 3 times what they charge younger people, regardless of our health history, they can't turn us away.

    That matters when you're getting up to my age.

    The bad news is the relatively light signups by healthy young adults.  We need more of them to sign up to keep the exchanges viable.

    We did our part, making lemonade out of lemons:
    When all the crazy cockups kept us from putting our college student daughter on our plan, we got her her own plan. One healthy young adult who is signed up.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:33:50 AM PST

    •  Women vs Men (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      I saw a comment here on dKos from someone who teaches at a university that just about all of the female students were keen to sign up, if they didn't have other insurance--but fewer male students were interested.

      The female students may have looked more closely at the ACA benefits because of contraception coverage.

      If you know what you've been paying for routine medical care, you can see the benefits of the new system immediately.  

    •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      in January there was a big upswing in young sign-ups.  Plus, it's not just the youth factor, but the health factor.  There are a lot of 40 plus healthy people who are helping make the risk pool work.

      There's also the risk corridors (now safe from supposed debt ceiling hostage taking).

      Steve Gilliard Lives.

      by Bethesda 1971 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:57:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And healthy 60 year olds. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WillR

        But the actuarial assumptions in putting the exchanges together relied on significant participation by healthy young people.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 10:01:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anything that gets people out of the workforce... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, skepticalcitizen

    ...who don't want to be in the workforce, and who are only in the workforce for insurance purposes, is a good thing.  It opens up spots for people starting their working and taxpaying trajectory.  Back in 2009 I argued, not that anyone cares what a commenter on a website says, for a direct government bailout of 401Ks for older workers, on a sliding scale, to get people to retire when they hoped to retire rather than delaying retirement as a (rational and necessary) response to the sudden fall in the value of their retirement assets.  Obviously I'm far from being able to do all of the macroeconomic math but this always struck me intuitively as a big win for the economy and even for the federal budget long-term, but I never saw the idea picked up by anyone significant.  Obamacare at least does a little of that by another route.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:37:06 AM PST

    •  Weird how the GOP tried to make that a bad thing (0+ / 0-)

      Are they really that stupid or are they just following the party line laid down by the Koch brothers.

      Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

      by J Edward on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:45:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not weird...that's just Political Advocacy 101 (0+ / 0-)

        You take purely nominal numbers and market them in favor of your overall case.  It's dishonest like most political advocacy for bad policies is dishonest but it doesn't make me especially indignant.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:49:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  To hear (0+ / 0-)

    them tell it people don't need healthcare because freedom and that's what happened. Obamacare took away peoples freedom.

  •  This is a surprise? (0+ / 0-)

    Of course that group is going to sign up, and be damned glad they could!

    I feel really happy for people in this group, being able to be insured when before ACA they could not or it was prohibitively expensive.

    But calling this some sort of "success" is ignorant of the bigger picture.

    We knew these people would sign up.  But, without the healthier younger people signing up, this older group represents a net negative to the system. (in terms of dollars - of course this is a plus for those people personally - but I am referring to the system as a whole and the viability of the system.)

    The younger cohorts are starting to sign up now.  But we still have no idea how many previously uninsured make up these enrollment numbers.

    3 million private plans, many of whom already had insurance is pathetic.  Especially when one-third of the insured so far are older (and likely sicker).   Why is this considered some sort of success story?  Unless insurers start getting the more lucrative healthy private plan participants, they will go broke.

    •  They'll sign up-- they have no (rational) choice (0+ / 0-)

      Either they sign up, or they'll pay a penalty and not get any more health care for it.  Young people as a group aren't rational decision-makers when it comes to risk and time horizons (don't blame me, I'm just the messenger of ample social science research), but even they will figure it out sooner or later.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:47:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I never had insurance until ObamaCare... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuelleC, askew, GleninCA

    A few years ago, I had gallbladder problems which caused me to get pancreatitus. I knew I was sick but I kept putting it off, hoping I'd get better because I couldn't afford to go to the emergency room.

    Finally, I got so sick that I had jaundice. This was after I had to suffer numerous gall bladder attacks that lasted 5 to 6 hours, causing severe pain in my pancreas area.

      I went to work one night as a night auditor, barely able to stand. The lady I was replacing told me my skin was yellow and I had better go to the hospital. I told her I couldn't afford to go. She told me I had better go or I'd die. I knew she was right. I did end up going later that night because I felt I was going to pass out.

    They kept me for 6 days, cleaning me out with an IV and then 6 months later I got gallbladder surgery. The cost was astronomical. Charity picked up most of it but I still ended up owing over $7,000.

    Thanks to ObamaCare, I now have health insurance and I don't have to worry as much about something like that happening to me. I pay a little over $89 for a silver plan.

    Republicans, if they had a choice, would take us all back to the old system, where the health insurance industry would decide who gets insured and who doesn't and how much we pay and when to cancel our insurance; everything. Cost would continue to skyrocket until health insurance would be considered a luxury, only to be afforded by the wealthy.

    Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

    by fidlerten on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:50:36 AM PST

  •  Nice article. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GleninCA

    How does the press ignore our great research writers?

    If I was a young journalist wanting to make a name for myself, I'd be reporting from DC with many of the "diaries" at D-Kos as my anchor-point.

    Suddenly, it dawns on me, Earnest T. Bass is the intellectual and philosophical inspiration of the TeaParty.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:51:56 AM PST

  •  Still a concern (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones

    CA has long had the policy that if someone used medicaid a lien would be filed against their assets.  Many seniors are  living below the poverty level for the ACA.  If they are put into medicaid, will they also put themselves in danger of the lien situation?  My google in CA says they are working on this problem.  It is possible that even without the ACA when seniors are not able to meet co-pay requirements they would have assets attached by liens anyway.  Overall my medicare has not been affected by the ACA.  I am glad for the new system and think we have begun to correct what was a horrible health care system.

    •  Your Medicare has been affected for the better (0+ / 0-)

      by ObamaCare. Immediately by filling the prescription drug donut hole, and long-term by extending Medicare solvency.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:33:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  but Obama didn't try hard enough (0+ / 0-)

    "The new law is a lifeline to these people, a lifeline that could have come from expanded Medicare. Congressional Democrats had that goal within reach, until the skunk at everyone's picnic—Sen. Joe Lieberman—reversed his longstanding support of the proposal and single-handedly nixed that deal."

    Oh but if Obama had summoned the ghost of LBJ and been really really tough, and really really tried, he surely would have been able to convince Lieberman, and probably a few Rebubs too.  And chocolate-shitting unicorns would have carried us all over the rainbow to the land of purist make-believe where anything is possible if Obama would just try harder.
    Better that millions go without insurance, get sick and die untreated, rather than accept any alternative.  Purity 4eva!

  •  A Glimmer to CBS (0+ / 0-)
    They represent a glimmer of success for President Barack Obama's beleaguered law.

    Even when reporting a success CBS (and the AP anonymous author) has to beleagure Obamacare. There's plenty of other success in addition to this substantial one - this news isn't "a glimmer".

    Except to CBS, AP and their ilk who must beleaguere Obamacare at any sighted opportunity. By "ilk" I mean Conservatives.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 10:09:40 AM PST

  •  What about Medicaid clawback? (0+ / 0-)

    If we're talking about the 55-64 age group the ACA is great for folks about the poverty line but due to "Estate Recovery" or "Medicaid Clawback" provisions, Medicaid is largely just a loan for that age group in most states.

    Check out beverlywoods diaries on the subject:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    For Democrats running on "Fix don't Repeal" THIS needs to be one of the first things to focus on fixing.  

    Note: to be fair to ObamaCare, the "Estate Recovery" provisions far predate the ACA but the ACA did expand Medicaid without eliminating them.

  •  It's a learning process for me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LillithMc

    Figuring out ways to get max value out of my plan. I went to the place I normally go for my blood work, they were kind enough to tell me that another facility nearby had a contract with my provider. I found out my testing materials, terribly expensive at the drugstore, could be more reasonably purchased from authorized by-mail providers. My endocrinologist changed one of my medicines because she realized the cost differential was over $100/mo. I figure by the end of the quarter (I hope) I will have this figured out.

    I am 62 and work as a sole proprietor. My new insurance isn't quite as hassle-free as a group plan, but it is a hell of a lot better than what I might have been able to get under the old "free market" system as a geezer with a pre-existing condition.

  •  My son's father is dying at age 56 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LillithMc, Mokurai

    I got confirmation from his sister in law about an hour ago that he is being sent back to his apartment with days to live.  I really need to think about how I'm going to write about this, so all I'm going to say right now is that I've posted before that he wasn't able to get Medicaid with a cancer diagnosis last spring because he was trying to live off the last couple thousand dollars he had left to pay rent. Then Walker turned down Medicaid expansion he may have received the first of the year.  I guess it's up to his siblings now and I'm waiting for our son to come home from his college class...I hope because of Obamacare no one else will have to go through this.

  •  WOOT! I've already seen 4 DRs since 1/1 (0+ / 0-)

    including skin cancer check (melanoma survivor) and  1st mammo in 10 yrs.
     Now I just have to figure out how to keep coverage for the next 9 yrs until Medicare kicks in.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 11:07:22 AM PST

  •  I'm getting care but I don't like the (0+ / 0-)

    Medicaid claw back. Somehow I have to get on regular ACA so my state won't put a lean on my house when I kick the bucket.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 06:29:54 PM PST

    •  A good accountant should be able to help you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      rearrange your income and assets to minimize the hit.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:37:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they have specialized attorneys and accountants (0+ / 0-)

        I contacted the old peoples advocacy org and they sent me a list. My income is really low and it's hard to spend a lot of savings on lawyers.

        Besides that there are a lot of people who are unaware and will be very unhappy. When you don't make much and you save all your life you don't like being forced to get Medicaid that your heirs will be forced to pay back when you'd rather just buy insurance on the exchange.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 07:20:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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