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Preparing Older Adults for Open Enrollment

Preparing Older Adults for Open Enrollment

Health care providers who serve older adults should be prepared to assist with open enrollment. Older adults may have a more difficult time understanding the changes of the Affordable Care Act and new provisions. Reasons older adults may have a more difficult time stem from lower educational attainment as well as lower rates of health literacy.[i]

Adults aged 65 and older may be eligible for Medicare. Adults eligible for Medicare may also be eligible to receive assistance through Medicaid if they are low-income or disabled*. For older adults who do not qualify for these programs, information on the Marketplaces or employer-based options should be available.

Older Adults and Health Insurance

  1. Medicare is not offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace
  2. Medicare is a comprehensive health coverage plan and cannot be supplemented.
  3. Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (October 15-December 7)
  4. If older adults need supplemental insurance or more coverage, Medicare offers additional coverage through Medigap and Medicare Advantage.
  5. Older adults who are newly eligible for Medicare should enroll during their enrollment period (3 months before and 3 months after the 65th birthday) to avoid the late enrollment penalty
  6. The Marketplace opens October 1st
  7. The Marketplace enrollment period ends March 31, 2014.

Older adults seeking more information about the marketplaces should visit www.healthcare.gov.

*For a factsheet on dual eligibility into Medicare and Medicare, please see here.

Source: http://www.healthcare.gov

[i] Department of Health and Human Services. Quick Guide to Health Literacy and Older Adults. http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/olderadults/literacy.htm