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
- Medicare is not offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace
- Medicare is a comprehensive health coverage plan and cannot be supplemented.
- Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (October 15-December 7)
- If older adults need supplemental insurance or more coverage, Medicare offers additional coverage through Medigap and Medicare Advantage.
- 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
- The Marketplace opens October 1st
- 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.
[i] Department of Health and Human Services. Quick Guide to Health Literacy and Older Adults. http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/olderadults/literacy.htm