This is what the proposed health-care bill means for older American
Older pre-Medicare Americans will have to pay more for health insurance and health care should the Senate’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) — become the law of the land.
What’s more, older Americans may have to reduce the amount they save for retirement or use retirement funds to pay for current health-care needs or keep working to age 65 if only to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance plan.
Number of people to lose coverage
The Senate bill would increase the number of individuals who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to the number under current law, slightly fewer than the increase in the number of uninsured estimated for the House-passed legislation, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released on Monday. By 2026, approximately 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law, the CBO says.
What’s more, the increase would be disproportionately larger among older people with lower income—particularly people between 50 and 64 years old with an income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level, the CBO wrote.
Under the House bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the CBO estimated that more than five million older adults ages 50-64 would lose health insurance.These older Americans would likely have to return to work, or dip into retirement savings, or stop saving for retirement, or go without health care in the worst of cases, experts say.
Wider age bands and less generous subsidies
Older adults across the country, not yet eligible for Medicare but in need of health insurance, can also expect higher premiums under the Senate bill due to wider age bands and less generous subsidies than current law, according to Tricia Neuman, a senior vice president with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.