These plans may appeal to wealthy seniors - about 5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries -- who pay higher premiums for Medicare based on their income and assets, said Cubanski. But for the vast majority of seniors, she said, Medicare’s benefit package is better and more affordable compared to marketplace coverage.
Confusion about different government health programs could also create opportunities for scams.
In Denver, AAPR officials received complaints from seniors who were told they would lose their Medicare coverage if they did not divulge their Social Security numbers and other confidential information needed for their new "national health insurance card" under the Affordable Care Act. The Federal Trade Commission issued an alert about such scams in March.
"One of the things we are paying special attention to is fraud prevention messages," said Medicare's Patrick. Seniors can be particularly vulnerable to scams "but with all of the changes in the health care landscape, we may need to be even more careful this year."
Some Questions From Seniors About Medicare And The Health Marketplaces -- Will I lose Medicare coverage? No.
-- Do I need a new Medicare card? No.
-- Do I have to re-enroll in my Medicare Advantage or supplement plan through the marketplace? No, these policies are not sold in the marketplaces.
-- Will seniors in Medicare have to buy supplemental insurance? No.
-- Will they be fined if they don’t buy coverage in the health marketplaces? No, as long as seniors have Medicare Part A, which is free and covers hospitals, nursing homes and hospice -- already have insurance, so they are not subject to the penalty that most uninsured adults under 65 will have to pay.
Contact Susan Jaffe at
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communications organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Fri, Aug 23 2013