Healthcare Bill Passes: The Positive Benefits for Senior Caregivers

The first step in providing affordable access to healthcare begins with passage of the healthcare bill  yesterday.  I know that most of us are very tired of hearing all the commentary on the healthcare bill.  I heard a senator from Iowa saying that the U.S. has never required Americans to buy anything - he was a very good debater but I guess the guy doesn't know he is required to buy car insurance? 

Usually something is never as bad as we think it will be and never as good as we think it will be.  Remember, when Medicare began providing benefits for prescription medications?  The new plan included a silly donut hole gap in coverage - made no sense, but it pleased the drug companies (shhh!) and allowed the benefit to be passed.  The healthcare bill fixes this silly donut hole gap in prescription medication coverage for seniors.  The same fixes will happen to the new healthcare legislation.

Here is the good news about the healthcare bill for seniors and senior caregivers.

  • Children cannot be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions and adults will not be denied beginning in year 2014
  • Small businesses will receive assistance in providing health insurance benefits for employees (50 employees or less) in the form of tax credits covering up to 50% of employee health insurance premiums
  • New insurance plans must include preventive care by 2018 (a very large number of seniors have never had health insurance until they turn age 65 and go onto Medicare/Medicaid)
  • No lifetime caps on health insurance
  • Children can remain on parent's health insurance plan until age 26
  • Insurance companies can non longer kick you out of their plan when you become ill
  • Insurance companies must reveal how much money is spent on overhead
Caregiverlist's survey found that only 26% of Caregivers  have health insurance benefits through their employer.
The reasons why?
  • 18% of Professional Caregivers did not participate in a company plan because the co-pays were too high
  • 55% of Professional Caregivers work for a company that does not provide health insurance benefits
Health insurance benefits in the past have been difficult for small businesses to provide due to costs, lack of participation and high turnover of employees.  Family caregivers who are not employed for a company face the same challenges.  The new legislation cares for the caregiver, in providing access to affordable health insurance for both small businesses and individuals.
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