How does Obamacare impact long-term care in Nevada?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as Obamacare, has significant provisions in it that will impact long-term care in Nevada. We outline a few of these topics that may be of interest to those seeking long-term.

 

Obamacare Exchanges, Penalties and Long-Term Care Considerations

If you are seeking long-term care in Nevada with an insurance plan other than Medicare or Medicaid, you will want to purchase that plan on the exchange because that is the only place you can receive premium assistance in the form of tax credits or cost sharing reductions.If you are relying on Medicaid or Medicare only, the Obamacare exchanges are not applicable to your long-term care needs.

 

Medicaid Expansion in Nevada and Impact on Long-Term Care

Medicaid expansion was optional for each state and it is important to know that Nevada has chosen the Medicaid expansion. That means that Medicaid will be expanded to provide health insurance for more low-income Nevadans, including long-term care. In addition, Obamacare has no effect on institutional Medicaid in Nevada, which is the Medicaid program for the aged, blind and disabled to pay for the cost of long-term care.

 

Obamacare’s Impact on Medicare

Obamacare’s impact on long-term care is related to Obamacare’s spending reductions in the Medicare program. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Medicare is not ending under Obamacare: Obamacare is not replacing Medicare. Obamacare does cut Medicare spending but it also guarantees benefits that are protected in ways they had not been in the past.
  • Payment for Medications: Higher-income ($85,000 per person or $170,000 per couple) Medicare beneficiaries will pay more for prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D). As the “donut hole” closes, many seniors on Medicare will see drug costs go down.
  • Access to Care: Obamacare proposed payment reductions for a variety of Medicare providers such as hospitals, hospice agencies and long-term care facilities. Some argue that payment reductions will impact providers only. Others contend that long-term care beneficiaries will also be affected as providers withdraw from the market.
  • Plan Choicesand Medicare Advantage: one of the key criticisms of Obamacare is related to the cuts in Medicare Advantage, which allows seniors to get government-funded private insurance plans in place of traditional Medicare. Some contend that as cuts take place, premiums will rise and plan choices under Medicare Advantage will go down. Others point to the fact that no significant changes have occurred yet.
  • Medicare premiums: Medicare premiums are rising each year because health care costs rise each year, but these premiums are rising mostly for higher income individuals and families. This rise is not necessarily due to Obamacare.

 

No one will argue that Obamacare represents a significant change to the way long-term care is delivered in the United States and Nevada. There are a lot of predictions based on agendas and politics. Furthermore, the full impact of Obamacare will not be accurately measured for many more years.

 

Contact us at (702) 547-6700 to learn how Obamacare will impact long-term care in Nevada and how it applies to your current situation.

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