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Repealing the ACA: How It Could Impact Seniors

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

The new administration has made repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a top priority, vowing to roll back the controversial law. Millions of people are currently receiving healthcare under the ACA, including seniors.

Repealing the ACA could have an impact on a senior’s quality of life. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Westport, CT, in-home elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Here is a closer look at how repealing the healthcare law could impact the elderly.

Preexisting Conditions

The ACA makes it illegal for insurance providers to deny coverage to people due to preexisting conditions. This is one of the most popular elements of the law. Although the new administration wants to keep this element, repealing the ACA would make that nearly impossible. If the mandate for everyone to secure coverage is repealed, the costs of covering seniors with preexisting conditions will be too high for insurance providers. As a result, your senior loved one may have to pay a higher premium to cover the costs, or the preexisting element will have to be cut altogether. Cutting out that provision would leave millions of seniors without healthcare coverage.

Cancer Screenings

Under the ACA, seniors are entitled to free or discounted screenings throughout the year, including cancer screenings. However, repealing the law could eliminate this preventive care. Paying for these expenses out of pocket may not be an option for most seniors. Cancer screenings help doctors find the disease in its early stages, which could help cure the disease or slow down its progression. Some of the cancer screenings seniors are currently eligible for include:

  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer

In addition to cancer screenings, seniors currently receive vision tests, diabetes screenings, and wellness checks. Repealing the healthcare law could take away these free preventive services.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Westport, CT, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

Medication Expenses

Seniors can receive free or discounted medications under the ACA, including name brand prescriptions. Repealing the healthcare law might cause those prescription prices to increase, making it difficult for seniors to receive the medical treatments they need. Without treatment, seniors could be at a higher risk of developing certain age-related illnesses, including osteoporosis, vision impairment, diabetes, and heart disease. Seniors currently living with these medical conditions could see the diseases become worse if they do not have access to the necessary medications. This also includes an increase in the cost of the medical equipment seniors rely on for day-to-day activities.

Medicaid

Seniors who are not eligible for Medicare could qualify for Medicaid under the ACA. However, early signs point to cutting the Medicaid expansion, which was developed for low-income individuals and families. Without this program, many seniors could lose coverage immediately. This means they may not be able to visit doctors for regular checkups, screenings, and more. Instead, seniors may have to rely on emergency room doctors to manage their healthcare, a practice that has not always been successful in the past. The Medicaid expansion has allowed many seniors to have a family doctor who provides immediate, high-quality care and helps prevent many issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, and glaucoma.

With the proposed changes to the ACA, seniors may lose out on several benefits under the healthcare program. This might not only impact the lives of seniors, but it can also place stress on family caregivers as their loved ones may no longer have access to certain healthcare facilities. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Westport, CT, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our senior care plans, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 203-955-1915.