Baby Boomers and Healthcare Reform

By Thomas Cazneau

With January 1, 2014 around the corner, it’s easy to wonder how each generation will be affected by Healthcare Reform. Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), in particular, could experience significant changes to the healthcare system as the mandate goes into place. Below are current health statistics for many baby boomers, as well as aspects about Healthcare Reform that could particularly affect them.

Baby Boomers and Healthcare Statistics
Here are some surprising healthcare statistics for baby boomers: They are living longer than their parents, the silent generation, but not necessarily leading healthier lives. According to a recent study by the West Virginia University School of Medicine, baby boomers are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity and diabetes than members of the Silent Generation at the same age. On the flip side, baby boomers are projected to be less likely to smoke cigarettes and have lower rates of emphysema and heart conditions.

How Healthcare Reform Could Affect Baby Boomers
Increased Healthcare Costs
As baby boomers grow older and require more medical attention, healthcare costs could rise in the form of raised premiums and/or higher medical bills.
No Denials
On a positive note, Healthcare Reform protects baby boomers from getting denied medical coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions. This means that baby boomers who have been or are currently diagnosed with any sort of medical condition will be able to obtain health insurance without being declined coverage.
More Plan Options
Starting in January 2014, more plan options will be available to baby boomers. Healthcare Reform offers these alternatives:

Those who are not yet 65 could enroll on:
○ An employer-sponsored health plan, if available
○ A private plan directly with a carrier
○ An individual plan through the Exchange if they qualify for a subsidy
Baby Boomers Medicaid or Medi-Cal, if they are low-income
○ Medicaid or Medi-Cal Plan.
Baby boomers who are age 65 or over may look into Medicare.

If you’re interested in learning about your health plan options before the Healthcare Reform mandate kicks in, call KQ Insurance Services at 1-800-514-0958.

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