Middle-Income Retirees Weigh In on the Affordable Care Act

Virtually all middle-income retirees have heard of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, frequently referred to as Obamacare), yet half are still not confident that they understand how ACA affects them personally. Middle-income retirees want and need resources to understand how the Affordable Care Act will affect their healthcare situation.

With the release of this new study, Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement explores the perceptions of the ACA from the perspective of middle-income retirees.

Key Findings

Most middle-income retirees feel that the following program benefits are one of the best aspects of the ACA law:

  • Eliminates pre-existing condition exclusions (68%)
  • Offers a free Medicare annual wellness screening (60%)
  • Includes initiatives to make Medicare more efficient (60%)

Half of all retirees (52%) say the worst aspect of ACA is the law’s requirement that individuals own health insurance or pay a penalty.

Nearly all (96%) middle-income retirees have heard of the Affordable Care Act. However, half (49%) are still not confident that they understand how ACA affects them personally.

Among the least understood individual provisions of the ACA are two that may significantly impact retirees. One in six retirees are “not familiar” with the fact that ACA caps health insurance premiums for older people relative to rates for younger people (18%) or that it will close the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole (18%).

More than four in ten (42%) middle-income retirees age 55 to 64 indicate they either have or will investigate the cost of health insurance through a state health insurance exchange.

Nearly nine in 10 (86%) of middle-income Americans with Medicare indicate they have had a free wellness visit within the past 12 months, a benefit that was first introduced in under ACA in January 2011.

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