If you are retired and covered under Medicare, the Affordable Care Act does not impose any requirements on you. As indicated on Medicare.gov you do not have to use the exchanges set up according to the Affordable Care Act. You continue to have the same benefits whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan.
As pointed out by Jennifer Waters on Market Watch, the annual Medicare open-enrollment period coincides with the initial registration period for the health insurance exchanges, or Marketplace, but they are two different things. If you are on Medicare, you don’t have to enroll in the Marketplace. If you are just starting to receive Medicare, you should enroll in Medicare and not the health insurance exchanges.
If you become eligible for Medicare in 2014, you can obtain health care coverage through the exchanges, taking effect on January 1, 2014 and with enrollment starting on October 1, 2103, until you are eligible for Medicare. Then when your Medicare coverage takes effect, you can cancel the health coverage plan you obtained through the exchange.
If you are retired but are not yet eligible for Medicare, you may need to obtain health insurance coverage to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The HealthCare.gov website points out that if you receive retiree health benefits, you are considered covered and would not have to use the health care exchanges if you are satisfied with your coverage.
If you are retired, not yet eligible for Medicare, and not covered by a retiree health plan, you can use the exchanges to obtain coverage. Depending on your household income, you may qualify for a federal premium tax credit that helps subsidize the cost of coverage. When you fill out an application for health coverage through the exchanges the estimated amount of your credit will be determined, and you will also find out if you qualify for Medicaid.
If you are retired, not covered by Medicare and are self-employed working on your own, you can obtain health coverage through the exchanges, possibly with subsidies. If you have employees, you can obtain coverage for yourself and your employees through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
If you are covered by Medicare, the Affordable Care Act provides for preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible or Part B coinsurance, as well as a yearly wellness checkup at no cost. And according to Medicare.gov, you can get a 50% discount on prescription medications covered by Part D.
If you are not on Medicare and need to obtain health coverage, one of the advantages of the Affordable Care Act, particularly for retirees, as pointed out by Elizabeth O’Brien on Market Watch, is that insurance companies cannot deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions. And you can’t be charged more for pre-existing conditions or have a policy that excludes coverage for those conditions. Also, although your premiums may increase, they cannot be raised due to changes in your health.
The Affordable Care Act & Medicare, Medicare.gov
Elizabeth O’Brien, 6 Things Boomers Need to Know About Obamacare, Market Watch
Jennifer Waters, Have Medicare? Don’t Worry About Obamacare, Market Watch
Welcome to SHOP, HealthCare.gov
What if I’m retired but not eligible for Medicare? HealthCare.gov