Like most Americans, retirees may lack a good deal of knowledge about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But for the most part, what they do know about the law, they like.
The majority of middle-income retirees are pleased that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act eliminates exclusions for pre-existing conditions, offers free Medicare annual wellness visits and includes initiatives to make Medicare more efficient, according to a survey by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement.
But they aren’t happy that PPACA requires individuals to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
The nationwide survey of 800 retirement Americans over the age of 55, with annual household incomes of between $25,000 and $75,000, also found that while almost all of those surveyed had heard of PPACA, half of those aren’t confident they understand how the law affects them personally.
Even before the government shutdown, the survey found that 88 percent of those surveyed wanted less political rhetoric about PPACA, and 84 percent wanted unbiased information about how the law would impact them personally.
The survey found that three times as many women don’t feel confident they understand PPACA.
One in six retirees didn’t realize that PPACA caps health insurance premiums for older people relative to rates for younger people or that it would close the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole, the survey found.
Twenty-three percent of middle-income retirees cite personal health or disability as a reason they retired. Therefore, many retired Americans under the age of 65 will turn to the newly formed state exchanges for health insurance coverage until they are old enough to qualify for Medicare.
Twenty-seven percent of middle-income retirees between the ages of 55 and 64 who don't receive any type of government insurance coverage report either having purchased their own private health insurance or say they don’t currently have health insurance.
More than four in ten (42 percent) middle-income retirees ages 55 to 65 indicate they either have or will investigate the cost of health insurance through an exchange.
The research for the report was conducted in September 2013 for the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group.
The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement is the Company’s research and consumer education program.