Posted on 24 March 2010
By Mark Miller
The new health insurance reform law will help millions of older Americans who have lost health insurance but are too young for Medicare.
Insurance issues affect Americans of all ages, but the problems are acute for people over 50, who tend to have more pre-existing conditions than younger people do, and use more health care.
Starting in 2014, insurance companies won’t be able to refuse applicants with pre-existing conditions, and the new law also creates new insurance options for people without group coverage. Within six months, you can buy into a new high-risk insurance pool that caps annual out-of-pocket costs at $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families. While buying coverage will be mandated for most people starting in 2014, tax credits will be available on a sliding income-based scale to help make the coverage affordable.
The high-risk pool will serve as a bridge to longer-term solutions. These include private insurance exchanges that will operate starting in 2014, as well as expanded Medicaid for low-income households.
The new individual insurance options will open up some very positive new options for baby boomers in their 50s and early 60s, many of whom are eager to move on to second careers, entrepreneurial ventures and other new paths, but have been hanging on to jobs solely for the health benefits.
Health reform gives them the freedom to move on. That will stimulate entrepreneurial activity, and it’s going to open up spots on the management charts, allowing younger people to advance.