Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

October 1 marked the beginning of open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance plans. For individuals without insurance, the open enrollment period provides millions of Americans with the opportunity to purchase health insurance for the first time.

Insurance exchanges, also called marketplaces, are the only place to enroll in ACA insurance plans and to take advantage of possible tax credits. In Colorado, individuals and small business owners will use the Connect for Health Colorado site. In addition to providing low cost insurance plans, the ACA has also expanded Colorado's Medicaid program and the services provided by Medicare.

According to, Medicare is not part of the health insurance exchange. This means individuals covered by Medicare will make their enrollment changes within the Medicare system and not within an insurance exchange. It is also important to know that services provided by Medicare prior to the ACA have not, and will not be adversely affected. In fact, according to the official government site for Medicare, preventative services were expanded through the implementation of the ACA. This includes providing individuals on Medicare with no or low cost prescriptions by closing the "donut hole". For information on Medicare Advantage plans, please see this issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program.
The links below will provide more information about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

Written by Brooke on October 7, 2013

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