Q: How much more will the Affordable Care Act take out of our Social Security (checks for retired Americans), and how much more will our (Medicare) supplemental insurance cost percentage-wise? — Sandra from Sebring.
A: Your Social Security check is not a part of the Affordable Care Act. The law also does not directly affect Medicare, the 50-year-old government health insurance for Americans 65 and older.
There’s a lot of confusion over this point, partly because certain characteristics of the new health insurance law are similar to the format of Medicare, such as the enrollment period for the Healthcare Marketplace and government subsidies.
Still it’s important you know there may be some changes come 2014, independent of the health reform law.
Nicole Duritz, vice president for health and family at AARP’s education and outreach division, said if any changes happen to your monthly check next year, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not to blame.
“Nothing in the ACA itself will increase deductions from Social Security. Medicare premiums rise from time to time with inflation, and as those costs rise, the deduction to cover Medicare premiums may change,” she said. “But they were changing before the ACA and will change after the ACA.”
She added the same rule applies to any premium price changes to Medicare or its supplemental insurance many seniors get.
The actual amount of your check and premiums won’t be known until this fall. So far, the Center for Medicare has released estimates for 2014 for prescription drug coverage, or Medicare Part D. Those monthly premiums are expected to drop $1 a month and the annual deductible will be reduced from $325 to $315.