Helping Clients, Prospects Understand Obamacare as a Marketing Opportunity
Just as Medicare changed health care for the elderly when it was signed into law in 1965, the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare as referred to by the media) that took effect at the start of 2014 will change the way Americans receive medical insurance.
That’s especially true for those who are older than 50 but not yet eligible for Medicare, which begins at age 65. As advisors, we can turn a client’s uncertainty or misconceptions about the ACA into an opportunity help them map out plans for their retirement issues related to long term medical care and their estate planning.
Forbes argues one of the biggest barriers to early retirement is the cost of health insurance. Without access to negotiated group rates through an employer or a partner’s employer, policies for the over-50 set can be prohibitively expensive. http://tinyurl.com/mf4lcll
Going without insurance might save money in the short term, but if a catastrophic injury or illness hits, it could wipe out a client’s life’s savings in an instant.
The Affordable Care Act was reportedly designed to ensure all Americans have health insurance — but whether it will accomplish its goals is yet to be seen.
Helping Clients Understand the Benefits.
The ACA is a complicated and far reaching piece of government legislation. The confusion it has caused is enormous and presents a unique marketing opportunity for advisors. You might consider hosting workshops and webinars to help clients navigate this maze.
Another aspect of the law is that government subsidies are based on income. Using the Kaiser Family Foundation’s calculator, a couple with an income of $40,000 could use the mid-range “silver” plan and see their premiums go from $6,000 a year to about $3,300. As income goes down, the subsidy increases.
In its article, Forbes gives a list of strategies to lower income and maximize subsidies.
As USA Today reports, the doughnut hole in Medicare’s Part D prescription plan will start closing as the ACA phases in gap coverage. As it stands, Part D enrollees pay 100 percent of drug costs when the cost of their drugs exceed an initial benefit but are not high enough to qualify for the catastrophic benefit. The gap closes by 2020.
For instance, under the ACA in 2014, Part D enrollees with total drug costs more than $2,850 will pay 47.5 percent of the cost of name-brand drugs and 72 percent for generics. Also, people without health coverage are encouraged to investigate their state exchanges, USA Today says. By doing this, people may find a standardized plan that fits their needs — and their budget.
Talk to clients about retirement medical planning
Ask clients: “What do you know about Obamacare and how it might affect your medical care as a retiree?”
Chances are, after they discuss their political views, many won’t have a clue what to do or how to deal with it. Don’t let them self-educate on the ACA via television or blogs.
We hope this information was useful to you, your clients and their families. To get more information regarding this or any related topic, please visit our website www.TEPLG.com or call us at 630-871-8778.