Report: Boomers will benefit from reform law

Baby boomers, who have some of the highest unemployment rates and have difficulty affording healthcare, will especially benefit from the new healthcare reform law, according to a new report from a pro-reform group.

The Commonwealth Fund report released Tuesday morning depicts a baby-boomer generation faced with financial challenges that often prevent it from seeking and receiving much-needed medical care. Nearly 75 percent of uninsured older adults said they skipped needed healthcare and medications because of costs, and nearly half reported they did not pursue recommended preventive care.

About 95 percent of 8.6 million uninsured adults ages 50-64 will benefit either from expanded Medicaid coverage, the ability to buy subsidized private insurance through new insurance exchanges or new consumer protections, the report said. Further, about 9.7 million older adults who have health insurance but cannot afford out-of-pocket costs will gain improved coverage through benefit standards, limits on out-of-pocket spending and the elimination of lifetime benefit limits.

“This report paints a picture of a baby boomer generation whose health and financial security are in jeopardy because of rising healthcare costs and declining health insurance coverage,” said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. “The good news is that the Affordable Care Act is already making a difference for them, as lifetime and annual limits are phased out and pre-existing condition insurance plans get up and running. Things will only continue to improve as states and the federal government move toward fully implementing the law and we enter a new era in American healthcare, in which everyone has access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance.”

According to the report, baby boomers will also benefit from new plans for people with pre-existing conditions, improved access to mammograms and colorectal cancer screenings, new limits on how much premiums can rise by age and a new long-term care insurance program.