Seniors have plenty to celebrate today as the Supreme Court has upheld health care reform and all the benefits it brings to Americans in Medicare. 

“Health care reform is vital for the economic health of our nation and the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  Today’s decision helps move our nation forward while also protecting America’s elderly, poor, sick, and uninsured by preserving billions of dollars in benefits and countless provisions to cut waste, fraud and abuse that extend these programs’ solvency.” Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO

“The Supreme Court’s decision is the most important safety net related decision since the Social Security Act was upheld by the Court in 1937.  It validates Congress’ clear intent to improve seniors’ health and well-being and uphold all of the provisions important to all older adults.”  Paul Nathanson, National Senior Citizens Law Center Executive Director

Virtually every American family will be touched by today’s ruling but here’s a reminder of just some of the benefits this ruling preserves for America’s elderly :

·            Seniors will continue to receive prescription drug savings through brand name and generic discounts

·            The Part D prescription drug coverage gap known as the ‘donut hole’ will continue to be phased out

·            Covered annual wellness visits for beneficiaries will continue to be provided in Medicare

·            Seniors will pay less for preventive services. Under the ACA, Medicare will fully cover screenings like mammograms, pap smears, bone mass measurements, depression screening, diabetes screening, HIV screening and obesity screenings

·            8 years has been added to Medicare’s solvency thanks to the Affordable Care Act

Unfortunately, the future of an estimated 3.3 million uninsured young seniors, ages 50-64, who would have received health coverage under Medicaid and many of the 16 million older adults and individuals with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for long-term services and supports, is less certain with this ruling as the Court has limited the government’s ability to penalize states who do not participate in the expansion of Medicaid. That means some states could limit their expansion to seniors. We’ll have more details on what the Medicaid ruling really means for seniors nationwide.