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Will Obamacare Make Insurance Cheaper for Older Adults?

Many Americans have worried that Obamacare could cost too much. But older adults have largely benefited from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's provisions. What's behind the boon for the near-retiree generation within Obamacare?

In the following video with Dan Caplinger, the Fool's director of investment planning and author of the special free report "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare," Motley Fool health-care bureau chief Max Macaluso talks with Dan about the opportunities older Americans will get from Obamacare coverage. Dan notes that historically, older adults have to deal with more expensive health-care needs and pre-existing conditions that have allowed insurance companies in the past to deny coverage. Under Obamacare, though, limits on pre-existing-condition denials and tighter restrictions on big premium differences between younger and older policyholders should help cut their costs.

These benefits come with risks, though. Dan and Max discuss how Obamacare relies on a representative cross-section of participants, and how older adults need enough younger participants to make the program economically viable. If that doesn't happen, it could cause problems, including higher premiums down the road. Dan concludes by suggesting investors should look at UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) and Cigna (NYSE: CI  ) as potential winners, especially in light of Cigna's purchase of Humana's (NYSE: HUM  ) Medicare Advantage plans earlier this year. Creating relationships with near-retirees should make it easier for them to attract business for their Medicare Advantage and supplemental insurance once those older adults are eligible for Medicare.

Who else will win from Obamacare?
Older Americans might benefit from Obamacare, but the Affordable Care Act has other winners and losers to consider. Find out more about how you can profit from Obamacare-based investments in our free report on the new health-care legislation. Inside, our analysts walk you through the many opportunities to profit and the companies that are positioned to exploit them. The report can be yours right now; just click here to get your copy.


Read/Post Comments (23) | Recommend This Article (4)

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  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 11:05 AM, julio2 wrote:

    Obamacare will not make insurance cheaper for anyone. But for older adults, because of the premiums paid by the young healthy adults, the premiums will be lower than they would be without the individual mandate. Young adults are in essence paying a tax which covers the cost of the subsidies to less wealthy and the less than they should be premiums paid by older Americans. Basically the democrats are more afraid of the reaction of older Americans than they are of young people.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 11:34 AM, imDanielle2 wrote:

    I am 41 and it would be about one third of what I am paying now plus offers more prescription coverages, has a lower deductible and they cannot refuse to NOT cover a previous condition I suffer from...

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 11:39 AM, jimmycarter72 wrote:

    I am 63, this program will triple my annual cost of health care, I do not qualify for subsidies, the deductable is twice the private plan, and the coverage is 70% not 80%. Because my existing plan overlaps into next year, I will end up paying a penalty, because the existing plan does not cover me getting pregnant. Designed by fatcats, paying off fatcats, on our way to socialism.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 11:40 AM, GymS wrote:

    No, it won't.

    Let me repeat a fact: obamacare has NOTHING to do with health care. It won't help you with any medical issues, doctors or prescription medication. It's nothing but a HUGE tax bill. Doctors are quitting by the thousands because they won't settle for a government forced/dictated low fee. All designed for the soros/obama dream of re-distribution. (Except for them and the elitists). I'm about 14 months away from Medicare. I bought my insurance plan from my employer when I retired. The premiums for 2014 just increased from $806. to $1133/month. And, uhh, oh yeah libturds, check the article on Yahoo today how hospitals are laying off help by the THOUSANDS.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 12:52 PM, junesxing wrote:

    My employer based insurance rates went up 41% this year based on the fact that the average age of our employee pool is getting older due to the fact that my employer keeps employees for many years.

    So much for prices going down

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 12:57 PM, CommonSense2016 wrote:

    Republicans control the House of Representatives. That gives them the right to grant or withhold money. The House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going except for Obamacare. Constitution of the United States says spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives. That means Congressmen have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity and they say include this. Even though Obamacare is the law and the Supreme Court has said it is Constitutional the House of Representatives by responsibility and right have the decision to fund or not what the Senate asks for. So they gave a CLEAN bill to the President that he has asked for but they have chosen not to include Obamacare which is a CLEAN bill. Obama asked for and got what he asked for, CLEAN bill, but he wants more which is not required by the House of Representatives by the Constitution of the United States. That is a check and balance of the United States. Obama is lying about being held hostage, he is actually holding America hostage because like a two year old not getting what he wants he is crying and lying to America that it is the Republicans fault when actually he is to blame.

    I got the technical information from Thomas Sowell a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

    I have a retired government plan that now with Obamacare taking over gave me only one choice instead of three, price went up 7% when all government employees have to pick just one choice and coverage is less. It's not good.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 1:03 PM, ZeniaR wrote:

    It does not lower premiums or costs for older Americans. I was paying about $612 for a great policy. Under Obamacare I will pay about $874 for a comparable, but still not as great a policy. I am 57, don't qualify for subsidies and my premiums will keep rising until I am 64. Even if the premiums for the first year are deliberately kept lower, I am afraid this law will create a monopoly and insurers will keep raising premiums in the years to come, making it the Unaffordable Care Act.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 1:08 PM, nobocan wrote:

    You'd have to a fool or a Lemming to believe this bunch of baloney..I'm 63 with a Heart Stent..my current Insurance costs $402 a month with a $6,000 Deducitble my OBAMA CARE quote is $799 a month with a $13,000 nearly DOUBLE of what I am paying now. I have a friend 53. Real Estate Agent for some 30 years, her current Medical plan is $368 a month with a $5,000 Deducitble her letter from Obama care told her that next year her Monthly Rate will be $698 with a $12,000 Deductible so either this Jouranlist is the most mis-informed individual on the planet, or relied on the White house for the information..Either way, the story is full of erroneous information..

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 1:46 PM, lindakay101 wrote:

    This is after all a Fools world here and for that reason maybe you sign up and get a higher or lower quote what has more bearing on this entire discourse is that President Obama signed in effect to reduce the total pay-outs of both Medicare and Medicade..so while your premiums may or may not rise you are going to be hard pressed to find a Doctor who will accept Medicare or medicade..if your new to either program..now you have the added TAX of the Obama ACA Bill to contend with and probably No care from anyone with a License for Medical Practice..maybe a Nurse practictioner and she maybe overworked and unaware of your particular medical problem..you may have to wait until next months board convenes to see if you qualify for that level of care at all...so you see there really are no death panels whatsoever just Death through Contrition..May you find the stuff your made of and go see a Chinese Doctor..they will be throwing out ads soon enough right here for all of you Kool Aid drinkers..Thank this Dear Leader and follow the other fish stories if you like..this Law will Kill Millions off who actually cared about young people..

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 2:06 PM, Robnati wrote:

    If you have a serious, chronic pre-existing condition for which annual care will exceed your deductible, or if you have low income and qualify for a tax credit (and you file taxes and do the paperwork), then you will save money under the ACA. Otherwise, you will pay more in order to cover the cost of those whom you subsidize.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 2:17 PM, xyzzyxyzzyxyzzy wrote:

    If insurance company actuaries are permitted to use age but not pre-existing conditions as a criteria (for either acceptance or the cost of premiums), they will simply determine the loss rate for all people of a given age. That is to say, they will spread the cost of pre-existing conditions across all insureds of that age.

    If you have a pre-existing condition, Obamacare will make insurance available and/or lower the premium. If you do not, it will raise your premium sufficiently to cover those with pre-existing conditions.

    Bronze, gold, silver, platinum ... Those who anticipate many large claims will gravitate toward the programs which pay a higher portion, and the healthy towards lower premiums at the risk of having to pay a high deductible. So, "Platinum" may eventually get priced for those with pre-existing conditions, and "Bronze" for healthy people. And, we'll be back almost where we started from.

    This was an attempt to be just like "single payer" government health care, except maintaining the profit and overhead of insurance companies so as not to destroy a "valuable" part of our economy.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 2:40 PM, NNNNNNNNmmmmmmm wrote:

    I applied. The software is lousy and it took 9 trips to complete the enrollment, but here's the bottom line. My wife and I are paying $5,013 a year LESS next year with Obamacare than our present insurance and the only difference is our deductible increased $300 - and no, I don't get a subsidy (in fact, statistically I pay more in taxes than 90% of taxpayers)

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 3:13 PM, jbl9999 wrote:

    Obamacare does several things for us all:

    Deastically increase our premiums. Exponentially raise our deductables. Limit our access to care and bankrupt our Country.

    Once we get signed up, if ever, individuals will be horrified at the sky high deductables. If you can afford these, you would be much better off buying a private high end policy on the open market.

    Bottom line, it won't fly and many will be stuck with nothing.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 4:05 PM, skipgainer61 wrote:

    No and anybody telling you it will bring down the cost of health insurances is either lying to you or flat out crazy. You can not add all the sick people and give health insurance to all the poor and expect your costs to go down. Mathematically it does not compute even with Obama`s made up math, so get over it and except the fact that your going to be paying more for less. That is unless you want to revert back to the way it was where the poor and sick had to go to the emergency room and we all paid already for their care and you could actually have a say in your health care and doctor. It is up to you to decide. The one thing I just learned looking into supplemental for my parents is there still is preexisting conditions on health care for anyone over 65 years of age. You have to love those death panels that don`t exist. Because my 85 year old father has Alzheimer I was told he could not qualify for some new health care supplements, he was excluded. The Democrats and Obama have sold us BS!

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 5:53 PM, 2smartforlibs wrote:

    To answer your pointless liberal question NO it will however ration healthcare for the elderly

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 5:53 PM, BlizzardLiving wrote:

    I'm going to go by an elderly family member..who can no longer work.

    With paperwork in hand 1027.00 a month was awarded. They took 95.00 out for Medicare....doing the math he should have been getting 932.00 a month, but he was only getting 922.00. As it was explained...they ROUND DOWN not up.

    Last month he received another letter stating that he was only going to be receiving 817.00 a month for Oct on out. The reason was they again were taking money out for Medicare with the new ACA reform. So before ACA he only paid 95.00 a month and after he will now pay 200.00. Does not seem like much but to an elderly person on a fixed income..it is a jump. His Dr will only be salary not quota.This Dr that he has been with for over 30 years REFUSES to get on the band wagon and be forced to see 40 patients in an allotted time frame and compromise his ability as a Dr or his patients care. This Dr sees our entire family (me included) and is one of the FEW left that are close with his patients. I'm not saying we should strive to put in place something so that everyone is cared for if they get sick...but this is not it. Programs like this failed in Canada and was tweaked, Similar story in Hawaii. In Mass this FAILED and was not tweaked. I'm not on the wagon with passing this.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 6:06 PM, Dayo2 wrote:

    If Obamacare is one of the reasons, we as Americans need to stand up against illegal immigration just on medical alone. Just one present area, it seems that the middle class and above on their previous self payments on medical insurance have become two to three times higher with Obama care. Now the eleven million illegal's that is considering to be citizens soon and the ones previously are going to get a lot more medical procedures in the U.S. due to this. It is no wonder that mental war procedures among those 535 persons running this country is happening today. The one percent seems to have control over them for profit. We need to go with the part of the constitution that says we can sign petitions and replace all present day 535 persons at any time

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 8:19 PM, grt1001 wrote:

    My wife and I are about age 60, both retired, and both in the Texas High Risk insurance pool. Very high premiums for standard coverage because of pre-existing conditions. About $1100 per month in the High Risk Pool Insurance. We thought it might go down some under the ACA plans, no so, It will be $1225 per month under obama care with much less benefits, especially the prescription coverage. With the additional costs for Office Visits, and prescriptions, the total cost will be about $1400 per month.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 9:01 PM, les49er wrote:

    It would be nice if those of you commenting about these outrageous rate increases would share with us which states you live in. There is a lot of inaccurate information being posted on here about the ACA.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 9:06 PM, les49er wrote:

    I guess those of you gullible enough to believe insurance will go up two to three times what you are paying now will obviously believe anything.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 10:20 PM, hemi2go wrote:

    And you sir ^ ^ ^ are a gullible idiot if you don't think rates are going to go through the roof for everyone, thanks to this unworkable disaster. We just received notice that our private plan rates are going up 39% this year. We will not know details o co-pays and deductibles until the sign up period at the end of the month.. But the rate increase amount is already not good. Oh ya... there is also a $63 per person "Fee/TAX" for every person covered on a private plan to pay for the Obamacare "Start Up costs".... ya that's right... everyone who is lucky enough to keep their old plan, gets an fee added to pay for that $600mil broken Obamacare Web access system.

    Oh Joy....

  • Report this Comment On October 14, 2013, at 9:10 PM, UBenHad wrote:

    obamacare is NOTHING MORE than LEGALIZED genocide ....especially targeting the elderly and those who suffer from chronic conditions...either way...the expensive treatments and medicines or the extremely expensive monthly coverage with little help from that coverage will surely put quite a few 6 feet under!....HOPE AND CHANGE!.....MY A**!.....

  • Report this Comment On October 14, 2013, at 9:14 PM, UBenHad wrote:

    there will certainly be nothing pleasant and feeling good about this hope and change odumba** was crying about b4 his 1st election back in 2008...just a lot of fools who fell for his crap....hook...line...and sinker...phlat!....

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Dan Caplinger
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Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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