ColoradoCare and Seniors
ColoradoCare provides universal health care; it ensures that everyone, including seniors, has access to necessary health care services.
Medicare will continue to be a senior’s primary coverage with ColoradoCare serving as secondary coverage. For that reason, seniors are encouraged to keep their A, B, and D coverage.
ColoradoCare works alongside Medicare. In the current system, many seniors cannot afford the Medicare deductible, copayment, and Supplemental Plan costs, and Medicare has gaps in vision, hearing, and dental. Under ColoradoCare, all of the benefits of Medicare would continue, and in addition, ColoradoCare would provide a Medicare Supplemental Plan that eliminates deductibles and waives copayments for financial hardship.
An economic analysis of ColoradoCare predicts substantial funds will be available for expanding vision, hearing and dental coverage. Many seniors will pay a premium tax, but not all seniors. Everyone ages 65 and older will have some of their retirement/Social Security income exempted from the premium tax, ranging from all of it for low income retires and up to $46,000 for individuals and $75,000 for middle-income joint filers. Learn more: www.ColoradoCare.org/calculator
The premium tax also applies to other income such as rental property, investments interest, income etc. Because of significant tax exemptions and income tax deductions, 85% of Medicare beneficiaries will pay less in Premium Taxes than they would for comparable supplemental coverage if the current system continued.
References: Miller, I.J. (2015) Economic Analysis of the ColoradoCare Proposal Addendum with 2019 Projections.
ColoradoCare and Pera
PERA offers two types of health care benefit assistance, both of which are improved by ColoradoCare:
- PERA negotiates with insurance companies to obtain a favorable group rate for health care insurance for beneficiaries not eligible for Social Security, and a favorable rate for Medicare Supplemental, dental, and vision health care. These plans are called PERACare plans, but are not actually operated by PERA. They are commercial insurance products that charge PERA beneficiaries premiums.
- PERA beneficiaries who are not on Medicare would no longer need to purchase a health care plan because ColoradoCare would fully cover them.
- PERA beneficiaries who are on Medicare would no longer need to purchase a Medicare Supplemental Plan because ColoradoCare would provide one.
- Because ColoradoCare provides some vision and dental, if PERA beneficiaries decide to purchase additional vision and dental coverage, the current premium rates would likely provide more extensive coverage.
- PERA contributes up to $115 or $230/month/retiree for the purchase of a PERACare plan. If ColoradoCare results in this contribution toward insurance being unnecessary, PERA could contribute to other insurances such as dental or the legislature could determine how this money allocated to PERA beneficiaries would be handled.