One of the biggest concerns for Coloradans planning for retirement is knowing exactly how much to save, especially with unforeseeable and continually rising health care costs. Too many senior citizens across Colorado are retired on fixed incomes, forced to choose between groceries and rising prescription costs. On the other hand, there are Coloradans who are stuck in between employer coverage and Medicare eligibility, “holding their breath” until they turn 65.
There has to be a better way. #WECANFIXIT. ColoradoCare has solutions.
In the current system, seniors purchase a supplemental Medicare plan or pay co-insurance charges of 20 percent. Many low-income seniors forego necessary health care because of the cost of these supplemental and co-insurance programs, and many are often helping their children and grandchildren with health care costs. To top it off, Medicare has no dental coverage, and offers very limited vision and hearing coverage-so seniors pay for these services out of pocket.
Under ColoradoCare, seniors are provided with a qualified, no deductible, Medicare Supplemental Plan by virtue of their Colorado residency. The no-deductible Medicare Supplemental Plans have the best coverage of the Medicare Supplemental choices.
As funding becomes available, the ColoradoCare Trustees can expand the dental, vision, and hearing coverage offered, and those benefits would be available to Medicare beneficiaries automatically.
Research estimates that 85 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will pay less in Premium Taxes than they would pay for a comparable Supplemental Plan in the current insurance exchange system. Because seniors qualify for tax exemptions that are commonly as high as $30,000 for an individual and $60,000 for joint filers (in a common scenario with combined exemptions of Social Security and retirement income), Premium Taxes are significantly decreased.
In addition to the savings on supplemental insurance plans, ColoradoCare has no deductibles and no co-pays on primary and preventative care, so all Coloradans are able to get the care they need without surprise expenses.
There has been a lot of misinformation about the cost of ColoradoCare. The two examples below show how large the savings can be.
A single 70-year-old who has $50,000 per year in income, with $30,000 coming from Social Security and $20,000 from a pension and a 401k plan, would pay a monthly premium tax of $11.25 and would be covered by a comprehensive Medicare Supplemental Plan that would be comparable to one that costs $2,023 through AAPR. The annual savings are $1,888.
A couple in their seventies who has $90,000 per year in income-with $55,000 coming from Social Security, $26,000 from retirement funds and pensions, and $9,000 from rental property-would pay a monthly Premium Tax of $81.74 and both would have the Supplemental Plan valued at $2,023 each. The annual savings are $3,073.50.
The savings are most for people who rely on Social Security and retirement income and are either low-income or middle-income. Those who have high income or substantial non-retirement plan income may pay more. Many of those who will pay more have children and grandchildren in Colorado who are living with the insecurity of the health insurance industry and support ColoradoCare for the well-being of their relatives and friends.
What do you think? Can ColoradoCare fix it?