The new healthcare plan aims to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for all Americans by bolstering up the public options for healthcare: Medicare and Medicaid. But what exactly is in the new healthcare plan? We’re answering a few questions we get asked.
Does Medicare Cover Stairlifts?
It is yet to be seen if the new plan will cover stairlifts, but it is not looking likely. Previous Medicare plans included coverage for durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers, but stairlifts were not usually covered under those benefits. According to the Medicare website, “Medicaid may get assistance paying for a stair lift through Home and Community Based Services. If you have a temporary need for a stair lift, you may be able to rent the equipment.” But, considering all of the other financial benefits and safety nets included in the new healthcare plan, being able to afford a stairlift and age in place is substantially more accessible for all Americans even if medicare does not directly cover stairlifts. If you do end up purchasing a stairlift, you may be able to write it off of your taxes.
What will happen with prescription drugs?
There are a few major changes to the insurance system that could change the way consumers interact with prescription medication. There is a law that bars Medicare negotiating with drug manufacturers to lower prices for their consumers. Repealing the exception will allow for more accessible, life saving medicine. Another effort to increase the supply of prescription drugs that has been proposed in the new healthcare plan is to allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the Department of Health and Human Services has certified that those drugs are safe.
Can I age in place with Medicare?
Yes! Protecting and supporting older Americans is one of the primary focuses of the new proposed healthcare plan. One of the most critical proposals for older Americans is the incentives placed on long term and community based care.
More than half of all individuals in nursing homes are on Medicaid, and part of the proposed health care plan would be to give more flexibility to patients and allow them to choose home and community based care. As an extension to this, there is also a proposed tax break to any long term, informal caregiver. Any family member or loved one who spends a significant amount of time caring for their older loved one is eligible for up to a $5,000 tax credit. Another way the proposed health care plan looks out for older Americans and their caregivers is enacting the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. This act is endorsed by the AARP and will ensure hospitals equip caregivers with instructions and information when their loved ones are discharged.
How will Social Security change?
Social Security is one of our nation’s great public policy successes, in large part due to the fact that participation in the program is shared across almost all workers. The proposed healthcare plan aims to provide a higher benefit for the oldest Americans. At advanced ages, Americans become more vulnerable to exhausting their savings, sometimes falling into poverty and living a life of hardship. The Biden Plan will provide the oldest beneficiaries – those who have been receiving retirement benefits for at least 20 years – with a higher monthly check to help protect retirees from the pain of dwindling retirement savings.
The proposed healthcare plan also has explicit protections from widows and widowers. The proposed healthcare plan will allow surviving spouse to keep a higher share of Social Security benefits. This will make an appreciable difference in the finances of older Americans, especially women (who live longer on average than men), raising the monthly payment by about 20% for affected beneficiaries.
HomeLift is here to support you in your home mobility journey. If you need assistance with getting around your home so you can age in place, contact HomeLift today.