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Supreme Court Ruling: Big Victory for Elderly, Less So for Near-Elderly
- July 2nd, 2012
In upholding the President Obama's health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court ensured the preservation and continued roll-out of improvements and protections for older adults. These improvements include the extension of Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment protections to those seeking long-term care in the community, financial incentives for states to keep long-term care recipients out of institutions, the gradual closing of Medicare Part D’s infamous “doughnut hole,” expanded access to preventive services for Medicare beneficiaries, and the Elder Justice Act.
The Court did, however, scale back the Medicaid portion of the law, which could mean that fewer near-elderly will have access to health insurance than was originally envisioned. The law expanded Medicaid eligibility starting in 2014 to people with income up to 133 percent of the poverty line. But in its ruling, the Supreme Court gave states the freedom to opt out of this expansion without putting their current Medicaid funding at risk. Some governors have already declared that they will not accept the federal money in order to expand coverage. In states that decide not to participate, the poorest individuals below age 65 may be without access to affordable health insurance entirely because their incomes are too low to be eligible for federal subsidies provided under the law, which envisioned they would be covered by the Medicaid expansion.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...
Hammond and Associates, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate
For Jeffrey Hammond, the practice of Elder Law is personal. Jeff’s many years of experience in law and in business did not prepare him for the crisis he faced in 2005 and 2006 when his father suffered a stroke and both of his parents suffered from dementia and other medical problems. At that time, Jeff began an i...
Ron M. Landsman, P.A.
Ron M. Landsman has been practicing elder law since 1983, before it was known as elder law, originally with Landsman and Laster, Washington, D.C., then Landsman, Eakes and Laster, also in Arlington, VA, and since 1990 in his own practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been among the most active members of the...
ElderLawAnswers has previously summarized the law’s impact on the elderly. After the Court ruled, the National Senior Citizens Law Center produced a very helpful summary of the provisions affecting those over age 65. To read more about the ruling and its effects on the elderly and near-elderly, below are more worthwhile links.
Chief Justice Saves Health Reform Law (Marshall Elder and Estate Planning Blog)
Supreme Court forces states to make a big Medicaid decision (Washington Post)
Health Care Ruling Is Less Liberal Than It Looks (Brookings Institution)
Replay of Live Blog on Morning of Ruling (SCOTUSblog)
Last Modified: 07/02/2012