Letters to the Editor

Affordable Care Act affects Medicare

Seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries should be aware that this year is an important one. They should pay attention to their Medicare coverage options during the open enrollment period between Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 because of the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA brings with it notable changes to Medicare, from more preventive care benefits to changes in costs. Beneficiaries need to understand both the upside and downside of such changes to best evaluate their options.

Adding to the challenge of this year's Medicare changes is broader confusion around the ACA itself.

UnitedHealthcare conducted a survey in 2013 called the Medicare Made Clear Index and found that 76 percent of people ages 60 and older say they have a “fair” or “poor” understanding of the ACA.

Thus, the open enrollment period becomes an even more critical time because it’s the one annual opportunity to make changes to Medicare coverage.

After all, a lot can change in a year in terms of health status and budget as well as the available plans.

I encourage Medicare beneficiaries in South Florida and their caregivers to take advantage of this opportunity to make sure they have a plan that will meet their needs.

People can shop for and compare plans in their area at www.Medicare.gov.

Roger Rodriguez, CEO, UnitedHealthcare South Florida,