More than three-quarters of boomers are unaware of how the Affordable Care Act will affect them, according to a survey released Wednesday by Nationwide Financial. Almost the same percentage aren’t aware that the ACA does not cover long-term care expenses.
Harris Interactive surveyed more than 800 pre-retirees with at least $150,000 in annual household income for the report.
“So much is coming back on not understanding the Affordable Care Act, and making some false assumptions that could derail some of the planning, particularly when you look at some of the health care and long-term care costs in retirement,” John Carter, president and COO of retirement plans for Nationwide, said of responses to the survey.
Although 37% of respondents said they don’t know what exchanges are, Carter told ThinkAdvisor on Friday that for many, that may not be a problem, as boomers who are over 65 and eligible for Medicare don’t need to worry about the exchanges, anyway.
“Anyone who is over 65 is not going to use the exchanges at all. They’re going to be on Medicare. Even something as simple as that can help advisors understand, ‘OK, if I’m getting a call from a client who’s 65 or older, they’re on Medicare. We don’t even have to talk about the Affordable Care Act. If I have a client that’s younger than 65 that for whatever reason can’t have insurance, they’re going to have a benefit that will take them to 65, then they go on Medicare.’”
Under the Affordable Care Act, Carter stressed, those who are under 65 can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. “That’s kind of the good news for pre-retirees. Historically, many pre-retirees couldn’t get coverage because of those conditions.”
“Advisors need to understand that [retirees’ access to] employer-sponsored health care insurance is declining, and having strategies around or an understanding is something that they’re going to need to build a competency on.”