58% Of Seniors Worried Their Health Plan Could Be Cancelled - According To New Poll By The Senior Citizens League
Alexandria, VA: One of the most politically incendiary issues of last fall's Obamacare launch may turn into a major issue with senior voters in 2014, saysThe Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a nonpartisan seniors organization. According to a new poll released today by TSCL, 58 percent of seniors, including those over the age of 65, say that they are worried that their health plan could be cancelled to meet new Obamacare requirements, versus 42 percent who said they aren't.
Most of TSCL's members and supporters are seniors 65 and older with Medicare coverage. The poll, which was conducted late January to mid February, was designed to test seniors' perceptions about the confusing new health law. It did not distinguish between seniors 65 and over who are covered by Medicare, and seniors under the age of 65 who are now required to have health insurance under the new healthcare law. The poll simply asked, "Are you worried that your health plan could be cancelled to meet new Obamacare requirements?"
"Clearly, older seniors with Medicare perceive themselves as affected by Obamacare," states TSCL Chairman, Ed Cates. "That's important for Members of Congress to understand, since public perception of issues decides elections," he notes. "It would be a mistake to underestimate the concerns that Medicare - eligible seniors have about Obamacare, even though these individuals are not mandated by law to purchase a plan on the new federal health exchange," he observes.
TSCL points out that older seniors have different Obamacare worries than those of seniors under the age of 65. "The 2015 rates for Medicare Advantage plans have yet to be announced, but seniors 65 and over are already worried that they could be affected by successive funding cuts made to plans under the new health law," notes Cates.
The TSCL poll was conducted just prior to the Obama Administration's recent announcement that healthcare consumers may be able to renew older insurance plans that don't meet the health law's benefit requirements for another two years — if their states allow it. "TSCL believes the new rule is important to protect individual policy holders from further disruption, but we remain concerned that the rule alone may not go far enough," says Cates. "Another round of older plan cancellation notices would be due to go out just prior to election day, and that could be a determining factor for voters," he adds.
With about 1 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Located just outside Washington, D.C., its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of TREA The Enlisted Association. Please visit www.SeniorsLeague.org or call 1-800-333-8725 for more information.