I'm on Medicare. Do I have to get different insurance now because of the new health care law?

There's a simple answer: No

Published: September 28, 2013 08:00 AM

Q. I am a 72-year-old retired teacher on Medicare. Is the new health care law going to require me to change my coverage?

A. A lot of readers 65 and older have submitted questions like that to our Ask Our Health Insurance Specialist mailbox. They're worried that the Affordable Care Act means that they will have to give up Medicare. But there's a reassuring and simple answer: You don't have to change a thing.  

You can be forgiven for your confusion, given all the talk about open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, which startson Oct. 1 and runs through March 31, 2014. But by having Medicare you automatically meet the new law's requirement to have health insurance coverage as of 2014.

You might also be confused because Medicare open enrollment is also coming up. It runs from  Oct. 15 and goes through Dec. 7. But it's completely separate and distinct from the new marketplaces

The Medicare Rights Center just came out with a helpful page of information about how the new marketplaces interact with Medicare. Mostly, they don't.

Got a question? Ask it here. It helps if you include the state you live in.

—Nancy Metcalf

Health Reform Countdown

Today is day 6 of our 100-day Health Reform Countdown. We're getting ready for Jan.1, 2014, when the new health law takes full effect.

See our previous posts:

Day 1: Big changes coming

Day 2: Stay uninsured on purpose? Bad idea!

Day 3: Good news on health insurance premiums

Day 4: Introducing our Health Law Helper

Day 5: Help paying for health insurance

Confused by the new health care law? Try our Health Law Helper. And see our full coverage of health insurance and health reform.

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