Recipients of Medicare not affected by ACA

Q: What is Medicare, and is it changing because of the Affordable Care Act?

A: It is important to note that people who have Medicare coverage are not affected by the Affordable Care Act. Medicare is not a part of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, your Medicare benefits are not changing. You do not need to replace your Medicare coverage with marketplace coverage. For more information about the marketplace,

Medicare is health insurance for people receiving Social Security who are 65 or older, or those who have received Social Security disability benefits for more than two years. Some people are covered only by one of the four parts of Medicare; others opt to pay extra for more coverage.

Understanding Medicare can save you money; here are the facts:

The four parts of Medicare are parts A, B, C and D.

Part A (hospital insurance) helps cover inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care and home health care. Most people get Medicare Part A premium-free since it was earned by working and paying Social Security taxes.

Part B (medical insurance) helps cover services from doctors and other outpatient health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment and some preventive services. Most people pay a premium for Part B.

Part C (Medicare Advantage) allows you to choose to receive all your health care services through a provider organization. These plans include all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B, and usually include Medicare prescription drug coverage as part of the plan. They may include extra benefits and services for an extra cost. You must have Part A and Part B to enroll in Part C. Monthly premiums vary depending on your state and private insurer, and whether you select a health maintenance organization or a preferred provider organization.

Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage) helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. Many people pay a premium for Part D. However, people with low income and few resources may qualify for extra help from Social Security to pay the premium and deductible. To see if you qualify, visit

Most people become eligible for Medicare at age 65. In 2014, the Part B monthly premium for most people is $104.90, the same as it was in 2013. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Medicare Part B premium also can be higher if you do not enroll when you are first eligible, also known as your initial enrollment period. There also is a Medicare Part B deductible of $147 in 2014. For more information about Medicare Parts A, B, C and D, visit

Q: My parents recently moved into a retirement community, and they are signing their house over to me. Can I still get Supplemental Security Income, or will homeownership make me ineligible?

A: You can own a home and still receive SSI as long as you live in the home you own. In most cases, when determining SSI eligibility, we do not count as a resource the home you own and live in or the car you use. For more information about SSI and Social Security, visit, or call us at 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778).

Oscar Garcia is a public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, TX 78245. You also can email him at


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