The Diverse Elders Coalition represents millions of older people age 50+ who are affected by the health coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These expansions include the Health Insurance Marketplace, the Medicaid expansion, new benefits for elders 65+ on Medicare, and a range of protections that make health care more accessible for LGBT older people and older people of color.
Here’s why the ACA matters to the Diverse Elders Coalition:
Reducing disparities in coverage. People of color make up more than half of uninsured people in the U.S.—and 9 in 10 would qualify for ACA expansion coverage benefits, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The number of uninsured older people age 50-64 continues to rise—from 3.7 million in 2000 to 8.9 million in 2010.
Improving health at all ages. Without insurance, many people delay or forego care, which can exacerbate poor health. Research shows that people of color and LGBT people across the age span deal with significant disparities in multiple areas related to physical and mental health. An older person’s poor health can represent the cumulative effect of experiencing a lifetime of discrimination.
Expanding protections and benefits for everyone. The ACA prevents health insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions, or a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. And new benefits for elders on Medicare improve access to preventive services and reduce prescription drug costs.
For more information, visit Our Health.