Affordable Care Act: Tips for Medicare and AHCCCS beneficiaries - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Affordable Care Act: Tips for Medicare and AHCCCS beneficiaries

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Affordable Care Act rolls out on Oct. 1 and many are concerned how the new law will impact them, and if they need to enroll in health insurance.

The new healthcare law will definitely impact people who are uninsured, but what about people on Medicare and AHCCCS?

Let's start with people on Medicare. Bottom line: You do not have to enroll in any plan on the new healthcare marketplace at www.healthcare.gov, you already have insurance. Your choices aren't changing, your benefits aren't changing, and you don't need to take any action of any kind. In fact, it's illegal for anyone to try and sell you a marketplace plan.

But Glen Spencer of the Arizona Area Agency on Aging says that's not stopping scammers. He says many are trying to scare seniors on medicare into thinking they need to take some sort of action with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. He says don't fall for it.

"If you're contacted by anyone trying to sell you a marketplace plan, under the Affordable Care Act, you should not be fooled. You do not need to sign up, and you should report that activity to appropriate authorities," Spencer said.

Now, with regards to AHCCCS, if you are already receiving benefits through AHCCCS, you don't need to take any action at all.

But if you're not on the program and have very low income, maybe you've been turned down for AHCCCS in the past, you need to know that part of the Affordable Care Act was to expand Medicaid nationwide to include more people. That means more people in Arizona will now be eligible for AHCCCS.

One big change, many single adults will now be eligible for AHCCCS! Cheryl O'Donnell from the outreach agency Enroll America says it is very easy for you to find out.

"When they go into the marketplace to purchase their insurance, they're actually going to fill out some basic information, about what their income is, the number of members of their household, and the system will actually determine for them whether or not they may be eligible for AHCCCS. If they're eligible for AHCCCS, their information will automatically be transferred over. We are looking at an individual who's earning just under $17,000 will now be eligible for AHCCCS when they may not have been before," O'Donnell said.

That information transfer from healthcare.gov to AHCCCS is supposed to happen automatically, but if it doesn't, you need to apply directly to AHCCCS at http://www.healthearizonaplus.gov/

If you have a question about how the law impacts Medicare and AHCCCS beneficiaries, visit cbs5az.com/healthcare or send your question to me at my Facebook page at  facebook.com/DaveCherryCBS5.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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