Health Care Reform And Its Impact on The Retiree aon com att Drug Subsidy Program written by: prefect6 For the thousands of plan sponsors that participate in the retiree aon com att Drug Subsidy Program (RDS), there is a real sense of unknown regarding just how much impact health care reform will have on the RDS Program. This Program has been extremely beneficial to organizations since its creation, and although for some plan sponsors health care reform may require a second look at keeping the Program, for many the RDS Program will continue to assist in covering retirees’ prescription drugs.
Retiree Drug Subsidy was and still is an outstanding deal for many plan sponsors. When the Program was introduced in 2005, employers were able to be reimbursed by the federal government up to 28% of the costs for covered retiree drugs by the federal government. The goal of the Program was to encourage employers to keep their retirees on their drug coverage plans rather than dump them off to the newly established Medicare, which would have totally flooded the program and cause real problems. To sweeten the deal for employers, companies received the 28% subsidy tax-free, and also were able to add it to their costs, potentially writing off 100 percent of pharmaceutical costs.
The issue that plans sponsors must now face is the new look of health care. Health care reform will create new challenges to those on the RDS Program when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) took full effect in 2014. One of the ways that the government will be paying for some of the new changes under the reform is that organizations on RDS will no longer be able to receive subsidy money tax-free. This leaves many employers asking themselves is it worth keeping their retirees prescription drug plans covered under this health plan? The responsibility of the employer includes large amounts of paperwork and man-hours put into the Program which may not be worth it after the reform takes full effect.
Plan sponsors that participate in the RDS Program must be aware of some facts when evaluating the direction they want to go regarding the Program. Municipalities and nonprofits are “tax exempt” organizations; theoretically, this means these changes will have no effect on the 28% of reimbursements that they have been receiving. Also, there have been large amounts of backlash against the reform since it was signed into law last March. Judges in many states have already ruled parts of it to be unconstitutional, and with the Republican Party taking over the House of Representatives, there is much speculation as to just what is going to happen in the future regarding health care reform. The best thing for RDS Program participants to do is stay informed. This Program has provided aid for the last 6 years, and many organizations have already built the potential savings from the program into their projected budgets. It will be hard to say what will or won’t change in the coming months, but for many plans sponsors, the RDS Program is still a great long-term option for saving money.
For this reason, it helps to know the options that are open to you as a retiree and make the best possibly use of those opportunities.
While the original plan may have been to remain in your home for several more years, looking into different types of retirement facilities may be in your best interests. If you live in a larger city, there is a good chance that there are retirement villages that offer the options of smaller but functional living spaces. This approach can often allow you to have plenty of room for your needs, continue to enjoy your independence and also take advantage of the amenities offered within the community. As an added incentive, you may even make some new friends.
If you do prefer to remain in your own home, look into any aged care services that may be available. This could include everything from having a medical professional come by a few times each week to check on your health to engaging the services of a live in provider. Make sure to utilise a service that is line with the general state of your health. Keep in mind that in some cases, you may qualify for government assistance with the cost, or even find a local agency that is willing to help you secure the services required at a reduced rate that is in line with your income.
Planning for the Unexpected
The sad truth is that illness and infirmity can affect anyone, including retirees. If you don’t have family nearby who can step in and protect your interests, you should consider securing some type of guardianship services. Services of this type can work with you to create legal arrangements that ensure your wishes are respected in the event that you are incapacitated due to illness or some sort of serious accident. Having someone who can make medical decisions on your behalf will go a long way in helping you avoid a prolonged period of pain if the changes for recovery are not good. At the same time, this arrangement can also help minimise the pain and suffering that your loved ones deal with as they watch you slowly waste away.
Make it a point to investigate all your options today. Doing so will bring additional peace of mind and make it easier for you to get the most from your retiree aon com att years