The Affordable Care Act (ACA, also commonly called Obamacare) and Medicare are two very different concepts.
The ACA is a sweeping series of laws that regulate the US health insurance industry. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older, as well as certain younger people with disabilities or medical conditions. There are several different types of Medicare coverage.
In this guide, we compare and contrast Medicare vs. Obamacare in 2022, so you can better understand these types of health coverage.
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There are four typical ways that many Americans receive health insurance today:
In most cases, you will typically want to end your Marketplace plan (Obamacare plan) when you first become eligible for Medicare.
Your Medicare eligibility and your Medicare coverage start date depend on your personal situation, so be sure to check with healthcare.gov to determine your eligibility.
Medicare provides health insurance to nearly 63 million Americans in 2021.1
Medicare is available to people who are at least 65 years old or younger Americans who have a qualifying disability, such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Medicare Part A and Part B are commonly referred to as Original Medicare. They are provided by the federal government.
There are other types of Medicare health coverage that are offered by private insurance companies.
Obamacare is another name for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Obamacare mandated that everyone maintain health insurance coverage, or else they would face a tax penalty. Many people associate Obamacare with the health insurance plans that are sold on the ACA exchange, or Marketplace.
The ACA health insurance exchange opened for business in January of 2014. This marketplace sold plans that qualified as satisfactory coverage according to the new law.
While the ACA remains in place, the tax penalty for not having insurance (called the individual mandate) was repealed in 2019.
More than 11.4 million Americans were enrolled in a health insurance plan obtained through the Obamacare Marketplace in 2020.2
Here is a look at how Medicare and Obamacare compare and contrast across a number of different categories.
The average Medicare Advantage plan premium in 2021 is $62.66 per month.3
The average Medicare Part D plan premium in 2021 is $47.59 per month.3
The average Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premium in 2019 was $125.93 per month.4
When it comes to choosing between Medicare or Obamacare, there’s no single right answer.
You can check with healthcare.gov to determine your eligibility and to make sure you don’t let your health insurance coverage lapse.
To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans that may be available in your area, a licensed insurance agent can help you compare plan specifics such as costs, coverage networks and benefits.
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1 CMS. Medicare Enrollment Dashboard. Retrieved Dec. 2020, from https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Dashboard/Medicare-Enrollment/Enrollment%20Dashboard.html.
2 Kaiser Family Foundation. Marketplace Enrollment, 2014-2020. Retrieved Dec. 2020, from www.kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/marketplace-enrollment.
3 MedicareAdvantage.com's The Average Cost of Medicare in 2022 report. (Nov. 16, 2021).
4 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2020. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.
5 Kaiser Family Foundation. Average Marketplace Premiums by Metal Tier, 2018-2021. Retrieved Dec. 2020 from https://www.kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/average-marketplace-premiums-by-metal-tier.
Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.
Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.
Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.
Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.
A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.