Another Chance for Baby Boomers to Make History

By Amanda Belles

Civil rights. Environmentalism. Walking on the moon. The women’s movement. The Beatles. When it comes to the last half-century-plus of American history, you name it, and the Baby Boomers have been a part of it.

Born between 1946 and 1964, the generation known as the Baby Boomers has helped shape the course of American history over the past many decades — and in 2014, the last of them turn 50 years old.

While that is historic in and of itself, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, they have the opportunity to again help shape American history. Here’s how:

With the new Affordable Care Act coverage provisions — such as financial help to enroll in the marketplaces, Medicaid expansion (in 27 states +DC), free preventive services, the ban on annual and lifetime limits, and no denial for pre-existing conditions — over 18.3 million Baby Boomers  stand to benefit from the law.

What’s just as exciting is that Baby Boomers get how vital health coverage is — 25 percent of all people who enrolled in a marketplace plan during the first open enrollment period were ages 55-64. Furthermore, 69 percent of those 45-to-64-year-olds who enrolled during OE1 said they would have purchased coverage even if the law didn’t require it (a rate 20 percentage points higher than 18-to-29-year-olds). This shows that this age group is determined to get health coverage!

Without health insurance, there is little to no protection against high cost medical bills if something happens. Sixty-four percent of Baby Boomers have at least one chronic condition, so it’s important that this population get covered. And even though Baby Boomers understand the value of health insurance, there is still work to be done to make sure the remaining uninsured, underinsured, and newly enrolled have access to the information they need to #GetCovered and #StayCovered.

In order to get coverage that begins January 1, individuals need to sign up or renew their coverage by December 15. We encourage you to check out resources available on AARP, Enroll America’s Health Insurance Literacy Hub, and HealthCare.gov for tools to reach this population, and consider embedding the Get Covered Calculator and Connector on your organization’s website. The Calculator gives consumers a tangible estimate of what coverage they may be eligible for and how much it might cost them with financial help, and the Connector allows consumers to schedule appointments with local in-person assisters to get help with the application and enrollment process.

We are eager to hear how you are helping Baby Boomers get connected to coverage during OE2 — make sure to share your successes with us!

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