Obamacare questions, concerns outlined for seniors

It’s been three years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, but questions and concerns among America’s elderly continue to arise.

After the Supreme Court upheld the law (commonly referred to as “Obamacare”) a year ago, representatives from AARP have been traveling all 50 states educating senior citizens about what the law means for them and Medicare.

Wednesday, representatives were in Marshalltown to discuss the law with more than 50 people who traveled from all over central Iowa.

“We wanted to begin this education process in communities around Iowa,” said Kent Sovern, Iowa director for the AARP.

Sovern said he will be traveling the state for however long it takes to educate seniors on the law and has already been to many cities in Iowa.

“It’s a massive bill,” he said. “Just the amount of information that has to be shared between federal agencies is incomprehensible in my view.”

The health care law will affect seniors in four main areas. It lowers out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, strengthens Medicare, reduces waste, fraud and abuse and improves the long-term care services, according an AARP fact sheet.

“We want to be a reliable source of good information,” he said. “It’s a service to our members and our communities.”

Christa Fields, Prairie City, said she came to the forum to learn how the health care law is going to work.

“I’m without health coverage, and we’re very confused,” she said.

The forum lasted approximately 90 minutes, and Sovern told seniors they should look to trusted resources, have an annual care examination and talk to their primary care providers about improved screenings and services, which are covered by the law.

Before the forum, Sovern also spoke to the Marshalltown Chamber of Commerce on how the law will affect small business.