Middle-Income Retirees Weigh In on the
Affordable Care Act

November 2013

Virtually all middle-income retirees have heard of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, frequently referred to as Obamacare), yet half are still not confident that they understand how ACA affects them personally. Middle-income retirees want and need resources to understand how the Affordable Care Act will affect their healthcare situation.

With the release of this new study, Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement explores the perceptions of the ACA from the perspective of middle-income retirees. Download the Full Study



  • Most middle-income retirees feel that the following program benefits are one of the best aspects of the ACA law:
    • Eliminates pre-existing condition exclusions (68%)
    • Offers a free Medicare annual wellness screening (60%)
    • Includes initiatives to make Medicare more efficient (60%)
  • Half of all retirees (52%) say the worst aspect of ACA is the law’s requirement that individuals own health insurance or pay a penalty.
  • Nearly all (96%) middle-income retirees have heard of the Affordable Care Act. However, half (49%) are still not confident that they understand how ACA affects them personally.
  • Among the least understood individual provisions of the ACA are two that may significantly impact retirees. One in six retirees are “not familiar” with the fact that ACA caps health insurance premiums for older people relative to rates for younger people (18%) or that it will close the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole (18%).
  • More than four in ten (42%) middle-income retirees age 55 to 64 indicate they either have or will investigate the cost of health insurance through a state health insurance exchange.
  • Nearly nine in 10 (86%) of middle-income Americans with Medicare indicate they have had a free wellness visit within the past 12 months, a benefit that was first introduced in under ACA in January 2011.

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The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement’s study Middle-Income Retirees Weigh In on the Affordable Care Act was conducted in October 2013 by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group.

A nationwide sample of 800 retired Americans ages 55 and older, who have an annual household income of between $25,000 and $75,000, participated in the internet-based survey. All survey participants had heard of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and were not enrolled in Medicaid. The margin of error is +/ 3.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

This material is intended to serve as a general resource only and is not intended to provide specific advice to regarding specific needs or requirements that may be mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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