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Raising Medicare Age Eligbility?
Old 12-08-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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Raising Medicare Age Eligbility?

Concerning proposal for those considering ER-

Trade-offs in raising Medicare eligibility age - Yahoo! News

Surprised to read that tho Repubs seem to be main ones pushing idea now, polls suggest public views opposing this are similar across party lines. Personally I think the overall "savings" would be relatively small. Saving would NOT be directly related to decreasing # Medicare recipients. Older folks (67 vs 65) have higher ave care cost-per-person so gov't & individual premiums would have to rise to compensate. And if companies keep their common policy of only offering their HI until 65, there could be a big increase in expensive uninsured population (65-66ers). Many of these folks might then end up on gov't-funded HI anyway (Medicaid).

I've long thought a novel solution to help overall Medicare finances might be to allow younger ER's/unemployed (COBRA'ed or post-COBRA) to buy in to Program at graduated premiums. This should lower cost-per-enrollee by bringing in some younger (prob healthier) folks who pay additional $$$ into the system until reaching current 65 eligibility. If this concept is being discussed by politicians I have not seen it.

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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There's a little fuzzy math in the article, but maybe one day we'll have universal health care in some form and none of this will matter. With PPACA we've taken a small step in that direction, like it or not. Controlling health care costs in the aggregate is the ultimate issue, and we haven't really gotten to that yet - though we'll be forced to eventually.

I'll withhold my comments on the AARP...

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
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The idea of raising the age is one that on the surface seems appealing, but in practice is not that appealing. Yes, the government wouldn't have to provide care to those ages 65 and 66. However, it isn't those people that are causing Medicare to have financial problems. Relatively speaking those who are 65 and 66 and relatively healthy. Raising the Medicare eligibility age will decrease the government's cost (perhaps) but it will greatly increase the costs for individuals particularly those who are already retired.

Medicare retirement age: Raising Medicare eligibility age to 67 would cost patients twice as much as it would save the government—don’t do it. - Slate Magazine
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