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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Proposed Increase for Medicare Eligibility to Save $148 Billion

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jan 13, 2012 @ 08:53 AM

Medicare SupplementsThis week the federal government released a projected savings of $148 billion dollars over the next 10 years by increasing Medicare eligibility by two years to age 67 by 2021. This is lower than the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) March estimate of $162 billion, however that calculation did not include premiums paid by seniors into the program. Even though the savings will not significantly affect the budget deficit, they will be able to pay for “doc fix”; a permanent pay raise legislated by Congress for Medicare doctors every year with the proposed money accumulated by raising the eligibility age.

President Obama supports increasing Medicare’s eligibility whereas most Democrats in Congress are against it. Some of the CBO’s findings warn that raising the eligibility age may lead to more people applying for Medicaid, therefore receiving lower quality care and paying more out-of-pocket than they would on Medicare.

However on the positive side, those between 65 and 67 who need private health insurance could have better access to doctors. This is especially true if Obama’s healthcare law remains in place. Seniors would have access to private coverage though the new insurance exchanges.

The CBO also found that increasing the Social Security age in two-month increments for those born between 1949 and 1960 will save an additional $144 billion. However, increasing the Social Security eligibility age has remained politically untouchable by both parties in the 112th Congress.

Please give us your feedback!
What do you think about the proposal to increase the Medicare eligibility year from 65 to 67? How will that affect your Medicare Supplement business? What is your opinion on the decision to propose increase the age of eligibility for Medicare rather than Social Security?

Source: The Hill

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