Part of Biden’s new healthcare platform is a proposal to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60. Five years! The Medicare has not been touched since its inception back in 1966. For millions of qualifying Americans, we know how life-changing affordable health insurance can be, and with this new proposal, individuals could save thousands of dollars a year on private-health-plan premiums, copays, and out-of-pocket expenses. One of the main reasons for the administration proposing this new Medicare age would buy to provide health care to those who retired early, are unemployed, or lack the health benefits through their employer.
What’s the actual proposal for Medicare?
Currently, the age at which one becomes Medicare -eligible is 65. Individuals under 65 can only obtain Medicare if they collect SSDI for 24 months or are diagnosed with ALS or ESRD. By lowering the eligibility age five years, the goal is to provide health care to those who retired early, are unemployed, or lack health benefits through their employer. Also, qualifying U.S. citizens over the age of 60 would have an extra health care option. It’s not a question that the job market is tougher as we get older, and this provides a safety net of sorts for healthcare.
The Cost of Medicare at 60
If the proposal for lowering the Medicare age to 60 becomes a reality, then some have concern about the financial cost. Those who age into Medicare are eligible for Part A without a premium if they’ve paid in while working for at least 40 quarters (ten years). The tax money goes to the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. This fund pays for Part A, which is why it is premium-free for most.
A big concern is that the HI Trust Fund is at risk of insolvency — there might not be sufficient revenue to cover the Part A premiums in a few years. And the pandemic added an additional strain on the fund and is speeding up that timeline.
For it to be successful, the HI Trust Fund will need to be well-funded if the lowering age of Medicare becomes law.
Medigap at 60
Medigap plans cover the 20% of costs that Original Medicare doesn’t. There isn’t a publicly outlined plan for how Medigap would work for those who age in at 60. It’s not clear whether everyone would be eligible for their choice of Medigap plan at age 60 or if the states would need to determine whether another option would be available to them before the age of 65.
Where to go from here
While the new ACA subsidies took effect earlier this month, it may take a while for many Americans to see the change or if the lowering of the Medicare age becomes law. Give us a call — we can help you find the right coverage at a great cost within minutes! We pride ourselves as the go-to insurance agency in Coral Springs and Parkland — call us today — our agents are ready and waiting to help!