5.21.21 / Updates

New Analysis Adds To Growing Doubts About ‘Medicare At 60’

WASHINGTON – As some politicians push to open up seniors’ Medicare to younger Americans, a new analysis by Avalere raises key questions about the potential effectiveness of “Medicare at 60” and similar proposals, while experts warn that “lowering the Medicare eligibility age may not really solve coverage or affordability problems.”

The Associated Press reports on the findings of Avalere’s analysis: 

  • More Affordable Coverage Options Are Already Available:
     
    • “…[P]remiums for the Obama-era Affordable Care Act have come way down recently due to Biden’s COVID relief bill. That’s made the ACA more attractive for older adults who haven’t reached Medicare’s eligibility age of 65.”
  • “’Simply expanding Medicare as it is to younger people does not always mean those patients are getting a better deal,’ said Chris Sloan, an industry analyst at Avalere. ‘The things that the Biden administration has done to increase the Obamacare subsidies [through] 2022 have made it really affordable.’”
  • “…[M]any older adults with low to modest incomes can already find cheaper premiums in Obamacare’s markets…”
  • “Biden is asking Congress to permanently extend the more generous financial assistance that has brought down the cost Obamacare premiums.”
     
  • May Not Be Effective At Improving Coverage Or Affordability:
     
    • “Without other changes, lowering the Medicare eligibility age may not really solve coverage or affordability problems, said health policy expert Katherine Hempstead of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. ‘It’s hard to see a lot of obvious situations where ‘Wow, this is a great deal’ for someone, or a big improvement over the status quo,’ she said.”
       
  • Could Have Other Unintended Negative Consequences:
     
    • Members of Congress “worry that tinkering with Medicare’s complex financing could have unintended political consequences.”
       
  • To learn more about the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, CLICK HERE.


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