RAISING MEDICARE’S ELIGIBILITY AGE: The age for full Social Security benefits will reach 67 in 2027 and some analysts argue that it makes sense to slowly raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. Obama backed increasing the Medicare eligibility age as part of his negotiations last year with Boehner, according to documents obtained by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. According to a March 2011 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, gradually increasing the Medicare eligibility age would save the federal government $125 billion over the next decade.
Proponents say that with implementation of the health law moving forward, people under 67 without job-related insurance could buy coverage — even if they are sick — on the new exchanges being set up under the health law and may qualify for subsidies to help. Or, if they are lower income, they might be eligible for Medicaid.
We’re not forgetting that the Supreme Court ruled Medicaid expansion optional for states, are we? What’s a 66-year-old with an income below 133% or 100% of FPL to do in a state that does not expand? Some may be eligible based on age, but the income cutoff for such eligibility is below 100% in many states.
This issue could be sorted out in carefully crafted legislation. We can trust Congress on this, right? (Don’t answer that.)