Senior Health News

The Age Debate

Raising the Age of Medicare

According to the Boston Globe, The American Hospital Association is encouraging an effort to have hospital leaders to descend upon the Capitol on Tuesday and lobby to increase the Medicare age from 65 to 67. What will this do? Well, ultimately hospitals are hoping this will keep them from losing payments due to Medicare spending cuts. Let’s take a minute to look at what this will mean to everyone else.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of raising the age for Medicare eligibility

  • Advantage-The Federal Government is projected to save $124.8 billion and about $241.2 billion over a decade.
  • Disadvantage- The burden is shifted to the private sector, so we can expect to increase spending by $11.4 billion over all.
  • Advantage- Since hospitals aren’t as hurt financially with raising the age, they won’t have to suffer spending cuts for doctors, nurses, and facility maintenance. This leads to hospitals being able to provide better care to patients.
  • Disadvantage- Seniors under 67 will be added to the number of many Americans who are uninsured. With more people unable to pay medical bills, hospitals end up having to pay for care.
  • Advantage- Raising the age is the only way to, “Save Medicare as we know it,” according to Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.
  • Disadvantage- More people will have to use private insurance without the benefits of Medicare. Medicare and Medigap Insurance are actually more efficient than standalone private insurance. The nation’s overall health care spending will increase due to less efficient coverage procedures.

 

Ultimately, raising the age for Medicare has serious implications for senior health care. People are already waiting with bated breath to turn 65. Pushing the age up to 67 for Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance is a very controversial issue, so much so that President Obama removed the topic from his deficit-reduction proposal last week. Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for updates on this issue.

To get more information about Medicare Supplement Insurance planstalk to one of our Medigap plan representatives today or get a free quote today.

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