Should government raise Medicare age?
On the surface, it seems to make sense to do what congressional Republicans are clamoring for: Raise the eligibility age of Medicare to 67 to help stop the budgetary bloodletting.
However, an Associated Press story in today’s Gazette describes the unintended consequences that so often result from otherwise well-meaning legislation.
A study for the Kaiser Family Foundation, for example, suggests that raising the eligibility age to 67 would result in higher monthly Medicare premiums. Premiums would rise because keeping younger, healthier seniors ages 65 and 66 out of the insurance pool would boost costs for the rest.
The Kaiser study also says premiums would spike for private coverage under Obamacare because older adults would stay with private insurers for two more years before moving into Medicare. Compared to younger adults, insuring those ages 65 and 66 is more expensive.
Also, Kaiser says, employer costs would increase because older workers would stay on company plans longer. Furthermore, two out of three older adults, whose entry into Medicare would be delayed, would face higher out-of-pocket costs.
So what do you think? Is raising the eligibility age the right way to rein in out-of-control Medicare costs as between 7,000 and 10,000 more baby boomers turn 65 each day for the next 16 or so years?