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Will Medicare eligibility rise?

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Posted: 1 pm ET

The hot retirement planning topic of the moment is the Republican proposal to raise the age at which people can participate in Medicare to 67. It's 65 now, a year before Social Security's full retirement age for most people who are currently retiring.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, which studied the issue, says that raising the age of Medicare eligibility to mirror that of Social Security would be expensive for those who have to pick up the bill. If the proposal were to take effect in 2014, Kaiser figures that it would generate $5.7 billion in net federal savings but $11.4 billion in higher health care costs to individuals, employers and states. Kaiser says it would cost people ages 65 and 66 an average of $2,200 more a year in health insurance premiums and other costs now covered by Medicare. Ouch.

The Congressional Budget Office sees it differently. It says raising the eligibility age two years would save the federal government $148 billion between 2012 and 2021.

Is raising the Medicare age likely to happen? In a letter to President Barack Obama earlier this month outlining budget-cutting proposals, Speaker of the House John Boehner suggested raising the Medicare eligibility age gradually -- a milder version of the proposal from other Republicans.  

Obama, who was interviewed about the issue by Barbara Walters on ABC Tuesday night, didn't take a strong opposing position. He said:

"When you look at the evidence, it's not clear that it actually saves a lot of money. But what I've said is, 'Let's look at every avenue, because what is true is we need to strengthen Social Security, we need to strengthen Medicare for future generations. The current path is not sustainable because we've got an aging population, and health care costs are shooting up so quickly.'"

It could happen, but I wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about it -- or stake my retirement nest egg on it. The amount of money to be saved doesn't seem worth the political fallout.

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66 Comments
Pam E.
December 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I also retired at age 62 due to illness. My husband still works and fortunatly I have ins., but he would like to retire at 67 but I'm only 64. I was expecting to be able to get medicare at age 65 due to the credits I had earned by working since I was 16 Yrs. old. Now that forces my husband to delay he retirement so I can have ins. Congress don't care they don't even come under our medicare. To think we elect these guys and they fiddle while Rome burns. Worthless all of them. We need to clear that place up there. This should have been done years ago and we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. All it amounts to is polictics as usual. None of them are out for the people, they expect us to work until we're dead and never use anything we have pd. into. Work all our lives and when we are sick and can't work they through you under the bus. Sorry just sorry

Bill
December 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm

KEEP VOTING DEMOCRAT! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW ITS GOING TO GET WORSE! WAIT TILL YOUR BOSS CUTS YOUR HOURS SO THEY DONT HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR HEALTH CARE. that is what this administration does well they take care of people who dont want to take care of them selves! this is a gimme gimme administration! more than 43% of the usa is on some kind of gimme thing. these people dont even put into the system and they suck it dry with their 5 babies and no dad to be found and the Dems allow it. Its not the politicians money they dont care as long as they get their money and health benifits and thier retirement from us the working class! Its out of control and time to stop giving everything away the working man works for! Aworking man cant even save for his own retirement because he has to pay for some lazy government worker or an illegal or any other lazy person that can work but wont because the government will pay them!! What A Joke This Country Is Becomming!!!

TIK
December 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I wonder if the people we voted in office (all of them)
would consider a proposed bill to make them share the
same type of benifits they bestow on us at will.
I doubt it, our goverment is out of control on both
sides of the issues we face in this country.
The only thing they care about is their own self
preservation. Maybe most or some of them were once
people just like you and me, liberal or consertive,
but once they are in office, they drink the Kool-Aid
and get drunk on the power to control our lives, shame on them...

Governmentsuxs
December 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

When are you going to realize that living in a Nanny State isn't the answer. The last thing I would do is lay my life in the hands of others who could care less sort of buying votes for themselves. You're all about to learn the hard lesson.

Raoul&Sandi Mathieu
December 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I retired last july at the age of 62 and althoufh I don't have insurance now I thought I would be ok until I turned 65 to get on medicare, now they are talking about raising the age to 67. you would think they would grandfather people like me so we could still receive it 65 thanks Sandi

Maureen C
December 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Unbelievable,

Do the Republicans of this fair nation understand what it is like to be a contributing member of society because what they are not doing is going to affect the masses. How do they sleep at night?
I am a baby boomer and my retirement is getting further and further away after working 47 years ther eis no light at the end of the tunnel!

lcr
December 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Ok - enough, lets keep taking the money away from the elderly - it doesn't affect anyone in the government so who cares -- I'm sick and tired of taking care of people who can work but don't, of the government paying them to stay home = while telling our senior citzens to take a cut in medicare, social security, etc. What next are you going to tell them to eat cat food to survive - they are the most impacted and the least cared about -- why don't you put every person on unemployment to work - look at the city streets, housing, etc. train them and have them work - stop picking on seniors they bailed out enough people over the years!

kae
December 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Medicare age is raising to save money, yet when I became eligble for medicare in 2009 due to social security disability and didn't ake it because I had a health care plan, I am now getting a big penalty for wanting it now!!!!!!!!!!!!! Makes no sense to me at all. The government hasn't had to "pay" anything for my health care, I have in fact
"saved" the medicare system sone money, and now that I am thhinking about taking it, I get penalized. I can not afford it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Un real!!!

I guess I shouldn't be to surprised tho. Any government that gives social security to people who have just landed in America, never paid 1 cent into the program, don't speak English and don't work, obviously have their heads up their ass. Good grief.

Gayland
December 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I made a comment and submitted it and it didn't go thru. Gee I wonder why. Could it be because YOU did NOT like what I said???

Thomas B.
December 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Romney/Ryan ads for P/Vp said present Medicare uers would keep their present coverage, but they would improve coverage for later enrolles - but never said how. Tehy in the bak of their miknd were going to CUT benefits or change it some other ways. To publicize that would have killed off theo senior votes in Florida. What should be done is to cut the benefits for those who voted for Romney -- after all that's what they wanted in such a vote for him.