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Will Medicare eligibility rise?

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
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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December 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

It's time NOT to invest in SS if you are young. Too many (able) disability claims for every ailment including depression from drug addition etc. Now the working folks have to die at their desk to pay for leeching......REALLY! I could have done better with the layout! End the entitlement for non/barely workers!

Tye Ferlsan
December 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm

If It Wasn't For Greedy Rich Egoist Mentalities, World Would be At Piece! Amount Of Money Each country Spends On Their military Budgets We Could Solve Every Problem In the World This Is A Global Problem Not Just USA May God Have Patience With Us!

December 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I would be interested in what ages this is going to affect in the immediate future should it be agreed. Those who are in their 60's and receiving Social Security but not yet eligible for Medicare is what I am thinking about.
The lawyers would have to find another way to show their clients how to hide their income so they can end up on Medicaid. The rich who do not need Medicare are taught to "spend down" and put their assets in their childrens names at just the right time of their lives. This is such abuse and I for one think that raising the age will be a good thing. JMO

December 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm

All I can say is keep your faith no matter what. That is all we really have. Stay firm in your belief. That is our most important challenge in this time. God isn't doing this the greedy are the ones doing this. And like He said we have to stay with the weeds until Jesus returns, and then the weeds will be cast into the fire, and the ones who perservered and stood firm in their faith will be taken up and not have to suffer any more.

December 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Just so you know Bill....Social security is an insurance program, not an entitlement. I get so sick of stupid people spouting what they hear on Fox, I could throw up. Social security was set up for people who couldn't afford to invest in the market and with little or no funds left at the end of a pay period. Paying in every paycheck guaranteed those folks a retirement. Much the same as when you pay into a life insurance policy. You don't pay in the total amount that your family receives when you pass. Let's say you have a million dollar policy. You don't pay a million dollars for it do you? The reason the repubs are so gung ho to destroy is is it's the most intelligent insurance program ever created and has and would last as it began if it's left alone. The only thing that has effected the equation is that jobs have been taken away from us and so not as many are paying in. DO YOU GET IT BILL? What we need are jobs, not prejudice and hate. When white presidents take their families on holiday, I'll bet you didn't have such a problem accepting it.
Also President Obama has to deal with the idiots that would rather send our young men into battles we have no business in, then provide a good paying job for them so they might be able to support their families too. Thinking that they don't need to pick up they're share of the tax burden........I'd say his balls are just fine thank you.

ruth milcarek
December 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Well this shooting is just another thing to let you know how depressed people are becoming. The United States is in real trouble right now. We the people have to stick together and fight Congress and the one percent. Yes we should protest when ever we can, and let them know there is a revolt about to happen . If we don't stand our ground now, we won't have any ground to stand on cause the one percent will take everything away from us. We must as Americans do whatever is necessary to stop their greed. At all costs.
I believe in God, and they are satans workers for sure. They have no faith at all to do this to our people. So when they say they are christian you know that is fake. No Christian would treat people like this for the almight dollar. That is their God the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR. Pretty sick isn't it.

December 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

In stead of raising the age for Medicare why don't they look at the savings that could take place if they took away all the welfare, unemployment and free medical from those who are able to work? I'm sure this would surpass any savings that they gain on raising Medicare age.

Will they EVER look at this???

December 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

This great nation will never pull out of the mess that our greedy people inthe goverment that put our country in. Because they have turned their backs on God. by their greed and disobeidence, to his word, As well some others promote same-sex marriage,and other demonic practices. As I see it we are getting what we deserve,God's punshisment!

December 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Oh Please Thomas B! Yes I voted for Romeny, but it wasn't the nonsense you are spouting, it was for the very same reason all the other's have commented on - Obama's grand plan for handouts to all the lazy, or the new immigrants, etc while yanking the money I paid in for 49 years both SS AND Medicare mandatory deductions and am now told tough patuuty. I too had to retire at 62 due to illness and lost all insurance, but have no one else to care for me, and CANT QUALIFY for the handout programs on Medicare because I (get this...) "have income - social security wasn't taken away from me" HAH - I'm at the poverty level - $11,500yr and can't qualify for medicade. Disgraceful!! If Washington would keep their sticky fingers out of the Social Security fund pot and stop raping it with IOUs, the fund wouldn't be in trouble! Blame THAT on Romney!!!

December 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

This is for the above Maureen C you sound just like a state worker democrat!! How do you sleep at night thinking you voted for someone that has no balls and spends money like it grows on trees. For your knowledge it doesn't it comes from our taxes. From my hard work every day and sometimes on weekends.
Blame it on the Republicans. Thats all the Democrats do! That statement is past 4 years old now, your man has been in office now 4yrs and has done nothing for the economy but dig it deeper with all his free stuff and all his pay offs to all his money lending friends, oh and his 16 vacations in the past 4 yrs including Mrs O taking all her friends on vacations with her on our tax money! where is your head you think he can fix this mess with out raising taxes I dont think so! Entitlements need to be cut thats the bottom line not my grandmothers check that she worked for all her life! you politicians are all afraid you might lose your illegal votes if you do this. Well you better wake up before its to late!! by the way i feel its already to late!! YOU HARD WORKING AMERICANS NEED TO WAKE UP AND PREPARE TO PROTECT AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN FAMILY!. The government wont be around to help, they will be tucked into a nice bunker with plenty of food and water to take care of them selves NOT YOU!!!