Since running for president, Joe Biden has proposed lowering the eligibility age of Medicare to 60 years old. So that raises the question – could Medicare begin at age 60 years old soon? The jury is still out on whether or not this proposal will be enacted, but many people are in favor of Medicare at 60. Here is everything you need to know about Medicare being available to Americans 60 years old and older.
How Does Medicare at 60 Benefit 60-Year-Olds?
Currently, only people 65 years and older are eligible to receive coverage from Medicare unless they have collected SSDI for 24 months or have been diagnosed with ALS or ESRD. By lowering the eligibility age to 60, Americans who have retired early or are unemployed can have access to needed medical coverage. President Biden has stated that his Medicare at 60 proposal could offer 60 to 64-year-olds with a backup health insurance plan since it is at this age that people begin to struggle finding viable job options.
Some studies have also shown that Medicare at 60 could positively impact middle- and lower-income Americans. Having Medicare at 60 years old could provide savings on health insurance costs and make access to treatment more readily available for many people.
Who Would Be Eligible for Medicare at 60 Years Old?
So far, there has been no mention of placing further restrictions on Medicare eligibility. This means that as soon as people who have been U.S. citizens for at least five years turn 60 years old, they could elect to receive Medicare coverage.
Are There Downsides to Lowering the Age of Eligibility?
At this time, many Americans are eligible for Medicare premium-free because they paid in while working. The money went into the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which covers their premiums. However, if the Medicare eligibility age is lowered to 60 years, this fund could become insolvent due to the millions of extra people starting to receive coverage. Overall, this could put more financial pressure on all working Americans.
Is Medicare Likely Going to Be Available to 60-Year-Olds?
The Medicare at 60 proposal is popular among the Democratic party. Since Democrats have control of the Senate, this proposal will likely be put into effect. However, there is some pushback, and the process for setting new policies into place is slow, so it could be some time before Americans in the 60 to 64 age range will be eligible for Medicare.
The Future of Medicare
Medicare at 60 could be a saving grace for older Americans. It would offer more health insurance options at a more affordable price point.
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