CBO Finds That Raising Medicare Eligibility Age Does Not Save As Much Money As Previously Estimated

It is much less likely that raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 will be on the table now that the CBO has dramatically decreased their projection as to how much money would be saved. The CBO  estimates that raising the Medicare age gradually from 65 to 67 would save just $19 billion over 10 years. In 2012, the CBO had estimated that this would save $113 billion in the first 10 years. The change in the projection is because people in this age range cost Medicare less than older beneficiaries and because more 65 and 66 year old individuals will be eligible for employer-sponsored insurance for their primary coverage, costing Medicare less as a secondary policy.

It is also possible that delaying Medicare coverage could wind up costing more money for some individuals should there be people who fall through the cracks in the Affordable Care Act and do not receive other coverage. Delaying treatment of chronic medical problems which are common at this age could lead to shifting cost of treatment until a later age, and possibly costing more as untreated problems have become more severe.

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