A new study finds that raising the Medicare age under the healthcare reform law to 67 by 2014 would save the federal government an estimated $7.6 billion. But the change would also increase out-of-pocket costs for 65 and 66 year-olds by $5.6 billion and by $4.5 billion in employer retiree health care costs.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park Calif., published this finding in a summary of results from a study on the effects of raising Medicare’s age of eligibility to 67 from 65. The report was authored by researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Actuarial Research Corp., Columbia, Md.
The report adds the change in the Medicare age of eligibility would also raise premiums by 3% for individuals who stay on Medicare as well as those who purchase coverage through insurance exchanges mandated in the law.
If the health care reform does not become law, raising the age would of eligibility would result in a spike in the number of the uninsured, the report says. With the health reform law, 65 and 66 year-olds would be legally required to purchase coverage until they reach the age of eligibility.