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60-year-old Medicare may not be a better deal | Chicago News

In this May 13, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks at the Roosevelt Room in the White House in Washington. (AP photo / Evan Vucci)

Washington (AP) — President Joe Biden and progressive Democrats have proposed reducing Medicare’s eligibility age to 60 so that older people can get affordable coverage. However, a new study found that Medicare can be more expensive than other options, especially for many people with modest means.

There are two reasons. Traditional Medicare has gaps in coverage that most people fill with purchasing supplemental plans. In other words, you will have to pay additional premiums. And affordable care insurance premiums in the Obama era have fallen considerably lately due to Biden’s COVID bailout bill. This makes ACA more attractive to older people who have not reached the Medicare eligible age of 65.

“Simply expanding Medicare eligibility does not guarantee a premium affordability,” concluded a study by Avalere Health for the Associated Press.

Many low- to middle-income seniors can already find cheaper premiums in the Obamacare market, but solid middle-class people are more likely to benefit if they can get into Medicare. I understand.

Reducing Medicare’s eligibility age to 60 is politically popular, with two in three Americans supporting this idea in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll at the end of last year. This included about half of the Republicans. However, in Congress, this proposal means that there is little support from the Republicans and it is the Democrats’ responsibility to move it forward. Liberals are enthusiastic, but alleviate concerns that tinkering with Medicare’s complex funding can have unintended political consequences.

Traditional Medicare has significant advantages over Obamacare, as hospitals and doctors across the country accept it in Affordable’s analysis, while private insurer compensation generally relies on a restricted network. I found out. Another potential plus: The combination of traditional Medicare and supplemental “Medi Gap” policies offers more generous compensation than ACA’s mid-level plans.

Market analysis and consulting firm Avalere compares Obamacare premiums to Medicare premiums for fictitious 60-year-old nonsmokers and 65-year-old Medicare in Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago. did. Because ACA’s financial assistance depends on income, this study looked at individuals who earn about $ 18,000, about $ 32,000, and about $ 52,000 a year. We also took into account Medicare Advantage, a private insurance option chosen by 4 out of 10 Medicare subscribers.

Medicare was generally a better deal for solid middle-class people, about $ 52,000.

In Houston, if you make $ 32,000 at age 60, you can get a mid-level ACA “Silver” plan for $ 88 a month. In contrast, either the traditional Medicare and Medigap supplements and prescription plans start at $ 284, or the Medicare Advantage plan from $ 149. If a resident of the same city earns $ 52,000, the Obama Care Plan will cost $ 344, giving Medicare an advantage.

A fictitious 60-year-old who earns $ 18,000 in Los Angeles can now get a $ 1 / month silver plan compared to $ 277 for traditional Medicare and its additional wraparound coverage. But if Angeleno earns $ 52,000, traditional Medicare is about $ 70 less per month than the ACA plan.

Chris Sloan, an industry analyst at Avalere, said: “What the Biden administration did to increase the Obamacare subsidy until 2022 made it really affordable.”

Biden is calling on Congress to permanently extend more generous financial assistance that has reduced the cost of Obamacare premiums.

According to Avalere’s analysis, uninsured are only 8% of the 24.5 million adults aged 60-64 who qualify for Medicare by lowering their eligible age. Of the total, about 6 out of 10 currently cover employers.

The Biden administration did not comment through the Department of Health and Human Services.

John Horahan, an economist at the Urban Institute, believes the new study “shows an important point.”

“Current Medicare is a kind of complex beast with different drug plans and no caps on out-of-pocket costs,” he said. “The country has it in ACA and is receiving a fairly large amount of subsidies.”

Without other changes, lowering Medicare’s eligible age may not actually solve the coverage and affordability issues, said Catherine Hempstead, a health policy expert at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I will.

“It’s hard for someone to see a lot of obvious situations,’Wow, this is a big deal’, or a big improvement in the status quo,” she said.

However, the progressive Democratic Party lawmaker Ro Khanna, who advocates the “medical care for all” national health insurance program, said the study was too narrow in question. He said a new tax lending program, modeled after Medicare and offering comprehensive coverage with no premiums or deductions, would be better for consumers. And because Medicare pays doctors and hospitals less than private insurance, the United States will cut medical costs.

“ACA is still basically a private insurance grant,” Kanna said. “What we don’t want to do is deplete America’s competitiveness and establish private insurers that couldn’t provide comprehensive coverage to Americans.”

In Miami, ACA can offer a slightly lower premium than traditional Medicare to solid middle-class individuals who earn $ 52,000, saving about $ 40 a month, according to other findings. It was shown that there is a possibility.

And in Chicago, the traditional Medicare combination costs $ 268 per month for low-income earners. But they were able to find ACA coverage starting at $ 1.


60-year-old Medicare may not be a better deal | Chicago News

Source link 60-year-old Medicare may not be a better deal | Chicago News

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