When Should Medicare Coverage Begin?

Posted: 9 Sep 2004

See all articles by Richard W. Johnson

Richard W. Johnson

Urban Institute - Income and Benefits Policy Center; National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)

Date Written: December 2003

Abstract

Lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 62 would result in near universal health care coverage among 62 to 64 year olds. People who purchase individual insurance in the market, as well as the uninsured, could benefit from Medicare coverage. The change would reduce employer costs for retiree health benefits and lower both retiree and employer costs for COBRA continuation coverage. Lowering the automatic eligibility age to 62 would increase Medicare spending by about $5.4 billion a year (in 2000 dollars). Net federal spending would be about $5.0 billion higher, because Medicare would pick up some costs currently paid by Medicaid. State Medicaid outlays would fall by about $0.3 billion.

Keywords: Medicare eligibility, medicare coverage

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Richard Warren, When Should Medicare Coverage Begin? (December 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=587045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.587045

Richard Warren Johnson (Contact Author)

Urban Institute - Income and Benefits Policy Center ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-261-5541 (Phone)
202-833-4388 (Fax)

National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)

1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 615
Washington, DC 20036-1904
United States

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