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Medicare Coverage and Cost Outcomes: Lowering the Medicare Age to 60

Medicare Coverage

Author: SK

The Improving Medicare Coverage Act would prove to be a blessing for Americans aging between 60 and 64. Moreover, it would be an aid for low-income Medicare applicants, irrespective of their ages.

Now-president Joe Biden suggested lowering the eligible age for Medicare to 60 years during the 2020 presidential campaign. In September, Rep. Pramila Jayapal proposed a bill regarding improving Medicare coverage. It has gained interest among the democrats. The expanded eligibility would come into action after six months once the bill becomes law.

Improving Medicare Coverage Act; Aid for impoverished Medicare Enrollees. 

The recently introduced Improving Medicare Coverage benefits Medicare applicants earning below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). It makes them fit for receiving the Medicare Cost Assistance Program. This program would zero out all the deductibles, premiums, and coinsurance for Part A and Part B of Medicare. Part A includes hospitals whereas, Part B covers the physician and outpatient costs. As for enrollees who have income up to 200 percent FPL, the Medicare Cost Assistance Program (MCAP) would also fully cover Part D of Medicare. It includes prescription drugs. Moreover, through this program, Medicare enrollees would pay reduced prescription copays.

In addition to all these benefits, Jaypal’s bill would also simplify the process of applying to retrieve full or partial dual eligibility for programs including Medicare and Medicaid. It will allow the eligible Medicare enrollees to stay alert of the available benefit. 

Who Would Benefit From Medicare Cost Assistance?

A Medicare benefit that covers all the premiums and out-of-pocket costs would help millions of low-income individuals. According to the 2018 data provided by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 8.7 million Medicare enrollees were “full” dual eligible. They had all or most of their costs fully covered.

Only some Medicare enrollees in 100-200% FPL receive full or partial dual eligibility, while most don’t. This unfair distribution of aid exposes lower-income enrollees to great stress and burden. The reason is that they have to cover the Medicare premiums and all out-of-pocket costs on their own. 

They are offering full coverage for the enrollees with a minimum wage of $148.5 per month. With the assistance of private Medicare Advantage plans, people from different backgrounds can get cost aid. These plans also include dental, hearing, and vision coverage for the enrollees. 

Moreover, the OOP cap is not available with fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare. However, Medigap policy can fulfill this space. MA offers cost coverage to individuals who cannot hold the burden of Medigap. They act as a helping hand for those enrollees who had paid $6,550 from their pocket at their catastrophic phase. In this regard, they are responsible for 5% of the further payment. 

How Does MCAP Favor Americans Aged 60-64?

People who stand within the age limit of 60 to 64 are eligible for this bill to make them financially stable. In March, American Rescue Plan declared the enhancement in the ACA marketplace. Its coverage under the income threshold is inexpensive and comprehensive. For incomes up to 150% FPL, Silver coverage is free. However, they are receiving very little cost from individuals with an income of more than 150% FPL but less than 200% FPL. 

Jaypal’s bill provides Medicare at a cheaper rate in addition to an unlimited choice of provider to traditional Medicare enrollees. More than 3 million people applied for their enrollment. The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid offers its service to income holders of less than 138 FPL. Employee-sponsored plans are better for the coverage of expensive drug prescriptions.

Will the Improving Medicare Coverage Act Become a Law?

People associated with the law are trapped in making efforts to enter the social spending priorities in President Biden’s Build Back Better framework. The draft legislation regarding these plans; however, there is no information about the eligibility age for Medicare