Increasing Medicare eligibility age would save money, increase Medicaid spending, budget office says

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Increasing the Medicare age to 67 would save the federal government $148 billion between 2012 and 2021, but the savings would be offset by an increase in Medicaid spending, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

The issue of increasing the Medicare age has been discussed often in conversations about decreasing the federal budget deficit. To gauge the impact of its effect on elderly Medicare beneficiaries, the CBO examined the consequences of hiking the eligibility age of 65 to 67 by two months every year, starting in 2014 for those born in 1949.

They found that of the 5.4 million people who would be affected in 2021, about 5% would become uninsured, which could limit access to care and hurt the quality of care. Elements of the Affordable Care Act, however, could make this less “onerous” through the law's expansion of Medicaid program and the creation of health insurance exchanges, according to the report.

Click here to read the full CBO report.

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