Several decades ago, the “Full Retirement” Age for Social Security was increased to 66 or 67, depending on your Date of Birth. As part of the negotiations regarding the Fiscal Cliff, can a similar adjustment be made for Medicare, as well? NO, and here’s why not.
The Social Security Age is somewhat arbitrary; however, there is still the option for “Early Retirement” at age 62, or thereafter. The actual Monthly Retirement Benefit is pro-rated (on a monthly basis), depending upon the date that you elect Retirement. For instance, someone who retires at age 64 1/2 will receive a higher payment, each month, than at age 62; however, it would be less than if the participant elects it at age 66 or 67.
Let’s focus, however, on why I believe that similar adjustments cannot be made for Medicare, at least not necessarily for everyone. Whereas the Retirement Age might be somewhat selective, Health Care Needs especially are not. Someone who has a desk job, and intends to work until, let’s say, age 67, might be physically able to do so. Also, they might have a company-sponsored Health Care Plan that meets their needs.
But, what about the Construction Worker, he Supermarket Clerk who stocks shelves and unloads trucks, or the Health Care Worker who assists the sick and elderly in getting in or out of beds or wheelchairs? If they can work for an extra year or two, fine; but, what if they cannot? Wear and tear and injuries can certianly effect Health Care Needs and Retirement Dates.
Also, what about the person who loses their Health Care Benefits–along with their job. In today’s Job Market it can be extra difficult for a 60ish person to be hired by another employer. And, perhaps they never had any Benefits. At least with Social Security, early Retirement is an election for the Participant.
Still, Medicare, believe it or not, is the most cost-effective component of our Health Care System. The Government does NOT select your Health Care Providers–YOU DO! Such Health Care Coverage would be much better than Plan B–going to an Emergency Room.
Unfortunately, some politicians over the years have tried to eliminate the so-called Social Safety Net (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.). They say, just go to the Emergency Room. People who do select that option, do so when they symptoms are much more advanced. And, as you know, you and I pay for that person’s Health Care.
Whether you agree or not, please call or Email your Congressional Representatives, in Washington. Let them know how you feel–either way–about this vital issue.