CAN THE MEDICARE AGE BE INCREASED?

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.

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  1. #1 by silent 120mm red led on January 9, 2013 - 12:27 PM

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  2. #2 by Darrell Fuhrmann on February 4, 2013 - 2:29 AM

    When economists and policymakers worry about the long-term fiscal crisis, what they’re mostly worried about is Medicare. That’s why a persistent idea during this fiscal cliff season is raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. It’s an idea that appears superficially to have many virtues. Bringing the Medicare retirement age into line with the Social Security retirement age seems logical. The change is simple to describe to journalists and the public. And agreeing to reduce spending by keeping the program the same but limiting eligibility for it allows Democrats and Republicans to come together without resolving their fundamental disagreement over what Medicare should look like.

    • #3 by cheekos on February 5, 2013 - 2:20 AM

      Darrell, I’m not sure of your age; however, when you reach a certain age, sometimes your body “objects”. Modern Medicine can help people live longer; but, it cannot alwqys overcome the effets of age. Consider people who work in Nursing Homes and spend a great deal of time lifting patients into or out of bed. Those people are paid very low wages and generally do not have Health Insurance. How about people in the Construction Industry? Or people who spend a great deal of time on their feet. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS NUMBERS. How about considering the option for taking Medicare at a younger age–like Social Security–but, at a higher co-pay?

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