’50 is the New 65′: Should The Medicare Age Be Lowered?
Given the current situation that the world is in now, with the threat of the coronavirus continuing to grow each day, calls for further support on the general population are now stronger than ever. Former U.S. vice president Joe Biden is one of the most prominent voices in this cause, pushing forward the lowering of the Medicare age to 60 years old. And although this could already be a big help to a lot of citizens, it might be better to go even lower, to the age of 50.
Aside from having a higher risk of contracting the virus, older people are also facing the threat of losing their employment, and this means losing their healthcare benefits as well. And with the age and condition that these people are in, it would be even harder to secure other sources of livelihood. We are already under extraordinary times, hence, regular standards for admission to Medicare should be revisited and adjusted according to what is appropriate in the current situation.
Making the move to lower the age of admission is not only beneficial for the ones on the receiving end, but it would also help Medicare itself. If people are admitted at an earlier age, they would most likely cover fewer medical expenses.
People in their 50s who are not insured, particularly the ones who have pre-existing conditions, incur more expenses when they eventually reach the Medicare age of 65 compared to those who already had insurance upon coming in. Also, younger adults have fewer health concerns compared to older people, so bringing in this age group would result in savings both on the side of Medicare as well as the employers of the beneficiary.
There also needs to be more consideration given for elderly people with regards to the government’s response plans on the pandemic. While the government is working on guaranteeing support and financial assistance to front liners or employees in the private sector, the needs of the elderly are not given enough attention. A large part of the population is receiving Social Security benefits and a lot of these people are widely dependent on this income. Raising the amount for Social Security should be considered to aid to older citizens.
People are also turning to early retirement to claim Social Security, but this means that they will not be able to maximize their benefits. This diminishes their chances of having enough retirement savings in place. At this point, this is not even an issue of practicality, but it is also about compassion and sensitivity to the needs of the people. And the government plays a central role in ensuring that everyone, regardless of age and class, is given the proper amount of support that they need.
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