Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age with a Buy-In Option

Research Report

Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age with a Buy-In Option

Can One Stone Kill Three Birds?
November 14, 2005


Gradually increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 67, while allowing people age 62 to 66 to buy into the program, could potentially address three pressing public issues. This approach could reduce Medicare costs, improve insurance coverage among older adults younger than 65, and increase labor supply at older ages. However, simulations show that cost savings would be modest and, unless the buy-in option were heavily subsidized for low-income adults, many older African Americans, Hispanics, and poor adults would be left uninsured. Nonetheless, delaying eligibility would strengthen work incentives and help the nation meet the challenges of an aging population.

Cross-Center Initiative

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