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Lowering the Medicare Age - A Comparative Analysis

Alsahlani, Hazem (2022) Lowering the Medicare Age - A Comparative Analysis. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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This essay focuses on the financial, economic, and public health implications that would result from lowering the Medicare eligibility age to sixty (60). The goal of this analysis is to develop an appropriate recommendation for improving outcomes, lowering costs, and expanding access to care for people ages 60-64. The essay compares lowering the Medicare age, raising the Medicare age, and the status quo. Each policy proposal is assessed for its impact on federal budget spending, consumer and overall health costs, commercial insurance premiums, and access to care.
In today’s insurance landscape, individuals ages 60-64 drive up costs for employers and private insurers. They account for the highest spending and are one of the main reasons costs continue to go up for consumers. Premiums, copays, and deductibles have increased over time. Costs are lower, and outcomes are better for Medicare enrollees in an older age group (65-69) based on better access to care and higher satisfaction. Hence, lowering the Medicare age, is a strategy that could lower costs in the private insurance market, broaden access to healthcare, and improve outcomes to individuals as they retire.
There are several implications to consider when determining whether to lower the Medicare age. First, expanding Medicare eligibility could increase the Federal budget. Alternatively, state budgets may be less burdened because fewer people would have Medicaid as their primary insurance. Hence, the Federal government would have more responsibility to cover this population.
However, consumers that have commercial insurance would see lower premiums and cost-sharing, since the highest risk group would transition to Medicare. Moreover, the savings employers realize through fewer covered lives could result in wage increases to employees. Wage increases would be taxed and increase revenue for the Federal government. More people will be insured, since expanding Medicare eligibility will reduce the uninsured. Currently, there are about 21 million people between 60–64 in the United States, 1.6 million of those that are uninsured. Overall, this essay will explore how lowering Medicare eligibility age will improve outcomes, expand access, and lower costs.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Alsahlani, HazemHSA17@pitt.eduHSA17
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis advisorDrake, Colemancdrake@pitt.educdrakeUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberAlbert, Stevensmalbert@pitt.edusmalbertUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSabik, Lindsaylsabik@pitt.edulsabikUNSPECIFIED
Date: 16 May 2022
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 7 April 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 49
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Medicare Advantage (MA) Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 18:42
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 18:42


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