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Medicare At 55 Act Introduced

Yesterday U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D - MI) introduced a bill to allow those between the ages of 55 - 64 to BUY INTO MEDICARE.

 

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow Press Release - Medicare At 55 Act

 

There are few details available on the proposed legislation to date.

 

However the Urban Institute did an analysis of such a program in late 2016 if you are interested in reading it.

 

Urban Institute - Sept. 2016 - Designing a Medicare Buy-In and a Public Plan Marketplace Option

 

There are a few problems:

1.  The HI program in Medicare is already under financial constraint per the 2017 Social Security and Medicare Trustee Report.  This is the hospital insurance part of Medicare, paid for primarily by the payroll tax and the employer match during working years. At present, considering both the employee and employer part, this is a 2.9% of payroll.

 

This has to be fixed just for those current beneficiaries.

 

This is a pay as you go program, IOW, we pay the benefits from current payroll collections.

 

2.  For this age group, Medicare has a buy-in rate of between $ 257 - $413 depending upon how many quarters of work a person has.

Add to that a (current covered ) beneficiary premium of $134 for Part B and 

then add in some premium for a Part D program ( average was about $ 32 in 2017), so the buyin comes to between $422 - $578 a month depending upon how many quarters they have in work history.

 

Plus those with higher income (over $85,000 for a single) would have to pay the premium surcharges on Parts B and D - They would pay a real hefty premium.

 

Medicare 2017 Cost at a Glance

 

Would these be the same figures for this (new) group - I don't know - these are the figures for someone who reaches 65, is eligible for the benefit in all other areas but has less than the required quarters of work.  This does not include the spouse, who has never worked, of an eligible beneficiary - they get their benefit through the spouse's benefit once they both reach 65 years of age.

 

3.  Whatever the premiums for this proposed legislation group for all the various parts of Medicare, there is no guarantee that any Medigap coverage would be available to them.  Many states currently do not offer a Medigap policy for those less than 65.

 

Course this is because today those less than 65 on Medicare are disabled people on SSDI and the premiums could be exorbitant depending upon how the state rating choice bases the premiums - community rated, current age or attained age.

 

However, if Medigap is offered to this 55 - 64 group, it would still be their decision to get one and pay the premiums for it.

 

4.  Most likely there would not be any additional subsidy coming from the government for premium payments unless of course, the powers that be might offer them the extra help, low income subsidy (LIS), or dual eligibility status available to current beneficiaries based on their LOW income.  If this group is still 

working, they could find it hard to qualify for this Medicare/Medicaid sharing.

 

Parts B and D are already subsidized by the government to the turn of 75% so I doubt there would be any other offerings to reduce these premiums for this new group.

 

5.  Another problem which is not just inclusive for the potential new beneficiaries is that there is NO maximum out of pocket in Medicare A or B. So without any Medigap coverage, that 20% of the Medicare payment amount is all on the beneficiary - or can mount up with a serious conditon or injury.

 

Although there are deductibles in each part - Part A, Part B and Part D (Part D deductible would be determined by the plan chosen - but in general, you pay lower premiums with a deductible and higher premiums with no deductible).- and these deductible usually increase each year -

 

Would the deductibles and the no limit on out of pocket be feasible for their wallets, adding in their buyin premiums for each Part of the Medicare program.

 

As the Urban Institute shows - there are lots of question surrounding this proposal of a Medicare Buy-In to any specific age group.

 Will Medicare,Advantage Plans be offered - ?

 

Offering,Medicare,Advantage,plans,to this group is kind of funny, don't you think?

Perhaps Paying the same insurance company that escalated their premiums in the individual marketplace,or the insurance left the individual marketplace all together causing them to lose that coverage.

 

Personally,nI think we would come out better doing away with all the separate marketplaces and just end up with two -

The Private Marketplace and 

The Public Marketplace

Trusted Social Butterfly

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe use the phrase  'God is in the details' to explain why he considered detail an essential component in his designs. Other Architects sometimes considered this a pre-occupation that bordered on the obsessive.  

 

'The Devil is in the details' is a spin off that phrase, meaning something quite different.  It means that hidden and dire consequences are buried in complexity, deliberately so and for malevolent purpose.

 

Complexity enables deceit.  That's the gist of it.  So IF you really are concerned with the well-being of your fellow man....Keep It Simple Stupid [KISS].  Otherwise I truly do have to question the motive[s] to do otherwise.

 

"Nuff said"?

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Honored Social Butterfly

This is just too funny -

 

i have heard many on the left say that Medicare should be extended to other age people.

 

Now, today, I am reading their responses to this legislation introduction thread on the DU and I realize they don't really even understand how Medicare works and how it's various parts are funded.

 

If you are registered over on the DU, could you pretty please just post THIS >>>>>>>> Medicare link on the discussion

MEDICARE.gov - Medicare 2017 Cost at a Glance

 

It is the 1st topic under Greatest Threads on the home page - entitled 

" 8 Democratic senators introduce Medicare At 55 Act"

https://www.democraticunderground.com

 

maybe this will help them - 

TIA

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@GailL1 wrote:

This is just too funny -

 

i have heard many on the left say that Medicare should be extended to other age people.

 

Now, today, I am reading their responses to this legislation introduction thread on the DU and I realize they don't really even understand how Medicare works and how it's various parts are funded.

 

If you are registered over on the DU, could you pretty please just post THIS >>>>>>>> Medicare link on the discussion

MEDICARE.gov - Medicare 2017 Cost at a Glance

 

It is the 1st topic under Greatest Threads on the home page - entitled 

" 8 Democratic senators introduce Medicare At 55 Act"

https://www.democraticunderground.com

 

maybe this will help them - 

TIA


i am afraid i am missing your point. OF COURSE it has to be paid for, and the govt just needs to re prioritize its expenditures. i dont get the point of your links.i agree with Stabenow, and yes you have to pay stuff on medicare. for the last 5 years i have averaged 27k/year on insurnce and deductibles, and yes im ahead between my back treatment and my wifes eye injections. talk about a dent in my retirement savings..its going to be 130k or so before i cn get on medicare. 

So it begins.
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@MIseker wrote:

@GailL1 wrote:

This is just too funny -

 

i have heard many on the left say that Medicare should be extended to other age people.

 

Now, today, I am reading their responses to this legislation introduction thread on the DU and I realize they don't really even understand how Medicare works and how it's various parts are funded.

 

If you are registered over on the DU, could you pretty please just post THIS >>>>>>>> Medicare link on the discussion

MEDICARE.gov - Medicare 2017 Cost at a Glance

 

It is the 1st topic under Greatest Threads on the home page - entitled 

" 8 Democratic senators introduce Medicare At 55 Act"

https://www.democraticunderground.com

 

maybe this will help them - 

TIA


i am afraid i am missing your point. OF COURSE it has to be paid for, and the govt just needs to re prioritize its expenditures. i dont get the point of your links.i agree with Stabenow, and yes you have to pay stuff on medicare. for the last 5 years i have averaged 27k/year on insurnce and deductibles, and yes im ahead between my back treatment and my wifes eye injections. talk about a dent in my retirement savings..its going to be 130k or so before i cn get on medicare. 


What I am saying is based on that discussion on the DU of probably all ages of people - millenials to those already on Medicare, don't think Medicare cost US much -

Medicare it is NOT just what the payroll deductions and premiums cost us.

But they don't even understand that part.  

They don't understand that much of the cost of Parts B and D come from the general fund.

 

@I am sorry about all your Medical expenses for you and your wife - I understand completely - my husband died back in 2006 after a long illness @ 58 years old.

He had a few months on SSDI but never made it those 24 months to be on Medicare.  He could have gone into the VA system but at the time they were vastly overcrowded although he was able to be evaluated by them as a 2nd opinion. I am grateful that we did have good ( individual) insurance and the policy paid as agreed but things are,much different today.

 

 

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Gail and the Republicans only mention ONE way to make Medicare avalialbe at age 55 - greatly reduce the income level for the higher premiums.The GOPer plan would jack the payents for those earning between $45,000 and $85,000, but do nothing to  those making $150,000 or $500,000 or $25,000,000.

 

There is, of course, a better way - increase the PERCENT of payment on a progressive scale for those who will not have to sacrifice anything. The only effect will be a reduction in the speed at which they increase their personal fortunes.

 

Republicans would rather transfer the wealth of the middle class to the very top than have any of the surplus income of the Uberrich touched - its what they've been doing since 1981 and will continue to do so long as their lofo base keeps electing them.

Honored Social Butterfly

Medicare below 65 is really quite dangerous and stupid.  If you want Medicare for younger people try Medicare for all. 
Trying now to actually deal with this issue would probably  destroy Medicare.

I am sure that is not going to happen. There are always stupid people that speak without knowing what they are taling about.

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@Roxanna35 wrote:

Medicare below 65 is really quite dangerous and stupid.  If you want Medicare for younger people try Medicare for all. 
Trying now to actually deal with this issue would probably  destroy Medicare.

I am sure that is not going to happen. There are always stupid people that speak without knowing what they are taling about.


Why would it be dangerous and stupid?

 

i don't think it will work because I think premiums, medical and Rx cost, would be on the high side for those thinking they want Medicare at 55.

 

We already have people less than 65 years old on Medicare - sometimes very medically expensive people.  

 

I just think people think it is cheap and thus they want a part of the cheapness -but since this would be a new class of people - different than what is ther now - it may end up not being so cheap.

 

But, hey, maybe we can CHARGE these new ones a lot and GIVE current real beneficiaries some new services or benefits - or at least help the ole balance sheet so that it is not depleted in 2029 as the Trustee's report states.

 

 

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@GailL1 wrote:

@Roxanna35 wrote:

Medicare below 65 is really quite dangerous and stupid.  If you want Medicare for younger people try Medicare for all. 
Trying now to actually deal with this issue would probably  destroy Medicare.

I am sure that is not going to happen. There are always stupid people that speak without knowing what they are taling about.


Why would it be dangerous and stupid?

 

i don't think it will work because I think premiums, medical and Rx cost, would be on the high side for those thinking they want Medicare at 55.

 

We already have people less than 65 years old on Medicare - sometimes very medically expensive people.  

 

I just think people think it is cheap and thus they want a part of the cheapness -but since this would be a new class of people - different than what is ther now - it may end up not being so cheap.

 

But, hey, maybe we can CHARGE these new ones a lot and GIVE current real beneficiaries some new services or benefits - or at least help the ole balance sheet so that it is not depleted in 2029 as the Trustee's report states.

 

 


so what class of people would i be in if I took advantage of this at 63? i worked from age 11 to 49, and my wife worked from 18 until blindness at 60. I guess that makes us moochers? I didnt complain when I was rking in the cash in the 80's and 90's. I had 15 very lucky and lucrative years. not rich, but beyond most average workers dreams. I paid in for this..happily. now its funding a cholera epidemic in Yemen. 

So it begins.
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@MIseker wrote:

@GailL1 wrote:

@Roxanna35 wrote:

Medicare below 65 is really quite dangerous and stupid.  If you want Medicare for younger people try Medicare for all. 
Trying now to actually deal with this issue would probably  destroy Medicare.

I am sure that is not going to happen. There are always stupid people that speak without knowing what they are taling about.


Why would it be dangerous and stupid?

 

i don't think it will work because I think premiums, medical and Rx cost, would be on the high side for those thinking they want Medicare at 55.

 

We already have people less than 65 years old on Medicare - sometimes very medically expensive people.  

 

I just think people think it is cheap and thus they want a part of the cheapness -but since this would be a new class of people - different than what is ther now - it may end up not being so cheap.

 

But, hey, maybe we can CHARGE these new ones a lot and GIVE current real beneficiaries some new services or benefits - or at least help the ole balance sheet so that it is not depleted in 2029 as the Trustee's report states.

 

 


so what class of people would i be in if I took advantage of this at 63? i worked from age 11 to 49, and my wife worked from 18 until blindness at 60. I guess that makes us moochers? I didnt complain when I was rking in the cash in the 80's and 90's. I had 15 very lucky and lucrative years. not rich, but beyond most average workers dreams. I paid in for this..happily. now its funding a cholera epidemic in Yemen. 


If this Act becomes law, you would be in this new class of beneficiaries -

those between 55 - 64.  Premiums would be set on Part A based on how many quarters you have paid into the system.

 

- 40 quarters have to be paid in for Part A to be premium free.  That's the way it is now.

 

If for some reason a person reaches age 65 but has not put in 40 quarters of work and paying into Part A or none at all.  Then they can buy into Medicare now.

 

You would probably be fine with that long work career, your wife too - others, maybe not.

 

Then add in your Part B premiums - who knows what those will be then, now they are $134 per mo.  You would not be a candidate for the hold harmless clause which limits the amount of increases to Part B premiums until you are getting Social Security.

 

it is not the premium cost of Part D that is a concern - rather the price of the meds in the program - for many of these meds, think you could come out better buying some other way -'GoodRx, Canada Blue Sky, etc. For the best result it has to be figured based on how the plan works, what meds, how much where - and then update this each time there is a change in any part of the equation.

 

Then ya gotta watch those Medicare out of pocket cost cause they don't have a yearly cap.

 

And notice how the deductible is worded "per benefit". Which means that you might end up paying more than one Medicare Part A deductible in a year.

 

I forgot what state you live in - Ohio, I think - important because Medigap policies are rules by state law as to who can get one, on what,criteria premiums are calculated and how guaranteed issue works in your state if it is any more lenient than regular Medicare.

 

Medicare is a fine system - it is rather complicated and most people don't understand it and some don't even know what they have - they just hand over the card(s) to their medical provider.

 

i will tell you - Medicare providers are really being scrutinized hard on pain meds.

To me, it is too easy for government to bend over backwards the other way.

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@GailL1 wrote:

@MIseker wrote:

@GailL1 wrote:

@Roxanna35 wrote:

Medicare below 65 is really quite dangerous and stupid.  If you want Medicare for younger people try Medicare for all. 
Trying now to actually deal with this issue would probably  destroy Medicare.

I am sure that is not going to happen. There are always stupid people that speak without knowing what they are taling about.


Why would it be dangerous and stupid?

 

i don't think it will work because I think premiums, medical and Rx cost, would be on the high side for those thinking they want Medicare at 55.

 

We already have people less than 65 years old on Medicare - sometimes very medically expensive people.  

 

I just think people think it is cheap and thus they want a part of the cheapness -but since this would be a new class of people - different than what is ther now - it may end up not being so cheap.

 

But, hey, maybe we can CHARGE these new ones a lot and GIVE current real beneficiaries some new services or benefits - or at least help the ole balance sheet so that it is not depleted in 2029 as the Trustee's report states.

 

 


so what class of people would i be in if I took advantage of this at 63? i worked from age 11 to 49, and my wife worked from 18 until blindness at 60. I guess that makes us moochers? I didnt complain when I was rking in the cash in the 80's and 90's. I had 15 very lucky and lucrative years. not rich, but beyond most average workers dreams. I paid in for this..happily. now its funding a cholera epidemic in Yemen. 


If this Act becomes law, you would be in this new class of beneficiaries -

those between 55 - 64.  Premiums would be set on Part A based on how many quarters you have paid into the system.

 

- 40 quarters have to be paid in for Part A to be premium free.  That's the way it is now.

 

If for some reason a person reaches age 65 but has not put in 40 quarters of work and paying into Part A or none at all.  Then they can buy into Medicare now.

 

You would probably be fine with that long work career, your wife too - others, maybe not.

 

Then add in your Part B premiums - who knows what those will be then, now they are $134 per mo.  You would not be a candidate for the hold harmless clause which limits the amount of increases to Part B premiums until you are getting Social Security.

 

it is not the premium cost of Part D that is a concern - rather the price of the meds in the program - for many of these meds, think you could come out better buying some other way -'GoodRx, Canada Blue Sky, etc. For the best result it has to be figured based on how the plan works, what meds, how much where - and then update this each time there is a change in any part of the equation.

 

Then ya gotta watch those Medicare out of pocket cost cause they don't have a yearly cap.

 

And notice how the deductible is worded "per benefit". Which means that you might end up paying more than one Medicare Part A deductible in a year.

 

I forgot what state you live in - Ohio, I think - important because Medigap policies are rules by state law as to who can get one, on what,criteria premiums are calculated and how guaranteed issue works in your state if it is any more lenient than regular Medicare.

 

Medicare is a fine system - it is rather complicated and most people don't understand it and some don't even know what they have - they just hand over the card(s) to their medical provider.

 

i will tell you - Medicare providers are really being scrutinized hard on pain meds.

To me, it is too easy for government to bend over backwards the other way.


one of the advantages would be keeping people OFF of disability. the working poor at that age would have much needed medical assistance without a disincentive to work.

So it begins.
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MIseker wrote

one of the advantages would be keeping people OFF of disability. the working poor at that age would have much needed medical assistance without a disincentive to work.

------------------------------------------

if they could make enough for all the premiums, deductible by the benefit, copays or coinsurance on the meds, and their 20% part of the Medicare coinsurance.

Can the working poor who are somewhat "disabled" handle all of these expenses ?

 

 

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@GailL1 wrote:

@Roxanna35 wrote:

Medicare below 65 is really quite dangerous and stupid.  If you want Medicare for younger people try Medicare for all. 
Trying now to actually deal with this issue would probably  destroy Medicare.

I am sure that is not going to happen. There are always stupid people that speak without knowing what they are taling about.


Why would it be dangerous and stupid?

 

i don't think it will work because I think premiums, medical and Rx cost, would be on the high side for those thinking they want Medicare at 55.

 

We already have people less than 65 years old on Medicare - sometimes very medically expensive people.  

 

I just think people think it is cheap and thus they want a part of the cheapness -but since this would be a new class of people - different than what is ther now - it may end up not being so cheap.

 

But, hey, maybe we can CHARGE these new ones a lot and GIVE current real beneficiaries some new services or benefits - or at least help the ole balance sheet so that it is not depleted in 2029 as the Trustee's report states.

 

Gail  you are correct that there are people on Medicare that are a lot younger than 55 my daughter for example, we have already spoken about that.

I feel that if the present system is already in jeopardy, something like that would actually make it fail a lot sooner. Sorry, to me, your explanation doesn't make that much sense. 


 

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Don't you think we should fix the current program (Part A) BEFORE any changes or the addition of whole new group?

 

per the 2017 Trustees Report:

2017 Social Security and Medicare Trustee Report Summary

 

"The Trustees project that the HI Trust Fund will be depleted in 2029, one year later than projected in last year's report. At that time dedicated revenues will be sufficient to pay 88 percent of HI costs. The Trustees project that the share of HI cost that can be financed with HI dedicated revenues will decline slowly to 81 percent in 2041, and will then rise gradually to 88 percent in 2091. The HI fund again fails the test of short-range financial adequacy, as its trust fund ratio is already below 100 percent of annual costs, and is expected to stay about unchanged to 2021 before declining in a continuous fashion until reserve depletion in 2029."

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@GailL1 wrote:

Don't you think we should fix the current program (Part A) BEFORE any changes or the addition of whole new group?

 

per the 2017 Trustees Report:

2017 Social Security and Medicare Trustee Report Summary

 

"The Trustees project that the HI Trust Fund will be depleted in 2029, one year later than projected in last year's report. At that time dedicated revenues will be sufficient to pay 88 percent of HI costs. The Trustees project that the share of HI cost that can be financed with HI dedicated revenues will decline slowly to 81 percent in 2041, and will then rise gradually to 88 percent in 2091. The HI fund again fails the test of short-range financial adequacy, as its trust fund ratio is already below 100 percent of annual costs, and is expected to stay about unchanged to 2021 before declining in a continuous fashion until reserve depletion in 2029."


It can be fixed easily. The government just elects to spend the money elsewhee. 

So it begins.
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@MIseker wrote:

@GailL1 wrote:

Don't you think we should fix the current program (Part A) BEFORE any changes or the addition of whole new group?

 

per the 2017 Trustees Report:

2017 Social Security and Medicare Trustee Report Summary

 

"The Trustees project that the HI Trust Fund will be depleted in 2029, one year later than projected in last year's report. At that time dedicated revenues will be sufficient to pay 88 percent of HI costs. The Trustees project that the share of HI cost that can be financed with HI dedicated revenues will decline slowly to 81 percent in 2041, and will then rise gradually to 88 percent in 2091. The HI fund again fails the test of short-range financial adequacy, as its trust fund ratio is already below 100 percent of annual costs, and is expected to stay about unchanged to 2021 before declining in a continuous fashion until reserve depletion in 2029."


It can be fixed easily. The government just elects to spend the money elsewhee. 


It will have to be fixed based on the Part -

Part A can be fixed by reducing benefits or increasing the payroll tax.

 

Part B premiums can be increased more by adding more people to the income based premiums - as higher income people do not ( over $85,000 single now)

 

However, these income related premiums can be fanned out downward in the income level.  Many politicians of different flavors have suggested this.

 

i believe it is in the House Budget Bill now and it was previously suggested by the Obama Administration.  So people making over $85,000 (single) now pay a higher Part B premium based on income but that income figure for assessment of the income based premium could become $45,000.

 

KFF 01/13/2014 Raising Medicare Premiums For Higher Income Beneficiaries -

 

From the link 

"Modifications to Medicare’s current income-related premiums have been proposed recently by several policymakers and groups, including the Obama Administration as part of the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and FY 2014 budgets, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC),2 the Center for American Progress (CAP),3 and the Moment of Truth Project4 (headed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform) (Table 1).5

 

In general, these proposals would reduce Medicare spending by increasing the share of beneficiaries paying income-related premiums relative to current law, increasing the amount of premiums they are required to pay, or both.

 

This brief includes an analysis of a proposal to modify current-law income thresholds and freeze these thresholds until 25 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries are required to pay the income-related premium, based on the parameters in the President’s FY 2014 budget. As described more fully below, this proposal is estimated to result in higher Medicare premiums for beneficiaries with incomes at or above $45,600 for individuals and $91,300 for couples (in 2013 dollars), once fully implemented in 2036—the year when 25 percent of beneficiaries are estimated to be paying income-related premiums, according to this analysis"

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I'm Ok with that as long as there's no increase of subsides. I'd prefer to make it 59.5 so it corresponds with access to IRA's and 401K's without penalties.

Libs are nuttier than squirrel poop
Honored Social Butterfly

Im for it. of course im for it my back gave it up at 50.
So it begins.
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