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Medicare at 60: The President’s Plan


With a new President in the White House, many changes are coming to health care. These changes possibly include Medicare at 60. Below, we’ll provide some insight into what lowering the Medicare eligibility age could entail.

The Proposal for Medicare at 60

Besides a proposal to offer a public health insurance option similar to Medicare, President Biden hopes to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60. During the presidential race, this was part of his health care platform. Currently, the age at which one becomes Medicare-eligible is 65. Individuals under 65 can obtain Medicare if they collect SSDI for 24 months or are diagnosed with ALS or ESRD.

Lowering the eligibility age five years aims to provide health care to those who retired early, are unemployed, or lack health benefits through their employer. Additionally, qualifying U.S. citizens over 60 would have an extra health care option. As the market is more difficult for older job seekers, the President says it’s necessary to provide this safety net.

Who Would Be Eligible for Medicare at 60?

When someone with U.S. citizenship of at least five years reaches age 65, they become eligible for Medicare. Currently, it seems as though the age would lower to 60 without any additional requirements. Therefore, millions more Americans would be able to obtain Medicare. Additionally, it isn’t clear if the penalties that people must pay for delaying enrollment would become effective when they turn 60 rather than 65.

Now, those who lack creditable coverage and don’t enroll when aging in at 65 pay late penalties through increased premiums. It’s possible that the penalties could start at 60 or remain for those who wait until after 65 to enroll.

The Cost of Medicare at 60

If Medicare at 60 becomes reality, there are financial concerns that the country must address. Those who age in are eligible for Part A premium-free if they’ve paid in while working for at least 40 quarters (ten years). The tax money goes to the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund. This fund pays for Part A, which is why it is premium-free for most.

A major concern is that the HI Trust Fund is at risk of insolvency. Meaning, there might not be sufficient revenue to cover Part A premiums in just a few years. The original prediction for when this would happen was 2026, but the pandemic is an additional strain on the fund and is speeding up the timeline.

The HI Trust Fund would need to be well-funded if Medicare at 60 becomes law. Millions more people would need to start receiving the coverage that they’ve already paid into.

Medigap at 60

Medigap plans cover the 20% of costs that Original Medicare doesn’t. Presently, participants can use the Open Enrollment Period to choose a Medigap plan to begin at the same time as their Part B coverage. In this time window, their health doesn’t impact whether they’re accepted into a plan.

The President doesn’t have a publicly outlined plan for how Medigap would work when people age in at 60. Currently, state laws dictate whether a basic Medigap plan must be available for those under 65. At present, it isn’t clear whether everyone would be eligible for their choice of Medigap plan at age 60 or if the states would determine whether an option would be available to them before 65.

Also, it is unclear whether guaranteed issue rights will apply to those between the ages of 60 and 65. These rights apply to circumstances when Medicare Supplement and Advantage carriers cannot deny someone’s application due to health conditions. Thus, those with guaranteed issue rights do not have to answer medical underwriting questions.

When Will the Medicare Eligibility Age Lower?

Now, with Democratic control of the Senate, it’s more likely that Medicare at 60 will go into effect in the coming years. Additionally, a majority of individuals on both sides of the political aisle support a Medicare buy-in plan for adults over 50.

Yet, there is opposition – particularly from hospitals because of lower reimbursement rates. Thus, there could be pushback in the process.

Regardless of the outcome, the eligibility age for Medicare won’t change overnight. Lowering the eligibility age is no longer part of the U.S. Government’s budget for Fiscal Year 2022. So, the Medicare eligibility age will not see a reduction anytime in the next year.

In the meantime, it’s crucial for beneficiaries to stay up-to-date with the latest information about potential changes to Medicare, including a reduced eligibility age. We will be updating this content as more information is available.

Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

33 thoughts on “Medicare at 60: The President’s Plan

  1. I’m 59 and would like to retire @ 60 because my body is tired from working 2 and three jobs all my life to make ends meet, I would love to see the change take place before I turn 60 so I would be eligible for Medicare then. It would be a huge blessing, do you think the transition to Medicare at age 60 or even 62 could happen by the year 2023?

    1. Unfortunately, it is hard to say if this change could be implemented by 2023. As of now, no legislation has been passed to lower the beneficiary age of Medicare. However, as Medicare is evolving and ever-changing, we will have the most up-to-date information available if a change is made.

  2. I a wondering our professional politicians count another aspect of lowing Medicare age. If it is lowered, it will encourage more people to retire. Then it will open up more quality job opportunities for younger generation. For employers, it means they can hire younger employees with lower salary. If employers need knowledge or experience of older generations, they can hire retired experts part-time. I know many retirees with experience want part-time jobs while enjoying their stress free life and some additional income. Increased tax income from younger generation can fund the increased Medicare expenditure. I wonder our politicians consider this aspect or not.

  3. We have been hoping and praying that Medicare age gets lowered sooner than a year or two from now! My husband will be 64 in 2022 and we were sure hoping he could get on Medicare in early 2022. Any chance of that happening? I am 66 now and on Medicare and that has been a life savor for me! We cannot afford insurance on him right now.

    1. Hi Becky, as of now, the Medicare eligibility age remains at 65 and there is no confirmation of that changing in the near future. You might want to look into tax credits for Marketplace plans through Healthcare.gov as an affordable healthcare option until your husband is eligible

  4. I’m 62, can afford to retire if I didn’t have health insurance issues. I make too much for medicaid but not enough to pay the hefty insurance premiums. This is making a usually very happy go lucky person, depressed.

    1. Sue, we are sorry to hear about your current health care problems. We’ll be happy to help you find the best rates when it comes time for you to enroll in Medicare.

  5. I will be retiring at 60 years old in 2.8 years. I think it is the right thing to do for us aging workers, who have worn our bodies out with physical work. I have a better idea ,why don’t all tax paying US citizen’s get the same health care and benefits that our Washington representative’s receive ?

  6. I thought this was taken out of the bill? Is it still up for vote or has it been voted on? What is the likelihood of this bill passing? I have 3.5 years until 60, I retired at 55.

  7. Biden promise the American people Medicare/Medicaid at age sixty. And if it pass it need to start right away no waiting people are sick and dying can’t afford to wait.

  8. Is there any consideration given for women who are at-home moms and have not earned 40 credits, but their husbands have ?

    1. Hi Carolyn – if your spouse has sufficient tax credits for premium-free Medicare Part A, you are eligible as well.

  9. I would like to see 60, years old for Medicaid insurance . What a better way to invest in our American People, nurturing
    Us instead of helping over seas in a war which should have started in the beginning, except should be over now . The money going to pay for military can take care of our Retirement at age 60. Especially at this time of loosing jobs over COVID . Thank you , Joe Biden , love to you and your family.

  10. I’m 59 years old and pay $1041 a month for health insurance through the exchange. I had a Gold plan because I had cancer and needed the lower deductible. It’s ridiculous not to offer people in this age group an alternative plan. Medicare could include me and just charge more like half. At $500 a month they could afford it.

  11. If a person is eligible to get Social Security at 62 if they wish why can’t they just go on Medicare also especially if their spouse is older and already on Medicare it would ease the burden of their finances! And the spouse that is older won’t have to work longer doing a job that is hard on their bodies!

      1. Why don’t If US citizens get it all at age at least 60, a full retirement? Instead of taking poor immigrants to US and give them social benefits, these money can be spent for pensions to US citizens, who worked whole life and paid taxes to US government! The citizens who should have quite and fulfilled life at the end of life road! … and leave all jobs/opportunities to younger people, who will pay taxes to keep retired people happy, and keep this plan generation after generation…. that would be fair…

      2. I agree 100%. Especially, since one can receive SSI at 62. That’s a great compromise from Medicare at 60.

    1. It needs to be 60. Why compromise? The only faction opposed are hospitals. For profit hospitals are currently making record profits and have stock prices at all time highs while folks 60 and above who have had a job disruption are paying $20k a year with a high deductible plan to avoid medical bankruptcy in case something bad happens. The right thing to do is to open Medicare to interested parties at an earlier age. It also strengthens the program with a healthier younger population enrolled. We need to do the right thing.

  12. So does that mean me at age 60 have no hope of seeing this change and getting in at 60 or even 62 way pasted the 65 Medicare eligibility?

    1. Hi Victoria! Changing the Medicare eligibility age would be a huge undertaking. If it passes, it would take a few years until it became effective. It’s more than likely it won’t happen before you turn 65.

  13. I am a Registered Nurse and have been with my Employer for over 30 years. I am ready to retire, but I am only 58 1/2 years old. There is no “bridge” of healthcare for me to benefit upon until I turn 67. Hands are tied with golden Handcuffs until this Medicare package comes thru. Or, I just take a chance and risk all of my assets not carrying any Health Care coverage. So sad for us Health Care Workers esp. post Pandemic. Still not recognized.

    1. You are eligible for Medicare at 65, not 67. Hopefully, your employer offers you some sort of retirement healthcare package to hold you over until you age into Medicare. You can also look at the Marketplace for healthcare coverage options.

      1. The Market place inst very “affordable” unless you have very low income. High premiums and high deductibles. Yearly costs of over 15K before plans even pay anything are common. If there was a better way for those that would retire early it would open up more jobs for younger folks which in turn saves employers salary costs. I am a disabled Veteran and continue to work every day in pain at age 63 because my wife is 5 years younger and the health care costs for her are high if we were on my retired income.

      2. Most companies in the private sector don’t offer retirement benefits or pensions anymore. We have to retire on our own dime. It sure would be nice if we had affordable Healthcare options so we could retire early like the people that work in the public sector can. We still won’t have a pension but we won’t have to spend all our savings on Healthcare.

    2. I was just laid off from my job at the age of 61. I counted on working to 65 so I could have company sponsored health insurance until I turned 65. Here I am now at 61 with low prospects for someone wanting to hire a technical professional at my age. Medicare at 60 makes a lot of sense for many of us including my wife and I who are thrown into this situation by a corporate America that routinely practices age discrimination discretely, but will always deny it.

      1. 100% you right. Age discrimination! I believe all US citizens should start having free Health insurance(dental and vision, and Rx, and hospitals no matter for how long), pension money enough to live normal life until we die…
        US citizens deserve, even those, who has been worked entire life, must go for a quiet, happy American life rest.

    1. Hi Chris! This is a very difficult question to answer. It would most likely take years to put the change in place and for the government, brokers, and carriers to get their ducks in a row.

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