65- to 67-year-olds mostly in­el­i­gi­ble for Med­i­caid

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

I be­lieve your ed­i­to­rial ar­gu­ing against pre­cip­i­tous ac­tion on Medi­care (“No an­swers in quick fixes,” Dec. 17, p. 22), such as the pro­posal to raise the el­i­gi­bil­ity age from 65 to 67, in­cludes one er­ro­neous sup­po­si­tion. Should this pro­posal re­sult in loss of cov­er­age for those in this age group with­out em­ployer in­surance cov­er­age, they would gen­er­ally not be el­i­gi­ble for Med­i­caid.

The Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act pro­vides for Med­i­caid cov­er­age of unin­sured adults only up to age 65, at which point it was sup­posed that Medi­care would kick in. Thus, the pro­posed in­crease in the age of el­i­gi­bil­ity for Medi­care would likely re­sult in much of this group be­com­ing unin­sured, and Med­i­caid would not be avail­able, un­less they were el­i­gi­ble for SSI (Sup­ple­men­tal Se­cu­rity In­come), which has re­stric­tive in­come el­i­gi­bil­ity lim­its.

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of states have opted against the ex­pan­sion of Med­i­caid in­come el­i­gi­bil­ity to adults with­out de­pen­dent chil­dren, leav­ing SSI as the only av­enue to Med­i­caid el­i­gi­bil­ity for adults with­out chil­dren. Richard E. Heg­ner

Columbia, Md.

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