How Lowering the Medicare Eligibility Age Might Affect Employer-Sponsored Insurance Costs
President Biden proposed lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 60 during the presidential campaign, with the goal of broadening coverage and making health coverage affordable for older adults.
This analysis illustrates the potential for employer savings and finds that lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 60 could reduce costs for employer health plans by as much as 15 percent if all eligible employees shifted from employer plans to Medicare. Similarly, costs for employer plans could drop by as much as 30 percent if all people age 55 and over were no longer in employer-sponsored insurance, the analysis finds, and by up to 43 percent if everyone 50 and older chose to enroll in Medicare. The actual impact on health spending for employers would depend on how many older workers shifted from employer coverage to Medicare.
The brief is available on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.