Cost Shift Seen in Raising Medicare Age to 67

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A new study on Medicare is revealing the difficulty in changing the current system.

Employers and even some younger people would pay more for health insurance if lawmakers raise the eligibility age for the program.

The research suggests that Medicare's future matters not only to seniors and those nearing retirement, but to a broad cross-section of Americans.

A Kaiser Family Foundation study shows that raising the retirement age to 67 could save Medicare billions of dollars.

However, it would raise the cost for those already on Medicare by 3 percent. Those costs could total more than $2,000 a year for some individuals.

Raising the retirement age would also increase insurance costs for people under 30 because more seniors would remain in the insurance pool.

Some analysts say the qualifying ages for Social Security and Medicare should be yoked together - at 67 or even higher.

"There are so many moving parts in a program as big as Medicare that it's difficult to make changes without having ripple effects for others," said Tricia Neuman, Kaiser's leading Medicare expert. The foundation serves as a clearinghouse for information about the nation's health care system.

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