WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today reintroduced the Medicare at 50 Act to give people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old the option of buying into Medicare to provide the millions of Americans approaching retirement or forced to retire early due to layoffs or mandatory retirement, who face increasing health care needs and rising costs with an additional, affordable option for their health insurance coverage.
“Lowering the Medicare eligibility age will give more Ohioans and people across the country another trusted option for quality health care,” said Brown. “This is a step in the right direction to help millions of people, strengthen the Affordable Care Act and get us closer to making sure everyone has healthcare coverage.”
Allowing more Americans to buy into Medicare has the potential to lower their costs, reinforce the existing Medicare program, and strengthen the existing health insurance marketplace. Polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that 77 percent of the public supports giving people between the ages of 50 and 64 the option to buy Medicare.
Today, 27% of adults approaching retirement are not confident that they can afford health insurance over the next year, and more than a quarter have issues navigating health insurance options, coverage decisions and out-of-pocket costs. Many did not get the care they needed because of how much it would cost or kept a job or delayed retirement to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance.
Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jack Reed (D-RI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) are also cosponsoring the Medicare at 50 Act.