Healthcare Business News

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

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: January 5, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

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.

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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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