Campaigning in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) said he would expand eligibility for several already-existing federal healthcare programsincluding lowering the age limit for Medicare while raising the age limit in the State Childrens Health Insurance Programand he would couple such moves with broader reforms to the health insurance industry as a way toward universal coverage.
Biden would expand SCHIP at the least to families with incomes up to 300% of the current federal poverty levelroughly $61,950 for a family of fouras well as extend the coverage to young adults up to age 21. Additionally, all families would be given the option to buy into the program on a sliding-income scale, according to a news release.
Biden said he would allow uninsured adults to buy into an insurance program that mirrors the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan, which covers members of Congress, their staffs and other federal employees.
Under Biden's plan, individuals age 55 to 64 would also be allowed to enter Medicare. Biden would also allow insurers that offer individual policies to access a reinsurance pool of dollars if they agree not to turn people away because of pre-existing conditions or risk. And a final part of his health reform platform encourages the use of wellness programs and other types of preventive-care measures. -- by Matthew DoBias
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