Obamacare is allowing many Americans to retire early and claim Social Security benefits at age 62 without shouldering exorbitant healthcare costs until they can get Medicare, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (PDF).
About a million early claimers did not have Medicaid or employer-sponsored health insurance before the coverage provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kicked in this year. Of those, 14% may be newly eligible for Medicaid in the 25 states (and the District of Columbia) that expanded the program under the law. Another 58% could be eligible for tax credits toward purchasing coverage through the new insurance exchanges.
But the agency found that 10% of these early claimers lived in states that did not expand Medicaid and had incomes that were below the federal poverty level—too low to qualify for exchange subsidies.