More Than 100K Early Retirees Eligible for Expanded Medicaid
More than 100,000 "early claimers" -- or individuals who retire early and claim Social Security benefits at age 62 -- might be eligible for Medicaid in the states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, Modern Healthcare reports.
The report found that roughly one million early retirees lacked either Medicaid coverage or employer-sponsored coverage before the ACA's insurance options took effect earlier this year.
According to the agency, 14% of those individuals might be eligible for coverage through Medicaid in the 25 states and Washington, D.C., that expanded Medicaid programs under the ACA. Meanwhile, another 58% could be eligible for tax credits to offset the cost of private coverage through the health insurance exchanges, the report found.
However, roughly 10% of early claimers reside in states that have not expanded Medicaid and had incomes below the federal poverty line, which makes them ineligible for the exchange premium subsidies, according to Modern Healthcare.
Webster Philips, a senior legislative representative at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said the expanded ability to obtain coverage under the ACA is most beneficial to "people who have been forced out of a job at age 62 or 63," when it is "very difficult for them to find [another job]."
Meanwhile, Linda Riddell -- a health policy analyst at Health Economy, a health care consulting firm -- said many eligible retirees might forgo Medicaid coverage because of the program's stigma, especially among older U.S. residents (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 6/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.