Under health reform, virtually all 65- and 66-year-olds would be expected to obtain alternative sources of coverage. According to the study, 42% are projected to obtain coverage through employer-sponsored plans, 38% through plans offered via health insurance exchanges, and 20% through the expansion of Medicaid for low-income adults.
Raising Medicare eligibility to age 67 in 2014 would result in $31.1 billion in gross Medicare savings in 2014 because Medicare would no longer be covering 65- and 66-year-olds, the study said. The gross savings would be partially offset by increases in federal spending for individuals who would be covered by Medicaid ($8.9 billion) and for individuals receiving premium tax credits in the exchanges ($7.5 billion). The gross savings also would be offset by a $7 billion reduction in Medicare premium receipts from 65- and 66-year-olds who would no longer be enrolled in the program.
In addition, the study said healthcare costs for employers would increase by an estimated $4.5 billion in 2014 as employer plans become the primary payer for 65- and 66-year-olds who would no longer be eligible for Medicare, rather than provide supplemental coverage that wraps around Medicare.
The study also found that:
The study may be viewed here.