Report: Older Americans Support Lowering of Medicare Eligibility Age

New survey shows senior support is widespread, but so are obstacles and gaps in awareness

For a growing number of Americans, health insurance is a double-edged sword; some can’t afford it, but they also can’t afford to live without it. For older Americans who see help on the horizon in the form of Medicare, a proposal like Medicare at 60 — which aims to lower the eligibility age from 65 — would make that horizon more broad.

In a recent survey, GoHealth sought to discover how those eagerly awaiting eligibility for Medicare — and those already on Medicare — feel about the idea of lowering the eligibility age and how it relates to their current healthcare situation. We surveyed 3,229 Americans ages 55 and over and compared insights among four groups: employed, unemployed, retired and Medicare beneficiaries. The findings were enlightening:

Aware of Proposal to Lower Medicare Eligibility Age

64% not enrolled in Medicare favored lowering the age, and 49% of Medicare beneficiaries favored the change.

Not Aware of Proposal to Lower Medicare Eligibility Age

70% not enrolled in Medicare favored lowering the age, and 58% of Medicare beneficiaries favored the change.

Among those under 65 and not on Medicare, 53% said they worry about their ability to afford health insurance until they become eligible for Medicare.

Since Medicare was created in 1965, the eligibility age has been set at 65. In recent years, proposals to lower the age — such as Medicare at 60 — have gained attention. In spite of the headlines, we found that many older Americans still lack awareness of the topic and the programs in place today.

23% were aware of proposals to lower the Medicare age from 65

28% were not aware that the Medicare eligibility age is 65 at the time of the survey

Those in favor of lowering the standard eligibility age shared their opinions about the ideal age:

Age 50 (10%)

Age 55 (19%)

Age 60 (34%)

Age 62 (30%)

What does this mean? Simply put, the majority of people support lowering the age, and many think it will help them afford health coverage.

How GoHealth Can Help

Not currently eligible for Medicare?

  • In addition to Medicare, GoHealth also offers access to individual healthcare plans provided by several insurance carriers. A GoHealth licensed insurance agent can review your needs, eligibility, and get you enrolled in the right plan.

Currently enrolled in Medicare?

  • Helping you get the most out of your Medicare plan is what we do. GoHealth’s team of licensed insurance agents can review your needs and help maximize your benefits. Time is running out though, Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period closes December 7.

Are you in the right plan?

  • This study and our Biannual Medicare 2020 report uncovered that plan affordability is a concern for many. Our licensed insurance agents can look at your policy and see what options you may have, including Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap).

Need to learn more?

Download the report, "Lowering the Medicare Eligibility Age: Opinion & Awareness Among Older Adults" to learn about seniors' opinions on changing the age of Medicare eligibility.

Download Report

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