Too young for Medicare, too old for insurance
The Kansas City Star
Lots of health care stories floating around the web this week in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision being released next week.
Here’s one from American Medical News, reporting on a Kaiser Family Foundation study that examines the situation faced by “near seniors,” people aged 55 to 64.
According to the foundation’s well-regarded research, more than 40 percent of people surveyed in this group reported that they’d had to forego or delay medical care because they lack adequate insurance. Almost 35 percent reported they’d gone without recommended specialty care, and nearly a third had problems affording prescription drugs.
I’m actually surprised this group hasn’t gotten more attention. It’s a demographic that has been hit hard by layoffs and long-term unemployment. And by the time somebody hits 55, chances are the insurance companies will find some reason to deny them a policy or offer an unreasonably high premium.
This group would really benefit from the insurance exchange that will be created if the Affordable Care Act is upheld. People will be able to shop for affordable policies, and they can’t be rejected for pre-existing conditions. That would be to the good of all. By not postponing care as they approach Medicare eligibility, they’ll require fewer Medicare-provided services when they hit age 65.