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Health Aff (Millwood). 2001 Jan-Feb;20(1):219-30.

Betwixt and between: targeting coverage reforms to those approaching Medicare.

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  • 1Pennsylvania State University, USA.


Recent Medicare buy-in proposals agree on setting eligibility at age sixty-two but disagree on linking eligibility to loss of employer insurance or ability to pay. We examine arguments for targeting incremental coverage for older Americans in these ways. While access to retiree health insurance is declining, we question whether targeting loss of employer insurance can address many older Americans' insurance problems. Furthermore, focusing on persons ages sixty-two to sixty-four misses a large group of persons in poor health with limited resources. Efforts to improve coverage for older Americans should consider trade-offs between defining eligibility by age versus ability to pay.

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