Starting next year, baby boomers will begin qualifying for Medicare. This is causing some pretty big concerns not only for the government, but for baby boomers and everyone else as well. For more information on what the general concerns are the largest age group in American nears retirement and what this may mean for you, keep on reading after the jump.
The largest population burst in American history occurred between 1946 and 1964, given rise to a generation commonly known as baby boomers. This year, the first of this large group will begin turning 65, making them eligible for government sponsored Medicare.
This may not seem like a big deal, but when you consider the troubles our government has faced recently it means that not only baby boomers, but everyone else, may find themselves with reduced or no Medicare benefits in the future.
2.8 million baby boomers will qualify for Medicare next year, with 4.2 million by 2030, with the cost of the program rising to $929 billion by 2020. That’s an 80% increase. on top of that, as more baby boomers retire, the workforce will shrink, leaving less people to pay for the program. At this rate, it is estimated the program will run out of money by 2017 unless changes are made.
In a recent poll, 43% of baby boomers said they don’t expect to be able to rely on Medicare for the rest of their lives, while only 20% said they felt their benefits were secure. There was a willingness across the board in all age groups to make sacrifices to keep the program alive, which would probably mean higher Medicare taxes. People want to be able to take advantage of benefits they have been paying for since they started working, and don’t mind paying a little more to ensure they get it. Most people, including people in their 20s whose parents are beginning to retire and even Republicans said they would rather pay more in taxes to ensure the stability of the program and to keep doctors payments from being cut.
Another solution is to raise the age in which people can qualify for Social Security to age 67 to allot for more tax funds. Although 63% said they didn’t support raising the age for Social Security, 59% said they would if not doing so meant they would lose their Medicare benefits.
What do you think of the possibility of baby boomers losing Medicare benefits? Are you a baby boomer that may be effected by this? Would you pay higher taxes or support raising the age for Social Security to save Medicare? Leave us some comments and let us know your feelings on this topic, and be sure to check out the video on Medicare below.