Courtney, Larson Support Proposal Granting Early Access To Medicare

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – Members of Congress from Connecticut are seeking to change a federal law to allow people approaching retirement age to buy Medicare health coverage before they would otherwise be eligible for the program.

Eastern Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney says giving people the option of buying Medicare coverage on health insurance exchanges could save money for patients between the ages of 50 and 65.

“Our buy-in proposal would allow individuals and small businesses to take advantage of the very efficient, cost effective coverage that Medicare provides,” he said. “The calculations are that it would be about a 40% reduction in terms of the premiums that people are looking at through the Affordable Care Act health exchanges.”

First District Congressman John Larson stated this change could be part of a bipartisan movement, which he believes the public wants from government. “There is a desire, a thirsting out there in the public, to come forward with solutions that are neither Democrat or Republican. There’s nothing about a person’s health that’s Democrat or Republican.”

Supporters of the bill say a 60-year-old could pay about five thousand dollars less for Medicare than for a gold health insurance plan on an insurance exchange.

The bill would also allow the federal government to save money by negotiating for lower prices on prescription drugs.