Congressman Tim Ryan Co-Sponsors Legislation to Offer Medicare Buy-In For Americans As Young As 50 | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Co-Sponsors Legislation to Offer Medicare Buy-In For Americans As Young As 50

May 11, 2021
Press Release
Medicare Buy-in and Health Care Stabilization Act Would Also Lower the Cost of Care for Older Americans

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) co-sponsored legislation that would allow Americans to buy into Medicare early, between the ages of 50 to 64, an important step in expanding access to high quality and affordable health insurance.

The Medicare Buy-in and Health Care Stabilization Act builds on the success and popularity of the Medicare program by allowing Americans age 50-64, who are more likely to face pre-existing conditions and premium increases, to purchase Medicare coverage with no effect on the Medicare Trust Fund. Additionally, to provide Americans with the best price and allow for comparison shopping, the plans under this legislation would be offered on the health care exchange.

“Medicare is one of our nation’s most trusted programs that already delivers high-quality, affordable care for many aging and older Americans. We’ve made big strides over the past ten years getting more people covered through the Affordable Care Act, but we can do better. This important legislation is a commonsense next step towards ensuring every American has affordable, quality health care,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “One of the added benefits of this Medicare buy-in is that it will not only offer coverage to more people, but it will also strengthen Medicare and lower premiums for folks across the country. Healthcare in this country should be a right, not a privilege, and this legislation is a key step to making good on that promise.”

Millions of Americans approaching retirement or forced to retire early due to layoffs or mandatory retirement face increasing health care needs and rising costs. Today, 27% of adults approaching retirement are not confident that they can afford health insurance over the next year, and more than a quarter have issues navigating health insurance options, coverage decisions and out-of-pocket costs. Many did not get the care they needed because of how much it would cost or kept a job or delayed retirement to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance.

Prior to the enactment of legislation establishing Medicare in 1965, over half of Americans over the age of 65 didn’t have health insurance. Today Medicare provides health coverage for over 54.5 million Americans ages 65 and older. 

The legislation would also make permanent the expansion of premium tax credits,  included in the American Rescue Plan, to help improve the affordability of insurance plans on the ACA marketplace.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 77% of Americans support policy allowing people between the ages of 50 and 64 to buy insurance through the Medicare program.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Sherrod Brown (OH), Debbie Stabenow (MI),  and Tammy Baldwin (WI).