A new issue for workers' compensation programs is emerging as the Republicans push forward on their legislative agenda to reform Medicare. Uncertainty over the impact of raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 may seriously and adversely impact the nation's network of fragile workers' compensation schemes. Furthermore, looming in the background is also the elimination of The Affordable Care Act and the consequence of a large pool of uninsured again seniors.
The workers' compensation system has been challenged by an aging universe of working seniors who bring to the table pre-existing and co-existing medical conditions that impact theories of occupational causal relationships and state workers' compensation law reforms involving prior functional loss.
The Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Act may have a lightened load to one side of the scale. On the other side will be the elimination of a strong safety-net resulting in a major increase in the litigation of medical benefits and the end of cost-shifting by employers and their insurance companies onto the nations taxpayers.
A recently published study brings the issue out into the open and discuss the adverse consequences of raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.
"Raising Medicare’s eligibility age to 67—featured in Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s plan, “A Better Way: Health Care”—has gained renewed support in the current political environment.[ Research conducted by the Actuarial Research Corporation (ARC) for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation provides compelling evidence that suggests this would not be a “better way,” either for the health of Americans aged 65 and 66 or for the financial health of the institutions that provide care for them."
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters).
For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman 1.973.696.7900 email@example.com has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.