Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 22, 2013 - The debate over eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare continues.
While proposals to raise the eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare stay in the news, social scientists and other longevity researchers have found that not everyone is living longer. While higher-income, well-educated individuals are showing extended life expectancies, many other demographic groups are not.
Caucasian men and women in the U.S. who have 16 or more years of education have life expectancies far beyond African-American men and women with less than 12 years of education. Caucasian men are living an average of 14.2 years longer than African-American men, while Caucasian women are living 10 years more than African-American women.
"The age-based rules for both Social Security and Medicare do not currently take into count education and race for benefits," says Tampa Social Security lawyer David Magann.
As currently drafted, the age-related eligibility rules of Medicare and Social Security do not adequately deal with this disparity, experts say. But working on equitable policies would take extensive new policies and legislative efforts not currently in the cards, as lawmakers grapple with the looming fiscal cliff.
Social Security does have a grid in place to provide lower-income beneficiaries with a structure of payments to help replace some of the pre-retirement income. But Social Security's benefits include highest payments for individuals who defer collecting benefits until they hit age 70, and is currently scheduled to rise to 67 for anyone born in or after 1960.
Medicare is not equipped to help seniors who live past their expected lifespan; it is only devised to provide for short-term, acute medical care and does not have a process in place for long-term care. As the population continues to age and more people need long-term medical care, the system becomes increasingly strained. While The Affordable Care Act will help Medicare work more effectively for seniors, it does not have an extensive plan in place for long-term care.
"The additional proposed age-eligibility changes for both Social Security and Medicare," says Magann, "will need extensive study and review. The system, as it currently is in place, is in dire need of additional review."
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
6107 Memorial Hwy
Tampa, Florida 33615
South Tampa Office:
Bank of Tampa Building
601 Bayshore Blvd Ste 105
Tampa, FL 33606
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