Few have been left untouched by rising health care costs, and yet our United States Congress is considering legislation that would “pile on” to these rising costs, falling hardest on consumers who are still too young for Medicare, those ages 50 to 64. Being considered is a measure that would allow insurance companies to tack on an extra “age tax”. Known as the “State Age Rating Flexibility Act of 2017,” it would allow insurers to charge five times more for coverage than is charged younger adults for the same policies. While current law already allows health insurers to charge older adults up to three times what they charge other people, this law could increase premiums up to $3,000 per year for the average 60-year-old.
Rather than target certain groups for higher premiums based on their age, AARP believes that our representatives in Congress should find ways to reduce costs for people of all ages. Imposing an age tax on older consumers to increase profits for insurance companies is not the answer. Making it harder for older Americans to pay for their health care is not the answer. We must insist that our representatives refuse to succumb to the pressures placed on them by those companies who have little regard for policies that benefit everyone, including lower prescription drug prices, better coordination of care and the elimination of waste.
-Submitted by Joyce Williams