Out-of-pocket payments drop 27% upon becoming Medicare-eligible, report says

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A report from the University of Michigan highlights that turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare cuts out-of-pocket healthcare costs by 27 percent.

The drop in costs was apparent despite consistent income and even a 5 percent increase in insurance and personal healthcare spending, according to a news release on the study.

The report highlights cost savings associated with crossing the eligibility threshold, as well as the effect of shifting the Medicare eligibility age. Decreasing the eligibility age even a few years could present significant cost savings for the portion of adults in their early 60s who spend "a major chunk of their disposable income" on healthcare.

The percent of respondents who reported "catastrophic" spending on healthcare costs (over 40 percent of disposable income) declined 35 percent by age 66. 

The study also highlighted coverage improvements, with 5 percent of 64-year-olds identifying as uninsured while nearly none of the 66-year-old respondents identified as uninsured.

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