There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (11/20/2008)

Medicare Early Access Act of 2008 - Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to add a new part E (Purchase of Medicare Benefits by Certain Individuals 55 to 65 Years of Age).

Provides access to Medicare benefits for individuals 55 to 64 years of age who do not have coverage under a federal health insurance program or under a group plan.

Requires enrollees to pay a premium to receive Medicare coverage. Requires the Secretary to base the premium on the Secretary's estimate of the average, national annual per capita amount of the cost of providing services to the population.

Allows early retirees with access to retiree coverage to enroll under this part while keeping their federal or state COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) continuation coverage. Allows an employer that offers employment-based retiree health coverage to an individual who enrolls under this part to modify such coverage to provide for: (1) employer payment of items and services for which payment may not be made under Medicare; and (2) employer payment of 25% of the monthly premium applicable to the individual after enrollment.

Creates in the Treasury the Medicare Early Access Trust Fund to hold the premiums collected under this Act and to support the new program.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow program enrollees to receive a 75% advance, refundable credit to offset Medicare early access premium costs (thus requiring program enrollees in the Medicare early access program to be responsible for 25% of the monthly premiums).