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Boomers to benefit from healthcare reform

NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. baby boomers ages 50-64 have high rates of unemployment so that group would benefit significantly from healthcare reform, a report says.

A report by the Commonwealth Fund says of the uninsured adults in this age group, 75 report forgo needed healthcare and medications because of costs and 46 percent report not getting recommended preventive care.

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More than half of uninsured women in this age group had not had a mammogram within the past two years and nearly 70 percent of uninsured and underinsured baby boomers report that they have problems paying medical bills or are paying off medical debt.

Of the 8.6 million currently uninsured U.S. adults ages 50-64 -- almost equally divided between men and women -- 3.3 million with incomes under $29,000 for a family of four will gain Medicaid coverage, the report says.

An additional 3.5 million with incomes up to $88,000 for a family of four will be able to gain subsidized private coverage through the new health insurance exchanges and 1.4 million with higher incomes will gain new coverage with consumer protections, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the report says.

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"A loss of employer health benefits can be devastating to men and women in this age group since their older age and higher rates of chronic health problems places them at risk of facing exorbitant premiums, having a condition excluded from their coverage, or being denied insurance altogether if they try to buy it on their own," lead author Sara Collins says in a statement.

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