Skip to Content

Chavez-DeRemer introduced bill to lower Medicare enrollment age to 57 for first responders


WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – Reps. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) and Jimmy Panetta (CA-19) have introduced the First Responders’ Care Expansion (FRCE) Act to lower the Medicare enrollment age for first responders to 57.

The lawmakers introduced the legislation in recognition of National Police Week. 

First responders are often forced to retire early due to the physical toll of service. The FRCE Act would ensure first responders have access to quality health care coverage when they enter retirement and act as an incentive in the recruitment of new officers, firefighters, and other public servants.

Under the FRCE Act, first responders with 10 years of service would be eligible for the lower Medicare enrollment age. These first responders include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and other protective service occupations.

“First responders often work in high-stress, high-pressure situations – running towards danger to save lives. That takes a toll on mental and physical health. Our bipartisan legislation will ensure dedicated first responders who retire early are still able to access and receive the health care they need. I’m grateful for their service to our communities and will always work to support our brave first responders,” Chavez-DeRemer said.

“When first responders retire early due to the immense physical and mental demands of service, they often face limited affordable health care options,” said Panetta. “The FRCE Act addresses this unacceptable reality by lowering the Medicare enrollment age for these public servants, expanding access to the high-quality healthcare. First responders sacrifice so much to serve and protect our communities and that is why they deserve proper healthcare both during service and well into retirement.”

First responders face higher risk of workplace injury, cardiovascular disease, mental health challenges, and general wear and tear of muscles, joints, and ligaments due to the physical and stress demands of their occupations. A June 2021 national survey from the Police Executive Research Forum found a 45 percent increase in law enforcement retirements and an 18 percent rise in resignations compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, law enforcementfirefighters, and other first responders face challenges in recruitment, with 78 percent of law enforcement agencies reporting difficulties in recruiting qualified candidates.

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ news sources


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content