Medicare is a non-means tested federal insurance program that covers many qualified Americans. It is designed more specifically for people who are 65 or older, or who have certain disabilities that meet the requirements. Medicare Part A is a free portion of the program that helps provide hospital insurance, in-hospital care, skilled nursing care, nursing home assistance, and other home-care services. Medicare Part B is an optional medical insurance that is financed with a monthly premium, usually deducted from individuals’ Social Security benefits.
The average monthly payment is around $104.90. Medicare Part B is a health insurance that covers several services, including medically necessary and preventive care. It also covers lab tests, surgeries, doctor visits, ambulance services, durable medical equipment, and mental health care, among others. The average deductible for Medicare Part B coverage is approximately $147 per year. Part A is typically free; however, those who have to pay for it may pay as much as $426 annually based on 2014 average. They also have to cover out-of-pocket hospital inpatient expenses that are incurred. The coverage is determined by three primary factors: federal and state laws, nationwide coverage decision making conducted by Medicare, and decisions regarding local coverage made by specific state companies—they analyze the regional necessity for all coverage options.
One clear distinction between the two is that Part A is free and Part B costs extra. However, both portions of the program seem necessary, being that in-lab research and emergency response is very useful for people who are facing difficult illnesses and those who require immediate attention. Since Medicare does not cover everything, there are alternatives that can satisfy the additional coverage needed. Some of the services not covered include long-term care, dental or eye care, acupuncture, and auditory services. The option of the Medicare Health Plan helps fill in the coverage discrepancies not fulfilled with Part A or B. It is offered by private companies that are connected to Medicare—this is in conjunction with the Medicare Advantage program.
The expansion of the Medicare program can pose a plethora of social and economic benefits, since the program is based on the concept of redistribution of funds. Everyone at some point qualifies for this program; therefore, anyone who has worked (making less than $117,000 annually) will reap the program’s benefits. The payroll tax takes equal amounts from both the employee and employer, collected and stored in a pool of funds. Once the person qualifies, they are able to partake in the program. Through the expansion, the age requirement will be lifted and everyone will be able to experience some coverage based on their contributions. The program itself is publicly funded, but privately distributed as insurance. Unlike the Affordable Care Act, Medicare will allow more people to acquire insurance. Since those who...