When one is growing older and ready to retire, he or she is most likely thinking that government health insurance is in their future. Also known as Medicare, this federally funded single-payer health care program is a blessing for so many.
Signed in to effect by then President Lyndon B. Johnson, Medicare was developed as a means in providing government health insurance to those who lived full lives as Americans. In 1965, the first Medicare recipient was honored the very first card processed. That man was former president, Harry S. Truman.
Medicare is broken in to four parts; Part A is hospital insurance; Part B is medical insurance; Part C is considered the Medicare Advantage plan (those wishing for private insurance plans as opposed to Part A and B government health insurance plans); and Part D, which covers prescription drugs.
Eligible people are those who are over the age of sixty-five and United States residents (for at least five years.) Those who did not pay Medicare (FICA) taxes for ten years, however, are still eligible to enroll but most pay monthly premiums out of pocket. For example, in Medicare Part A, premiums range from $254 – $461 per month.
Most enrolled Medicare members do not pay a month premium however because they were able to work and pay their FICA with every paycheck.
Some criticism for government health insurance has risen over the years. For example, some Conservatives consider Medicare as a cause for future socialism in the United States. Others consider the program to be antiquated as the numbers of elderly live longer thus causing the workers to retiree ratio to drop. In other words, the math is not up to date and therefore, the cost of Medicare spending increases while its finances decrease. Reform is necessary.
The quality of care is constantly finding ways to improve in hospital care and physician visits. Those who lived with government health insurance were instrumental in the evaluations of Medicare. They made their concerns known and since then, steps have been taken to efficiently provide a better service to those who qualified for Medicare. Increased medical training and quality customer care were increased.
Sadly, as improvements were made, so were some cutbacks in services. In 2008, the Medicare Advantage plan was given reduced backing in order to make way for children’s health services under CHIP. Forty-five million Americans were receiving Medicare when this happened. (In 2030, there will almost double this amount in need of government health insurance.)
Some folks are concerned that in these unsettling times that their government health insurance will suffer. Inputting a zip code in the above box will jump start the research in insurance quotes and costs, even for those above the age of 65 years.
Health insurance is the forefront of concern in all American’s minds, including those working in government. No plan worldwide is perfect when it comes to government health insurance but there are always ways to improve what needs fixing. After all, good health care and wellness should be everyone’s right.