Medicare

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TAKE HOME EXAM --QUESTION #1: Medicare and Medicaid share many similarities and have many differences in terms of the populations that are eligible for benefits; the general benefits or services covered; and how the programs are funded and administered. Furthermore, a closer inspection of Medicare reveals both strengths and flaws in the program. Medicare, otherwise known as Title 18, is a federal program that provides healthcare for all those who are 65 years and older. Anyone 65 and older who qualifies for Social Security is automatically eligible for Medicare. In addition, Medicare covers those who are permanently disabled, as well those with kidney failure (end-stage renal disease, ESRD). (Barr, 2007) All those who qualify for Medicare qualify for Medicare Part A and B. Under the Part A plan which is universal for all seniors receiving Social Security, the government pays for all hospitalization-related costs for 60 days. Benefits include hospice care, skilled nurse facility following hospitalization, and hospice care for terminally ill people. (Barr, 2007) Funding for Medicare is primarily drawn from three sources: general revenues (40 percent), payroll taxes (38 percent) and premiums paid by beneficiaries (12 percent). (Foundation, 2010) Funding for Part A comes from a 1.5 % payroll tax levied on all workers and employers which is then deposited into a Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. The money paid into the Medicare Trust Fund is not used by those who are contributing to the fund but by those who are already retired. In essence, current workers are subsidizing for those who are retired. Nevertheless patients enjoying the benefits of Part A are still expected to pay a deductible unless they purchase supplementary... ... middle of paper ... ...f-pocket costs, or at the very least a stagnation of such costs, policy makers are less willing to oblige. One service that is glaringly absent from Medicare is long term care for the elderly but it does not appear as though this will be addressed by Congress soon. Bibliography Barr, D. A. (2007). Introduction to US Health Policy: The Organization, Financing and Delivery of Health Care in America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Foundation, T. H. (2010). Medicare: A Primer. Winakur, J. (2005). What are we going to do with dad? Health Affairs . Bibliography Barr, D. A. (2007). Introduction to US Health Policy: The Organization, Financing and Delivery of Health Care in America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Foundation, T. H. (2010). Medicare: A Primer. Winakur, J. (2005). What are we going to do with dad? Health Affairs .

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