Medicare Essay

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Medicare is a national social insurance program, run by the U.S. federal government since 1966 that promises health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older and younger people with disabilities. Being the nation’s single largest health insurance program, covering a large population for a wide range of health services, Medicare's funding is a fundamental part of it sustainability. Medicare is comprised of several different parts, serving different purposes, some of which require separate funding. In general, people at the age of 65 and older who have been legal residents of the United States for at least 5 years are eligible for Medicare. Same is true with people that have disabilities under 65, if they receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Medicare involves four parts: Part A is hospital insurance. Part B is additional medical insurance, that Part A doesn't cover. Part C health plans, also mostly known as Medicare Advantage, are another way for original Medicare beneficiaries to receive their Part A, B and D benefits. Medicare Part D covers many prescription drugs, some of which are covered by Part B. Medicare is a major operation, not only needing adequate administering but the necessary allocated funds to keep this massive system afloat.
One in six Americans and mostly all of the population 65 years and older, are covered by Medicare. In 2012, Medicare provided for 50.7 million people, 42.1 million aged and 8.5 million disabled, with a total cost of $574 billion. This is about 21% of national health spending and 3.6% of Gross Domestic Product (Davis, 2013). Medicare, being a social insurance program, is required to pay for covered services provided to enrollees so long as the specific criteria is met. On av...

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... they have worked for at least 40 quarters in Medicare covered employment. U.S. residents with 39 quarters or less of Medicare-covered employment will pay a monthly premium of $243, if they've had between 30 and 39 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. Citizens or permanent U.S. residents with less than that amount pay a $441 monthly premium for Medicare Part A coverage.
Eligible individuals can enroll during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), or the six-month period that starts three months before their 65th birthday. Many will be automatically enrolled in Part A, in which case Medicare sends an initial enrollment package with general Medicare information, a questionnaire, and a red-white-and-blue Medicare card. Those who are younger than age 65 with a disability are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A in the 25th month of their disability payments.
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