Medicare is a governmental program which provides
medical insurance coverage for retired persons over
age 65 or for others who meet certain medical
conditions, such as having a disability.
Medicare was signed into legislation in 1965 as an
amendment to the Social Security program and is
administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) under the Department of Human Services.
Medicare provides medical insurance coverage for over
43 million Americans, many of whom would have no
medical insurance. While not perfect, the Medicare
program offers these millions of people relatively low
cost basic insurance, but not much in the way of
preventative care. For instance, Medicare does not pay
for an annual physical, vision care or dental care.
Medicare is paid for through payroll tax deductions
(FICA) equal to 2.9% of wages; the employee pays half
and the employer pays half.
There are four "parts" to Medicare: Part A is hospital
coverage, Part B is medical insurance, Part C is
supplemental coverage and Part D is prescription
insurance. Parts C and D are at an added cost and are
not required. Neither Part A nor B pays 100% of
medical costs; there is usually a premium, co-pay and
a deductible. Some low-income people quality for
Medicaid, which assists in paying part of or all of
the out-of-pocket costs.
Because more people are retiring and become eligible
for Medicare at a faster rate than people are paying
into the system, it has been predicted that the system
will run out of money by 2018. Health care costs have
risen dramatically, which adds to the financial woes
of Medicare and the system has bee plagued by fraud
over the years.
No one seems to have a viable solution to save this
system that saves many people throughout the country.