Medicare is a federally run program that provides medical insurance to U.S. citizens who are 65 or older, certain disabled individuals under 65, and those with end-stage renal disease. It is largely funded by the federal government from general revenues and is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Here are some ten advantages of having Medicare.
1. Cost Savings
Medicare is a cost-sharing program in which the beneficiary shares the cost of their healthcare with the federal government. Medicare’s limited coverage means that beneficiaries will have to pay additional costs for healthcare, but it is cheaper than private insurance. For example, a single Medicare recipient will pay an average of US$1,350 for Part B coverage over a year, while an individual with employer-provided health insurance can expect to pay about US$3,500.
2. No Pre-Existing Conditions
Medicare may cover all diseases but only pays for reasonable, medically necessary care. These are called exceptions to the standard Medicare rules of coverage. The list of covered diseases and services is subject to change through periodic updates known as “redeterminations.”According to a recent study, the Medicare program pays for 90% of the healthcare costs of beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are more likely to be satisfied with their coverage, with more than three in five reporting that they are generally satisfied.
3. Senior Discounts
Medicare offers significant discounts on prescriptions and other health services for beneficiaries ages 65 and older. The discounts are available at many pharmacies, grocery stores, and discount stores, as well as hospitals and clinics affiliated with Medicare.
4. Long-Term Care
Medicare is available to people who require long-term skilled nursing, home health services, or help with daily living. This can include care for the chronically ill, people with disabilities, the terminally ill, and the elderly who need assistance with activities of daily living.
5. Insurance Protection
Medicare also provides a secondary layer of insurance protection for some people with private insurance policies. This is a benefit that Medicaid does not provide. In some cases, Medicare beneficiaries can purchase individual policies when their health plans become unaffordable or inadequate. The beneficiary may also want to assess whether private insurance offers more coverage than Medicare and vice versa.
6. Improved Access
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have significantly improved the quality of service they can provide through Medicare over the years. For example, CMS has required most hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to meet minimum standards for treating heart attacks and other medical conditions. Medicare supplement plans in Nebraska are usually subject to the same standards.
7. End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
Medicare offers coverage for beneficiaries who are diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. These individuals have little or no kidney function and may require dialysis, a kidney transplant, or nearly total support from a ventilator. The Medicare program pays for a range of services for people with ESRD and can also pay for equipment needed during dialysis.
8. Better Hospital Care
People with Medicare are more likely to receive recommended care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility than those with private insurance. A study in California found that patients with Medicare received almost twice as many recommended services per episode of care as those with private insurance.
9. Preventive Services Covered
Medicare covers several preventive services, including immunizations and screenings for older people. The Affordable Care Act has also expanded the government-sponsored health plan’s coverage to include oft-overlooked services such as screenings for breast and cervical cancer, as well as diabetes screening and counseling.
10. There are No Penalties for Early Termination
Medicare beneficiaries can terminate their coverage at any time without paying the penalty. In contrast, people with private health insurance policies have to pay a fee if they cancel their coverage early. However, many of the negative consequences of cancellation are hard to avoid since employers and health insurance providers typically require them.
Medicare is a good way to pay for healthcare. It may be more difficult to access regarding age and financial status, but it is much cheaper and more cost-effective. Many people do not realize this until it is too late, and they get sick and find that they have no insurance and cannot afford treatment. Medicare is a benefit to have as part of overall financial health and health protection.