Medicare and Medicaid

Topics: Health insurance, Medicare, Health care Pages: 7 (2488 words) Published: February 25, 2013

Medicaid and Medicare are two different government programs. Both programs were created in 1965 to help older and low-income families be able to buy their own private health insurance. These programs were part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” plan, a commitment to helping meet the needs of individual health care. They are social insurance programs, which allow the financial load of patient’s illnesses to be shared by other healthy, sick, wealthy, and lower income individuals and families. Medicaid insurance covers approximately 60 million Americans, according to their income. Medicaid is larger than any other single private health insurance program. The criteria for participating would include those who are unable to work due to disabilities, anyone who receives Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), as well as single, pregnant women who fall below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). In 2011, the FPL for a family of four was set at $22,350. This amount is updated yearly. Medicaid also helps those who are part of the Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) program (Mann, 2012). Funding for Medicaid comes from the government as well as each state’s department of SSI. They are also responsible for administering funds. In the other hand, Medicare is a federal government program that offers individual health care insurance to those who are 65 or older, and/or have a disability, no matter what their income level. Taxes that are deducted from one’s payroll helps pay for the Medicare program. Medicare is intended to benefit seniors, younger people with specific disabilities, and people with end stage renal disease. The Medicare program has four parts; Parts A, B, C, and D. The social security department pays for a portion of Part A. Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care and other services. Part B is paid for by the monthly premiums of people enrolled and by general funds from the U.S. Treasury.  It helps pay for doctors' fees, outpatient hospital visits, and other medical services and supplies that are not covered by Part A. Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans allow you to choose to receive all of your health care services through a provider organization.  These plans may help lower your costs of receiving medical services, or you may get extra benefits for an additional monthly fee.  You must have both Parts A and B to enroll in Part C. Part D (prescription drug coverage) is voluntary and the costs are paid for by the monthly premiums of enrollees and Medicare.  Unlike Part B in which you are automatically enrolled and must opt out if you do not want it, with Part D you have to opt in by filling out a form and enrolling in an approved plan. The history of Medicare began decades ago in 1945, when President Harry Truman had a vision that Americans should have affordable health care. He fought for the idea, but it was an idea before its time. Medicare is a health care insurance program, which put simply is overseen by the United State Federal Government. Today the chain of acronyms, which oversee Medicare, leads to Health and Human Services, HHS, and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, CMS. In 1945 Harry Truman was called a socialist. Today the same label has been pinned on President Obama. Perhaps the real question might be how does a country provide all of its citizens and residents health care without some level of socialism? In 1965 when Lyndon Johnson was President, he signed into law Medicare and Medicaid, which is a program that offers assistance to the indigent population. Ironically, the first person to enroll in Medicare was the former President Harry Truman. Over the following years, from 1965 to present, the provisions of Medicare have expanded. In 1972 benefits for speech therapy, physical therapy and chiropractic visits were added. This was also the year that payments to health maintenance...

References: 1. Fong, Tony. (2005). Assessing Four Decades of Medicare, Medicaid, 6-7, 24, 42
2. Berkowitz, Edward (2008). Medicare and Medicaid: The Past as Prologue. Health Care Financing Review29. 3: 81-93
3. Carlson, G. (2009). Difference between Medicaid and Medicare. Health Feature articles
6. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (2009). Focus on Health Reform. Health Reform Opportunities: Improving Policy for Dual Eligible, pgs. 1-7
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