06 Jan 5 Benefits of Medicare You Should Take Advantage Of
Medicare is a federal social insurance program that was introduced in 1965 and has provided health insurance benefits at a reasonable cost to millions of Americans aged 65 and older as well as those living with disabilities.
Now, common confusion exists surrounding Medicaid and Medicare. They are two different considerations altogether.
Medicaid is geared towards those in a lower income bracket or a certain state of poverty. Those who qualify for Medicaid benefit from further subsidized costs of care. Medicare, on the other hand, aims to provide health insurance to everyone else, and allows individuals across all economic demographics access to quality healthcare.
One of the common questions we receive has to do with the difference between private health insurance packages and Medicare. Why do so many Americans opt for Medicare?
Well, one of the main reasons is due to the fact that most who claim Medicare benefits are retired and no longer have access to health insurance options through their employer. There are, however, a number of other reasons Medicare is the right option for many.
Low Monthly Cost
The costs of Medicare are relatively low. For example, most people don’t pay a premium for Part A plans. The standard Part B premium was $148.50 (monthly) in 2021 but could have been higher depending on income. The same price diversity is encountered with Part C and Part D plans, but still provide a lot of coverage for the price. In 2022, the average cost for a health insurance plan is $541 monthly.
Different Coverage Options
While original Medicare comes with standard plans, there are a number of benefits included within a Medicare Advantage plan such as vision, hearing, and dental. In addition, those enrolled in a Medicare plan can take advantage of supplemental coverage as needed. Such coverage includes a Medigap policy that helps with the payment of any out-of-pocket costs associated with a policy holder’s care.
Flexible Monthly Premiums
For healthy adults who prefer lower premiums and are comfortable with managed care, monthly premiums can be as low as $0. For those who want deductible and copay coverage, monthly prices will rise to the high two-digits, into three-digit territory. However, opting for higher premiums is often a good idea for those who have higher medical expenses. In short, there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to how an individual goes about paying for their Medicare coverage.
Elevated Healthcare Standards
Given that Medicare is a government program, its implementation required a congressional improvement of healthcare standards. There is a good deal of legislation aimed to protect individuals and provide them with the best care possible. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees these federal healthcare programs and continually updates policies and standards so that health care providers can rise to the level of desired care. For example, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 updated the practices that were embraced at the time for the benefit of Medicare enrollees.
Access to Prescriptions
Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans have seen increased enrollment every year since 2006. Now, over 48 Million Americans (about 77% of those enrolled in Medicare) have good prescription drug benefits. In some cases, those enrolled in such plans have greater, more affordable access to prescription medications than those enrolled in standard health insurance plans.
When all is said and done, Medicare is a very successful program that has been providing needed healthcare benefits to millions for over half a century. Medicare benefits are continuing to improve while relative costs are going down. The future of Medicare looks bright.