Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Medicare Program

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The Medicare program was established in 1965 as a national health insurance to assist the elderly in receiving medical care and services as they age regardless of health status and income. There were several reasons that led to the creation of the program as stated by Patel & Rushefsky (2016): most elderly were retirees and not eligible for health insurance coverage through an employer, they could not afford individual insurance coverage, and the elderly are more at risk of needing medical care due to illness and disease. Medicare was later expanded to include younger people with permanent disabilities and those with end-stage renal disease (Medicare.gov). This paper will look at and analyze some of the strengths and weaknesses of the various …show more content…
It covers many basic health services, to include: physician services (inpatient and outpatient), clinical laboratory services, physical and speech therapy, diagnostic tests, durable medical equipment, home health aide services, hospitalization, hospice care, and some preventive and wellness services (Patel & Rushefsky 2014). Also a good thing to point out is that most of the benefits under Part B are unlimited, if medically necessary. The medical needs of the elderly and those who are permanently disabled will vary as they age and they will at some point require some or all of the benefits provided by Medicare. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that in 2011, two-thirds of beneficiaries (66%) had three or more chronic conditions and more than one quarter of all beneficiaries (27%) reported being in fair or poor health …show more content…
The rising costs of healthcare and the growing number of people who will be eligible for Medicare which will lead to an increased use of benefit services all play a role in how much it costs to fund Medicare. Many beneficiaries seek out supplemental insurance to help off- set the costs of premiums and deductibles of the traditional Medicare. Medicare also lacks an annual out-of-pocket spending limit, placing a financial burden on those beneficiaries who have to use a large amount of benefits (Patel & Rushefsky 2014). There have been proposals by policymakers to raise the cost sharing spending for recipients to reduce government spending on the Medicare program. One important consideration of this type of proposal, is the affect it will have on low-income beneficiaries. Patel & Rushefsky (2014) pointed out that increased cost sharing would reduce the use of needed services which would present another major issue regarding the health of the

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