How Medicare Helps Seniors

Medicare is a social insurance program, which is offered by the United States government, for those aged 65 and over, who cannot afford their own insurance policy. It also covers those who are under the age of 65 and are permanently physically disabled, or have a congenital physical disability, which requires them to have around the clock treatment, and to have a care taker with them, in order to get through day to day activities. The medicare coverage can also be given to those who meet certain income guidelines, and do not have medical insurance through an employer, or by other means, due to their inability to afford it, and a health condition they may have.

The Medicare program in the United States is similar to any health care insurance policy for a single individual, that would be provided through an employer, or by those who purchase their own insurance, and pay out of pocket since they are capable of affording their own insurance policy. Prior to medicare being offered, only about 51 percent of people above the age of 65 were able to afford insurance, meaning that many seniors who needed expensive medications, or expensive nursing care, or expensive in home care, were not getting it, due to the fact that they were not able to afford it, and the fact that there was no government assistance administered to these individuals. Additionally, only about 30 percent of these individuals, who were not able to afford their own insurance, were living above the poverty line. This meant that these seniors were uninsured, and were going without a lot more than just insurance, due to the tough economic conditions, and because they were not able to afford better living conditions, due to the expensive treatment they had to pay for care or medication, when they had to purchase it.

The original Medicare plan, covers about 80 percent of the approved Medicare medical procedure. This means that about 80 percent of nursing care costs, co-pays, medications, and all approved medicare treatments, are going to be paid for by the government, requiring the seniors (or others who are approved for medicare), to pay only 20 percent of the entire cost out of pocket, making an option for care something which is actually much more affordable for all these individuals. There are also ways that these individuals, especially those living below the poverty level, can obtain a medicare supplement plan, which will pay the other 20 percent, or at least a large portion of that 20 percent, meaning that many individuals will not be required to pay anything for their treatment; or, if they do have to pay out of pocket expenses, they are going to be extremely minimal costs, out of the total amount which is due for the treatment, or the medication which they are obtaining.

The supplement insurance is generally offered via a private insurance company, which will require a monthly insurance fee be paid. But, this is going to be a much lower cost than the 20 percent, if an expensive treatment option, or expensive medication is required for these individuals.