The History of Medicare
According to the official website, Medicare and the centers for Medicare/Medicaid services (CMS) were institutionalized in 1965. At that time the average life expectancy was only 73 years for women and 67 years for men. The average beneficiary received Medicare health benefits for only a few years at most. Now the average life expectancies for men (76) and women (81) are much higher.
Some Disturbing Stats
At Medicare’s introduction, approximately 4 taxpayers were paying into the program for every Medicare beneficiary. Now, because of the high rate of aging baby boomers, there are only approximately 2.9 taxpayers for every beneficiary. According to CMS, if left unchecked, Medicare could become insolvent by the year 2024. In addition, the governing body of Medicare also controls Medicaid services for citizens under 65. CMS says they pay 87% of their budget on Medicare claims versus the 13% which is spent on Medicaid.
The Problem With Medicare
If you’re at least 65 years of age, you qualify for Medicare coverage within the United States. This may sound like a great thing, especially if you have had to suffer through costly insurance premiums in the past. But Medicare will not cover every single medical need you have presently or in the future.
There are noteworthy issues when it comes to Medicare’s services. Specifically, Medicare does not cover the cost of:
• Private nursing services or any other form of longstanding care
• Managing chronic illnesses
• Dental-related needs
Also, basic Medicare does not cover any medications you need automatically. Instead, you have to set up a drug plan with a private provider. Many insurance agents will not necessarily disclose these facts when you begin the sign-up process.
For more information on how you can cover the costs Medicare doesn’t pay for or it you need help aid wading through the fine print, contact us. We can help you sort out your choices for the best medical coverage possible including Medicare supplement plans and critical care riders.
A (Not-So-)Perfect Solution
Medicare tries to rectify the fear of incomplete coverage by offering an additional plan for those who desire more coverage: the Medicare Advantage Plan. While Medicare supplement insurance may seem like the perfect solution to the issues surrounding the base insurance, it isn’t an entirely worry-free solution.
Medicare Advantage comes with its own set of obstacles once you apply. You cannot simply get the care you need automatically, and must go through a lengthy referral and approval process before you can see more specialized physicians. How Medicare Advantage and the base Medicare packages work immediately diverges, leaving you with new standards to familiarize yourself with. The health care facilities and doctors you can choose from become limited, meaning you lose your freedom to choose the best medical care available. Even if you select this extra coverage, there will still be gaps and medical needs that Medicare will not cover. Additionally, you cannot combine a supplement plan and an Advantage plan, meaning you will be liable for medical expenses in one way or another.