What Can You Gain From Medicare Insurance?
Medicare insurance is now a firmly established part of the health care industry in the United States, and offers benefits to retired people, the disabled, and people with certain conditions such as end stage renal disease. The system was instigated during the 1960s, at a time when the financial pressures on such a state funded system were far less than they are now. The future of Medicare has to be considered uncertain, as the system is under financial pressure now, and is facing a huge increase in payouts one the baby boomer generation retires.
The reason for the introduction of Medicare was a simple one. There were large sections of the population in the 1960s and earlier decades who had no access to health care provisions. This was largely due to the fact that they had no managed to put aside enough money for retirement, or the buy into a private health care plan which would give them insurance for the health difficulties which were likely to occur in retirement. Seniors typically have a far greater need for healthcare than the working population, yet many have greatly reduced incomes and are therefore unable to afford it.
The years between the instigation of Medicare and the present day have seen many changes, most of them expansions in the system. The numbers of people covered by the plan has greatly increased, with special provisions being made for people with certain conditions. The best known of these is the special dispensation given to end stage renal disease. These developments have increased the expense to the taxpayer, which needs to be spread across the entire population, although Medicare patients are still expected to make a significant contribution towards their own treatment. Private providers are also now included in some Medicare plans.
Recent developments in Medicare insurance have often been designed to help the system cope with the increasing expenses of trying to maintain such a comprehensive service. The most significant change came in 1997, as Medicare beneficiaries were then able to receive benefits through private plans instead of through the government coverage. This has given the beneficiaries of Medicare a significant amount of freedom in deciding when and where to go for health treatment, and it has also allowed the government to control and balance its budget far more easily. This trend is likely to be continued in the future no matter what other changes ensue.
The introduction of private providers into the network has also created a situation where many recipients of Medicare have difficult choices to make. It was inevitable that someone would start a system of reviews and ratings to that different providers could be compared in an objective and fair manner. This should have the end result of improving services across the entire industry, as those with poor ratings will lose revenue and need to improve the standard of their operations in order to remain in business. How well this happens in the real world remains very much to be seen.
Despite these attempts to make Medicare insurance as attractive as possible to the people who need to take advantage of it, the statistics show that millions of people leave Medicare programs every year. The most commonly quoted reason for this is that they have found it difficult to receive the care which they were promised. This is a sad indictment on a system which was obviously designed to make receiving health care benefits as easy as possible for those who need them the most. There are no alternatives to the system for most who rely on it, so improvements are clearly needed.
The most difficult time for the government and the Medicare providers will come in the next two to three decades, when the baby boomer generation is due to retire. This will greatly increase the numbers of people eligible for Medicare, and will obviously exert an extreme financial pressure upon the system. Plans are already being made for how the system can be expended with extra funding, and ow services can be cut back to save money, without this having a devastating effect on those who rely on Medicare for essential services. It is sure to be a highly challenging time.
As Medicare insurance becomes increasingly complex, it can be difficult for people to determine exactly what their entitlements are, and how they should best take advantage of them. The Internet can be your best friend and source of information, and the best place to start is with the government website and pages on the different aspects of Medicare. You will then need to progress to different company websites to compare offers and determine exactly what you will need to pay for the services you need. Make sure you take the time to make comparisons, as you can save on your own contribution towards Medicare insurance.