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A Few Facts About The Medicare Program

Todays Date: December 13, 2018

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law an amendment to the Social Security regulations and laws. This revision was known as Medicare. Originally, the were only two parts to the law. Hospital insurance was covered under Part A and medical insurance provisions came under Part B. By 2008, more than forty-five million individuals in the United States were enrolled in the program. Estimates of beneficiaries in 2030, when the baby-boomers are all under the auspices of the program, reach 78 million people. It is expected to be the largest social program of its kind on the planet.

The program is partially funded by employer and employee payroll taxes collected by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and the Self-Employment Contributions Act of 1954. The cost of a payroll-based tax is 2.9 percent, of which half is paid by the employee and half by the worker. When the beneficiary is self-employed, the entire amount must be paid into the program.

The program originally consisted of just Parts A and B. It was open to U. S. Citizens age 65 and higher. The individual must also have paid into the system for a minimum of ten years in order to avoid having to pay Part A premiums. The coverage under Part A is for inpatient hospital costs and related expenses. There will be a deductible applied. Under Part A, convalescent stays in the skilled nursing facility are covered. There can be co-payments required under some circumstances.

Part B covers medical costs that are not hospital related. Part B is somewhat optional, since if the individual doesn’t enroll, there is a penalty applied. Outpatient costs for nursing and physician services, including administration of medicine, so long as it is done by medical personnel. Part B also pays for medical equipment, prosthetics and other similar equipment and supplies.

Under Part C, individuals can purchase private insurance plans for benefits offered under Parts A and B. This program section includes prescription medications. The enrollee must still pay part C premiums in addition to those of Part A if applicable and Part B. If the benefits under Part C are not included in Parts A or B, there may be additional fees.

Part D has only been in effect since 2006. This program covers stand alone prescription drug plans and some types of combination plans with components of Part C and Part D. Most of those who receive benefits under the program must pay both premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

Part A premiums are waived for most people. Those enrolled in Part B paid just under $100 monthly in 2009. Payment for Part B premiums is automatically collected from the Social Security check each month. The amounts for Part C and Part D premiums depend upon the insurance program and coverage level of the individual plan. Some Type C plans provide for rebate of a portion of the Part B premium paid by enrollees.

The entire Medicare program is administered by the federal government. Complaints about fraud and abuse are common, but they are usually directed at hospitals, physicians and surgeons who bill the program for services. The changes in U. S. Law will affect the provision of services for health care in the future, but it remains to be seen what the extent of the changes will be.

Learn more about medicare part b. Stop by Mark Spencer’s site where you can find out all about medicare part d plans and what it can do for you.

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