Medicare, signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon B. johnson, is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over” (Wikipedia). When started 19 million people used medicare. This number has increasd over the year since the aging population is on the rise. It is predicted that 77 million people will take advantage of the medicare benefit package by the year 2030.
There are many advantages in having a medicare benefit plan. These include: Individuals can use private insurance plans for routine health care. The health provider does not need to be from a select list of providers. The individual can still use his regular doctor. However, “for full benefits, you need to see your Primary Care Physician (PCP) first for all of your medical care, except for out-of-area emergencies and out-of-area urgent care” (ehealthlink). In addition, if you need a specialist, you must use one refered by your physician.
Monthly payments are either free or a low payment and are normally deducted from a person’s social security check. Most individuals who were employed do not pay for long term care. By working for a medicare-covered employee, medicare payments and social security payments were already taken out of their paychecks. However, for regular office visits, you need to make a co-payment. These costs vary depending on the provider.
Prescription drugs are included with the plan. As with office visits, individuals must make a co-payment on the medications. This depends on the actual cost of the medication. Even so, he will pay a fraction of the cost.
The major disadvantage in the Medicare Benefit Package is the rising number of individuals 65 years of age and older. This group of people in increasing more rapidly than the working population-who are paying into the plan. “The major drawback of the scheme lies in the cost borne by the US Government, with some people predicting that, if the plan continues in its present form, the government will not be able to sustain the plan beyond about 2018” (The Advantages of Medicare).
The advantages outweigh the disadvantages of Medicare. With the rises in the cost of living and the reduction of income, individuals 65 years of age and older must use the Medicare benefits package to allow them to reduce the costs for medical and perscription costs. The government must improve the plan as the aging population increases.