How Important Is Medicare?

Nearly all of us benefit from Medicare either directly or indirectly. Medicare ensures that health care is within the reach of millions of old Americans. It eases the potential responsibility of  younger family members who would otherwise have had to look after their old family members medical expenses. With the awareness that they have the cover and protection of Medicare their minds are at peace as they age.

Here are a few reasons why Medicare is important:

Medicare Guarantees Affordable Health Insurance

Before Medicare, nearly 1 in 2 old Americans had no health insurance. Their choices often included spending their savings, taking money from their children, or doing without care.

Medicare offers a guaranteed level of coverage to people who might not otherwise be able to afford it. And it helps in insulating beneficiaries from rising health care costs. People enrolled in the program may still pay hundreds of dollars a year for health care, but their access to health care is much better than before the program existed.

Medicare Provides a Full Range of Services

Medicare helps people stay healthy. The program provides vital preventive services and screenings at no cost. Medicare Part B offers a health and wellness check-up every year at no cost, as well as periodic check-ups for several diseases such as cardiovascular problems; cancer of the cervix, vagina, and breast for women; prostate cancer for men; diabetes and depression. It also covers flu shots. Also, the Part D program can help pay for expensive prescription drugs for both preventive and therapeutic treatments.

Medicare’s Protections Benefit More than Just Seniors

The program provides health coverage for 9.1 million differently-abled people who in the past were usually unable to get approved for private insurance. Such individuals become eligible for Medicare if Social Security has classified them as differently-abled for 24 months or more. In addition, people younger than 65 years of age, who suffer from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be eligible for Medicare.

Medicare Helps Fight Poverty

Before Medicare was enacted in 1965 practically 1 in 3 seniors lived in poverty. Older people were more likely to be poor as compared to other age groups. Yet in its first decade, Medicare helped cut their poverty rate by half.

By helping older citizens shoulder the potentially overwhelming costs of illness, Medicare plays a significant role in the financial security of senior Americans, as well as towards their health security.